City Staff Visits Midwest Inland Port in Decatur

inland portT.J. Blakeman, Senior Planner for Economic Development, joined SBDC staff and local business owners on a fact finding trip to Decatur to learn about the 3-year-old Midwest Inland Port.  This port represents a major benefit to the cities in our region as it allows direct connections to nearly every major sea port in the United States and Canada.  The port offers access to three of the nation’s Class 1 railroads (CSX, CN and NS), and creates opportunities for local industries to import and export goods around the world. Without the port, businesses would face the hassle and time consuming effort of traveling to the next closest inland port in Joliet.  Champaign County is fortunate to also have an International Trade Specialist, Kathie Cravens, who is housed at the International Trade Center at the Economic Development Corporation. Ms. Cravens helps local industries navigate the world of international trade and shipping.   For more information on this important resource please visit or our local SBDC at