PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES A RECORD 41,000 BUSINESSES SERVED BY STATEWIDE NETWORK OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS IN 2020

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that 2020 was a record year for business support provided through the Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) – with over 41,000 business owners receiving support through the program. Thanks to investments by the Pritzker administration to help more small businesses receive technical assistance and other support needed to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBDCs expanded to impact more small businesses than ever before served through the program. Overall, investments to expand the program last year resulted in more than $150 million in financing provided to small businesses as a result of SBDC counseling received. The SBDCs will assist small businesses with tapping into funding made available to small businesses through the federal American Rescue Plan. The state recognizes 2020 as a record-breaking year for the small business development centers – supporting more clients than ever before and contributing to 170,000 new business starts in Illinois last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Illinois SBDC Network is directly responsible for the following impacts last year:

 

  • More than 41,000 small businesses served overall – more than double the number served in 2019
    • More than 6,700 minority owned businesses receiving services – 28 percent increase over last year
    • More than 8,000 women owned businesses receiving services – 8 percent increase over last year
    • Over 12,400 businesses located in downstate communities – 40 percent increase over last year

 

DCEO joined small businesses and members of the community to celebrate National SBDC Day at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association center in Chicago’s Uptown community. The Chinese Mutual Aid Association is one of seven new centers opened by the State of Illinois in 2020. The expansion of the SBDC network was made possible by a roughly $19 million investment directed by the Pritzker administration to expand services and assist more small and minority businesses from around the state with accessing COVID-19 emergency assistance available through the state and its federal partners. New investments in the SBDCs last year have made way for additional business resources for education, training and professional business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure due to COVID-19. Overall, more than 54,000 hours of counseling were provided to support small businesses in need of help to obtain both state and federal resources. In the wake of the pandemic, the state of Illinois has made record investments to expand support for struggling small businesses and communities, with over $1 billion in relief launched since last spring. The SBDC’s are often the first line of support when businesses seek technical assistance, providing support for business owners seeking assistance from the including the state’s Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program, which is now closed; as well as through state-directed outreach programs to help more Illinois small businesses qualify for relief through the latest round of PPP. In the wake of the pandemic, the state of Illinois has made record investments to expand support for struggling small businesses and communities, with over $1 billion in relief launched since last spring. The SBDC’s are often the first line of support when businesses seek technical assistance, providing support for business owners seeking assistance from the including the state’s Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program, which is now closed; as well as through state-directed outreach programs to help more Illinois small businesses qualify for relief through the latest round of PPP. Since 1984, the Illinois SBDC Network has provided small business owners with access to business advising, training, and other free services designed to help them start, launch, and grow their businesses. The Illinois SBDC’s provide management and technical assistance to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, no-cost training, support on accessing capital and regulatory compliance help with trade and serve in a dozen or more languages.

With 42 locations statewide, Illinois currently boasts one of the largest SBDC networks in the nation. For more information or to find your local SBDC, please visit DCEO’s website. For updates on other small business supports available, call the First Stop hotline at 1.800.252.2923, or follow us @IllinoisDCEO for updates on programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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