News & Blog

2018 National Small Business Week

2018 National Small Business Week

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

Learn more at https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

Our 2018 events:

Monday, April 30, 2018

SBDC Info Session: City of Champaign’s Small Business Incentive Program

Through their Small Business Incentive Program, the City of Champaign offers financial support to small businesses for a variety of eligible expenses. Participants can request up to $7,000 in matching funds for professional services or business expenses such as legal, financial and marketing services; education expenses; equipment purchases or other needs. This program is targeted at new and existing small businesses within the city limits of Champaign.

The City of Champaign’s Planning and Development staff will describe this program and answer questions.

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018

Time: 10 – 11 AM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-city-champaigns-small-business-incentive-program-2/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/203626346858726/

SBDC Workshop: Capability Statements – Marketing Your Business to Government Agencies

In this workshop, we will discuss how to make your business stand out among the competition and use your Capability Statement to open the doors of potential clients. Specifically, we will identify the key components of a winning Capability Statement and provide insight into how to use it as a marketing tool.

The workshop will be presented by Keli Krueger-Huhra, PTAC Director at Bradley University. Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are resources for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. The centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies.

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018

Time: 12 – 1:30 PM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. Lunch and materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-capability-statements-marketing-business-government-agencies/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/353287321852922/

SBDC Info Session: City of Urbana – Business Grant Programs

The City of Urbana offers business grants and reimbursements to support new, expanding, and transitioning businesses in Urbana’s Downtown and along Cunningham Avenue. Businesses in these areas may receive a Development Grant of up to $2,000 after consulting with the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC (SBDC), an Opening Grant of $1,000 after opening and holding a public opening ceremony, and up to $25,000 in reimbursements for completing renovation work.

A representative from Urbana’s Economic Development Department will discuss and answer questions on these programs.

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018

Time: 4 – 5 PM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-city-urbana-business-grant-programs-2/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/148199142561959/

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinois

Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC

Thinking about starting a business or expanding your own? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements of starting or growing a small business in Illinois. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
  • Feasibility
  • Business formation and registering your business
  • How to create or improve your business plan – an important part of starting or growing a small business
  • Startup costs, ongoing expenses, and forecasting
  • Financing and grant options, including programs in Champaign County

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/starting-business-illinois-national-small-business-week/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1884357645210795/


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinois

Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC

Thinking about starting a business or expanding your own? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements of starting or growing a small business in Illinois. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
  • Feasibility
  • Business formation and registering your business
  • How to create or improve your business plan – an important part of starting or growing a small business
  • Startup costs, ongoing expenses, and forecasting
  • Financing and grant options, including programs in Champaign County

Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Time: 9 – 11 AM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/starting-business-illinois-national-small-business-week/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1884357645210795/

SBDC Info Session: How the Library Can Help Your Small Business

The Champaign Public Library’s new initiative, Launch at the Library, provides a gateway and support for aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and established business owners to help them succeed. While the Library’s inviting spaces, convenient hours, and free wifi already make it a natural fit for business owners, the Launch initiative has optimized CPL’s capacity for serving entrepreneurs through new programming, services, resources, and staff.

In addition to the new offerings available at the library, they also have a suite of recently acquired online resources that can help anyone’s business:

  • Small Business Builder: Get step-by-step guidance for business ideation, financial projections, and writing your business plan.
  • Small Business Resource Center: Obtain access to hundreds of real business plans and get information on all aspects of your business.
  • Business Insight Global: Learn about your competitors, your market, and your industry.
  • DemographicsNow and ReferenceUSA: Determine who your best customers are and prepare targeted marketing campaigns—for free!

Stephanie Pitts-Noggle, CPL’s Business Specialist, will demonstrate how these tools can maximize small business success, and provide an overview of the other exciting opportunities the Champaign Public Library has to offer.

Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Time: 12 – 1 PM

Location: Champaign Public Library (Main Library) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. Lunch and materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-library-can-help-small-business/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/590887171304292/


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

SBDC Info Session: CCRPC’s Financing Programs

The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) offers financing for business start-ups, expansions, and economic development projects. Businesses and organizations throughout Champaign County and East Central Illinois may be eligible to apply for financing of up to 50% of a project cost. Financing terms are affordable, flexible, and vary by program.

The three programs:

  • Intermediary Relending Program (IRP): Loans for businesses, organizations, and governments in communities of less than 25,000 population in the East Central Illinois counties of Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, and Vermilion. Loans between $5,000 and $250,000; up to 49% percent of the total project cost. Eligible for working capital, machinery, equipment, real estate, rural government infrastructure projects, and many other uses.
  • Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP): Loans for businesses and organizations located anywhere in Champaign County. Loans between $5,000 and $1,000,000; up to 50% of the total project cost. Eligible for working capital, machinery, equipment, inventory, real estate, infrastructure projects, and many other uses.
  • Champaign County Community Development Corporation (CDC): Financing of businesses located anywhere in Champaign County and surrounding communities. Each CDC loan should be matched by member bank financing. Loans or equity investments; up to 50% of the total project cost. Eligible for working capital, machinery, equipment, real estate, and other uses.

Kathy Larson, CCRPC’s Economic Development Specialist, will provide an overview of the financing programs, including eligibility details and application requirements. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Time: 9 – 10 AM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-ccrpcs-financing-programs/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/189156588482663/

Coworking: How It’s Helping Small Business Thrive

By the year 2020, 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers. The 1099 economy and the transition of traditional work environments is on the rise. Small businesses can use this change to their advantage by offering maximum flexibility and increased productivity in a way that will resonate with employees. Join Lodgic Everyday Community on May 2 for a look into trends in coworking and how it is helping nourish dreams and aspirations of modern professionals and small business owners like never before. This presentation includes a 30-minute talk with Q&A, a quick hard-hat tour of Lodgic (under construction; opening June 2018), and a light lunch. Closed-toe shoes with hard soles will be required for the hard-hat tour.

Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Time: 11 AM – 12:30 PM

Location: Lodgic Everyday Community Preopening Office – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 101, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP at http://evite.me/btmQ4tbam2.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/coworking-helping-small-business-thrive/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1809225579383809/


Thursday, May 3, 2018

SBDC Workshop: Boost Your Marketing for the 2018 Farmers’ Market Season

Your application was approved to participate in the 2018 farmers’ market season. You’re excited and ready for opening day…except…you’re not quite prepared when it comes to social media. You know social media is an important component of farmers’ market marketing, but it’s hard to focus on all the things vendors need to know/do PLUS start and grow your social media presence.

Natalie Kenny Marquez of Grow Marketing + Communications, LLC (and current Board President of the Illinois Farmers Market Association) will share easy steps to boost your marketing and get prepared for the 2018 season. A Q&A session will follow.

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Time: 9 – 10 AM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-boost-marketing-2018-farmers-market-season/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2149850885031215/

SBDC Workshop: Overview of Exporting + SBA Export Loans and Resources

Whether you are an experienced exporter, new to exporting, or looking to expand your international business, you will want to attend this workshop to learn about the services and resources of the SBDC International Trade Center and U.S. Small Business Administration.

This session will be presented by Kathie Cravens, International Trade Specialist of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and Dennis Foldenauer, Regional Export Finance Manager (Illinois and Wisconsin) of the U.S. Small Business Administration – Office of International Trade.

Learn how the International Trade Center + all resources available through federal and state grants can help your business grow internationally. This will be a good opportunity to meet and talk with Atul Nair of the OTI Chicago office who has been instrumental in processing several ISTEP grants for this region. Trevor Lawson of the OTI Springfield office, who processes ISTEP payment approval, will also be in attendance.

Topics covered:

  • find foreign partners
  • offset costs of:
    • attending foreign trade shows
    • foreign marketing, translation & websites
    • foreign partner searches
    • product certification for foreign markets
  • mitigating risks
  • export documentation & compliance
  • export training workshops on all segments of international business
  • SBA export loans and resources

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Time: 3 – 5 PM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-overview-exporting-sba-export-loans-resources/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/598627200469454/

SBDC Social at Sipyard

Please join us for food and fun at Sipyard (http://sipyard.com/), the only beer garden in central Illinois that operates out of a shipping container.

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Time: 5:30 – 7 PM

Location: Sipyard – 204 W. Main Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-social-sipyard-2/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/190028078268270/


Friday, May 4, 2018

SBDC Info Session: Destination Marketing – How Your Business Plays a Role in Tourism

Tourism is a $330 million industry in the greater Champaign County area, welcoming visitors throughout the year for leisure, sport, meetings and group travel. Learn how you can work with Visit Champaign County to market your business to visitors to drive visitor spending and become a part of our “Outside of Ordinary” story.

The info session will be presented by Terri Reifsteck, Visit Champaign County’s Vice President of Marketing.

Date: Friday, May 4, 2018

Time: 9 – 10 AM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-destination-marketing-business-plays-role-tourism/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/200932030676982/

SBDC Workshop: Advertising on Facebook

Presented by: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing

Learn the best practices of advertising on Facebook. In this workshop, you will learn how to create, publish, purchase, edit, and manage ads on Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network. You will also learn best practices for targeting audiences, budgeting, differences between boosted posts and campaigns, and much more!

Date: Friday, May 4, 2018

Time: 12 – 1:30 PM

Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820

RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP to carly@champaigncountyedc.org or call 217-378-8535. Lunch and materials will be provided.

Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-advertising-facebook/

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1645074192242773/