About BN Advantage

BN Advantage is a strategy to advance the region's vitality and foster growth by building on McLean County's reputation as an employment and lifestyle destination.

We are working to consistently and successfully deliver the social and economic environment needed to compete in the global economy.  Six county-wide organizations have partnered to create this Advantage:

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council
McLean County Chamber of Commerce
McLean County Regional Planning Commission
Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority
Connect Transit

Volunteers representing more than 35 public and private organizations, businesses, and institutions collaborate on multiple task forces focused on:

Talent and Workforce
Entrepreneurship
Quality of Life/Place
Community Brand Development
Progress Measurement

BN Advantage is our next great community initiative. These efforts are first of their kind in collaboration and participation. Bloomington-Normal is poised for growth, and the time to act is now.

BN Advantage Partners

How to Get Involved

BN Advantage is a community initiative; we recognize that Bloomington-Normal and McLean County must not depend on our present status to drive our economic future. Our region's future lies in its greatest strengths: its people, business, education, and non-profit institutions.

So, how can we ensure BN remains one of America's premier communities for people and businesses? Here are easy ways to get your business or organization involved:

  1. Embrace BN - Review your independent business plans and determine how your mission and vision align with the ongoing community economic development goals.  In order to accomplish this feat, we welcome the opportunity to visit with you.  Our goal is to advance a unified region by strengthening our foundation; we cannot do so without your help!
  2. BN Ambassador - Consciously be positive, proactive, and engaged with our community leaders on how together we advance McLean County competitively – shaping solutions for our future while simultaneously taking care of today’s business. Show others around you why BN deserves your best. The best community advertising is the people who call BN home.
  3. BN Brand - Incorporate the BN into your own marketing strategy; show your pride in our community and engage in the regional brand! To find out ways to incorporate the BN Brand into business and corporate marketing strategies, email Zach Dietmeier at info@bnadvantage.com. Zach can provide a BN Advantage communications guide and artwork personalized with your organization’s colors.
  4. Make Your Money Mean More - For every $100 spent at McLean County businesses, about $48 goes back into the local economy. The easiest way to get involved with BN Advantage is to directly support our partners: fly with Central Illinois Regional Airport, ride with Connect Transit, visit BN attractions, and buy BN through Chamber of Commerce members.   
  5. Support Local Initiatives - Engage with the Chamber and the Economic Development Council in their independent programs of work that focus on the goals of BN Advantage and impact your personal or professional interests.  For example, BN STEM helps champion local educational and training institutions, resources, and programs that will enable employers to cultivate, retain, and attract the talent they need.
  6. BN Mentorship - Volunteer as a mentor to small and growing businesses in McLean County. Central Illinois SCORE offers free business advice and resources.  The new Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan University focuses on help for aspiring small business and local entrepreneurs.
  7. BN All Together – BN Advantage is a team effort. We must continue to strive as individuals, as companies, and as a community to consciously be welcoming, inclusive, and diverse in a changing local and global environment.  Promote and celebrate diversity of culture, business, and creativity to bring about a more complete and colorful advantage.
  8. BN Innovative - Align and allocate your resources to personal, business, and community needs.  Be philanthropic with your time and finances to aid the work so many are doing with each other, for each other.  Now is NOT the time to be complacent with status quo.  You as an individual and the business or industry you represent can and will make a difference that uniquely positions and shapes our economy and our community. 
  9. BN Stories – BN tells a story of hard work, innovation, and diversity. Share your business’s successes - both BIG and small – with BN Advantage. Help us celebrate every local “win” of McLean County in continuing to show why and how we have the BN Advantage. Email Zach Dietmeier at info@bnadvantage.com to share your stories. In addition, help spread others’ stories through social media by using #BNStories and #BNAdvantage.
  10. Measure progress – Every great community initiative is able to track its goal progression in order to keep moving forward with further growth and prosperity. Adopt indicators and metrics to assess our progress. You can work directly with the McLean County Regional Planning Commission and Economic Development Council by sharing your data and creating a clear picture of our region.

You can share these involvements and some of our favorite BN Advantages with our easy-to-use, downloadable document.  Print or save a copy to share with other community members, investors, or perspective visitors and businesses. Help shape our community as we embark upon a deliberate course of action to diversify our economy and ensure that we benefit from new opportunities in the emerging global economy.