Mayor Wells-Armstrong Presented During American Sustainable Business Council National Webinar on Reopening the Economy


Mayor Wells-Armstrong Presented During American Sustainable Business Council National Webinar on Reopening the Economy


May 29, 2020

Kankakee, IL –  As many parts of the state reopen their economies today, the American Sustainable Business Council has partnered with more than 60 organizations and leaders across the nation to further discuss the best practices and plan for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does it look like on a local level? Mayor Wells-Armstrong presented during the national webinar as one of the speakers to further address local communities.

“During the webinar, I wanted to paint a picture regarding the importance of considering how COVID 19 has further exposed the inequity in our financial, education, health and economic systems.  Many of the businesses that were deemed non-essential in the state of Illinois were owned by small business owners - local people and a number of minority entrepreneurs such as barbers, beauticians and retailers. On the other hand, construction companies and banks that tend to be represented and owned by non-minorities remained opened.  There is already income equality throughout our country and this pandemic serves as an opportunity to allow the lens of equity to shape future policies.  Furthermore, I believe this time serves as an opportunity for communities to be intentional in supporting their local ecosystems.  Larger employers can partner with local small businesses to sustain the local economy and serve as a barrier to challenging economic incidents,” said Mayor Wells-Armstrong.

Guidelines for reopening under phase three in the Restore Illinois plan can be found on the City of Kankakee’s website: Source for Business Toolkit: DCEO

Speakers during the webinar included:

David Levine, President, ASBC

Michael Shuman, Director, Local Economies Program, Neighborhood Associates Corporation

Chasity Wells-Armstrong, Mayor, Kankakee, IL

Nicola Williams, Founder & President, The Williams Agency

Paul Evans, OR State Representative, Co-Chair EOPA Leadership Council

Derek Peebles, Executive Director, American Independent Business Alliance

Jaimie Cloud, President, The Cloud Institute

Bob Rossi, Executive Director, NY Sustainable Business Council

Debbie Berkowitz, Worker Safety and Health Program Director, National Employment Law Project

Theodora Skeadas, Executive Director, Cambridge Local First

Richard Lawton, Executive Director, NJ Sustainable Business Council

Thomas Oppel, Exec. VP, ASBC

*Cosponsors include: Mayors Innovation Project, Elected Officials to Protect America and the collaborators of state and local recommendations for Reopening the Economy Initiative

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The City of Kankakee is dedicated to protecting, building and nurturing the community while enhancing lives. We are a historic, vibrant, and active riverfront community. We continue to transform into an extraordinary place to dream, grow, and thrive. Embracing our diversity, we strive to be progressive, inclusive, and innovative. For more information on the City of Kankakee, please visit the website at

Download the Press Release - American Sustainable Business Council Hosts National Webinar with State and Local Representation on Reopening the Economy