The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today joined Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton at the Greater Southwest Development Corporation and community members to announce the opening of two new Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) and ongoing support for another seven centers across Illinois.  Supported by a $2 million state and federal investment, these new centers will help more small businesses compete for contracts with local, state and/or federal government agencies where they can sell goods or services and in turn grow their business.PTACs play a critical role in providing businesses with support needed to enter the world of government contracting.  Last year alone, PTACs helped Illinois small businesses secure nearly 800 government contracts valued at over $1.1 billion. The State’s investments pave the way for two new community-based centers and expand the reach of existing PTACs – bringing the statewide network to a total of 9 locations.  Two new PTAC locations will launch in August: Greater Southwest Development Corporation Far South Community Development CorporationNew and existing PTACs were selected to receive funding following a robust competitive process launched in June, which required a review of programmatic capacity and to ensure host organizations could provide financial matching. Additionally, the review process evaluated geographic needs throughout the system, to ensure coverage and access to PTACs in areas throughout the state. Both of the newest PTACs are located in underserved areas and assist businesses owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities understand the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) certification process. They also assist with applying for BEP certification, gaining access to State of Illinois contract opportunities and identifying BEP contracting opportunities. The $2 million investment to the program includes $1.25 million investment by the state and the U.S. Department of Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), paired with $812,500 in matching funds by partner organizations. New and existing PTACs are available to help support businesses with one-on-one counseling, certification assistance, technical information, marketing assistance and training pertaining to selling their goods and services to government agencies. Existing Illinois PTACs include locations at: Bradley University; College of DuPage; Women’s Business Development Center; Joseph Business School; Western Illinois University; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Like the Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), PTACs employ a community-based approach to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs with intensive, no-cost resources and services. Investments announced today build on nearly $19 million in investments by the Pritzker administration in 2020 alone to expand the reach of Illinois’ SBDC network, comprised of a total of 42 community-based locations around the state. These state-funded community centers help connect small businesses with information and assistance in applying for state and federal emergency relief programs, including over $300 million in small business assistance programs launched by DCEO since March. Additionally, to support more businesses with training and capacity building, throughout August, National Black Business Month, DCEO is teaming up with Groupon to convene a series of virtual, insightful discussions. The next workshop, These workshops are free – please find more details here.For more information on where to find the nearest PTAC location, visit: For more on additional business assistance programs offered by DCEO, please visit DCEO’s website or follow us on social at @IllinoisDCEO.





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