The retail sales in Hancock County are half what the average is in Illinois, but despite those numbers, the Lake Hill Winery owner Craig Wear said he is hopeful of the economy of the county.
Wear moved back to Hancock County after college with his wife Anita, because he wanted to raise his kids and to start not one, but three businesses.
Wear owns the pharmacy Wear Drugs, the medical supply store More Medical and Lake Hill Winery.
Wear said in order for the county's economy to improve it is going to take locals to strengthen it.
"For a place like this to be built upon it is going to take people from here to do it and we can't sit around and wait for other big businesses to come in and do something because it is just not going to happen," said Wear.
Jerry Bartell of the Hancock County Economic Development Committee is a volunteer and said the county needs a salaried position designated for economic development.
"We need to have that person on board that are going to have the resources at their availability so when someone contacts us and wants to look at our county or a possible new business or whatever it may be we need a person who has those resources at the ready," said Bartell.
Wear said he hopes the new position will change people's perspective of the county's future.
"Getting people more involved in it and having that belief that belief that they can come back to an area like this and be successful whether finding a job or starting or purchasing a business," said Wear.
Officials said they have already raised $40,000 for the economic development position, but they are still in the process of raising more money.
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