News & Blog

UPDATES & EVENTS: FEBRUARY 2020

// UPDATES & REMINDERS + GOOD TO KNOW:

 Illinois Department of Human Rights Releases Compliance Guidelines for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) launched an information-based webpage concerning Public Act 101-0221 (commonly referred to as the Workplace Transparency Act), a law that requires all Illinois employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to their employees on an annual basis. Formerly Senate Bill 75, Public Act 101-0221 was signed into law by Governor Pritzker in August 2019. Under this Act, Illinois employers have until December 31, 2020 to train employees on sexual harassment prevention. The Act provides minimum standards that must be included in the training, with additional supplemental training and policy requirements for restaurants and bars. To assist Illinois employers with compliance, IDHR has developed several informational handouts, including:

The Act also mandates that  IDHR provide a training module at no cost to Illinois employers and the general public. In addition to the webpage, IDHR is in the process of developing a model sexual harassment prevention training program for use by employers. Employers may develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that meets or exceeds the minimum training standards outlined in Section 2-109(B) and/or Section 2-110(C) of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). IDHR’s model training program will be available to the public by the end of February. For more information, please visit IDHR’s Training Institute webpage at www.illinois.gov/dhr/training.

IDOR Reminds Illinois Businesses of Minimum Wage Tax Credit Available This Year
The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding small businesses they can utilize the Minimum Wage Credit starting January 1, 2020. The new tax credit is designed to help small businesses offset the state’s minimum wage rate that will gradually increase to $15 an hour over the next six years. Businesses can claim now the credit on their quarterly Illinois Withholding Income Tax Returns. Beginning this year, businesses and nonprofits with 50 full-time equivalent employees or less are eligible to offset a portion of the minimum wage increase cost from their withholding income taxes. The maximum credit amount allowed is 25 percent of the difference between the new minimum wage and what each employee was paid previously. The percentage allowed each proceeding year will decrease before sunsetting in 2026 for most small businesses. Eligible businesses can claim this credit by filing Form IL-941, Illinois Withholding Income Tax Return, and a new schedule. Visit IDOR’s website tax.illinois.gov for information on how to calculate this credit, as well as additional resources, including IDOR’s withholding income tax Information Bulletin FY2020-13 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Pritzker Administration to Provide Opportunity for Minority-Owned Businesses to Become State Vendors
The Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) recently announced it will be providing an opportunity for traditionally underrepresented minority-owned businesses in the IT/Telecom industry to become vendors for the state. The department will issue a Project/Resource Sheltered Market (PRSM) solicitation in the coming weeks. The PRSM program offers minority, women and persons with disabilities owned businesses in the IT/Telecom industry the opportunity to bid on State projects, with the goal of increasing supplier diversity in Illinois. Businesses interested in responding to the solicitation must be Business Enterprise Program (BEP) certified in order to participate. PRSM is targeted toward BEP-certified vendors when there is a resource needed for a specific and well-defined project. An Invitation for Bid (IFB) will be issued to prequalified PRSM vendors, who are able to bid for projects that fall into the following IT skills categories:

  • IT Planning Services
  • Information Security Services
  • Software/Application Development Services
  • Teaching and Learning Services
  • Mobile Technology Services
  • Web Content and Development Services
  • Desktop Services
  • Networking Services
  • Infrastructure Services
  • Customer Support Services

DoIT anticipates PRSM will be published in the coming weeks. DoIT is encouraging vendors who intend to submit offers for the upcoming solicitation to register now in the Illinois Procurement Gateway (https://ipg.vendorreg.com/) and the Illinois Procurement Bulletin (BidBuy) (https://www.bidbuy.illinois.gov/bso/login.sdo). To submit bids, vendors must also have a current Department of Human Rights Employer Eligibility Number. Taking these steps will help to ensure that vendors are ready and have completed some of the required paperwork in advance of the solicitation posting. Learn more: https://www2.illinois.gov/IISNews/21132-Pritzker_Administration_to_Provide_Opportunity_for_Minority-Owned_Businesses_to_become_State_Vendors.pdf

Spotlight on Success: Sun Buckets
Check out The News-Gazette’s recent story on Sun Buckets, a Champaign-Urbana based company + Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC client, that was recently featured at the America’s SBDC Client Showcase & Reception in Washington, DC. Link to story: https://www.news-gazette.com/business/entrepreneurs/urbana-s-sun-buckets-enjoys-spotlight-at-conference-near-u/article_621e61df-a1e0-589a-9b4f-7c12a81a530d.html

// YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FOLLOWING SBDC EVENTS:

 SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
SBDC Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9:30 AM – 12 PM) at Launch twice per month. Launch at the Library business services include a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and resources to help start, manage, and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.
Date: Thursday, February 20, 2020
Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library-4/2020-02-20/

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 in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Time: 8:30 – 10 AM
Location: EDC of Decatur & Macon County – 101 S. Main Street, Suite 600, Decatur, IL 62523
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org/events, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-5/2020-02-25/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

Supplier Diversity Workshop: Why It’s Important for Your Business + Keys to Developing a Successful Supplier Diversity Program
Presented By: Office for Business Community Economic Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This workshop will examine why implementing supplier diversity programs are important and why it should be a part of every company’s supply chain strategy. It will highlight the internally and externally focused benefits supplier diversity offers to companies, communities and economies. The workshop will also discuss the key steps and considerations for implementing a successful, effective, and impactful supplier diversity program. This workshop is co-hosted by the UIUC Office for Business Community Economic Development, Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC, and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.
Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Time: 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Location: Champaign County Economic Development Corporation – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required (lunch will be provided). Please RSVP to jordan@champaigncountyedc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/supplier-diversity-workshop-important-business-keys-developing-successful-supplier-diversity-program/

SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant award:

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
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. Materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-understanding-grant-accountability-transparency-act-gata-pre-award-process-2/2020-02-27/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
SBDC Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9:30 AM – 12 PM) at Launch twice per month. Launch at the Library business services include a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and resources to help start, manage, and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.
Date: Thursday, March 5, 2020
Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library-4/2020-03-05/

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 in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Time: 9 – 11 AM
Location: Lodgic Everyday Community – 1807 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org/events, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-4/2020-03-10/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant award:

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Time: 9 – 10 AM
Location: EDC of Decatur & Macon County – 101 S. Main Street, Suite 600, Decatur, IL 62523
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-understanding-grant-accountability-transparency-act-gata-pre-award-process-3/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBA Lender Forum
Attend this free event, open to all area lenders, to refresh your knowledge of the benefits of SBA loan guarantees. Plus, you’ll hear updates from USDA Rural Development and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. All SBA programs and services are provided on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Date: Friday, March 13, 2020
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM (check-in at 8:30 AM – coffee and pastries will be provided)
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. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sba-lender-forum-2/

SBDC Webinar: Introduction to Importing
Presented by: Mariel Huasanga, SBDC International Trade Center Director
This webinar will cover all of the essential elements involved with importing goods into the U.S., including key topics such as finding a qualified supplier, tariff classification (HTS), logistics, import documentation, and customs procedures and compliance. This webinar aims to increase your confidence and awareness in working with overseas suppliers, freight forwarders and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Topics:

  • Overview of the import process
  • Selecting a qualified supplier
  • Import requirements and documentation
  • Import compliance
  • Entry process
  • Customs clearance
  • Drawback
  • Import resources

Date: Monday, March 16, 2020
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Location: Webinar
RSVP: Free to attend – registration is required to secure a spot. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org. Webinar instructions will be sent out closer to the date.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-webinar-introduction-importing-2/

SBDC Day
SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the success and impact America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have across the nation in economic development and the small businesses community. The fourth America’s SBDC Day will take place on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. SBDC Day unites the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, online and in-person events and more. Learn more at https://americassbdc.org/SBDCday/.

PTAC Services at CUSBDC
Keli Krueger-Huhra, Director of the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Bradley University
Need expert assistance with government contracting? We can help. 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: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Small businesses in our area who need expert assistance with government contracting may schedule appointments with Keli Krueger-Huhra, Illinois PTAC Director at Bradley University, by contacting us at ptac@cusbdc.org or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/ptac-services-cusbdc-2/2020-03-18/
*PTAC services are offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.
**To learn more about and/or better understand PTAC services, watch this video: https://youtu.be/_mX88Sr18x8.

SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
SBDC Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9:30 AM – 12 PM) at Launch twice per month. Launch at the Library business services include a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and resources to help start, manage, and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.
Date: Thursday, March 19, 2020
Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library-4/2020-03-19/

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to QuickBooks (Desktop)
Gain a better understanding of QuickBooks accounting software for your own business or your employer’s company with this class, which is geared towards those who are new to or just starting out with QuickBooks. The session will focus on:

  • Setting Up a Company File – create, open, modify, and update
  • Getting Around in QuickBooks – basic concepts, forms, lists, items, journal entry, etc.
  • Chart of Accounts – account names and numbers, types of accounts, working with registers, etc.
  • Working with Items – types of items, creating new items, using inventory items, etc.
  • Working with Customers – customer center
  • Selling – sales forms, invoices, statement charges, billing statements, etc.
  • Receiving Payments – sales receipts, recording deposits, etc.
  • Working with Vendors – vendor center, creating new vendors, etc.
  • Entering Bills – enter an item bill, creating a purchase order, etc.
  • Paying Bills – how to pay bills, writing a check, etc.
  • Banking – opening and entering payments, entering credit card charges, etc.
  • Analyzing Financial Statements – create and customize P&L reports, balance sheets, and cash flow statements
  • Setting Up Sales Tax – add sales tax, group single sales tax, etc.

This is designed for users who have less than six months of experience working with QuickBooks Desktop Version. We will also cover the accounting basics that serve as a foundation to operate the software correctly. You are encouraged to bring your computer with you (wifi is available). This class does not cover the cloud/online version of QuickBooks. The session will be led by Mariel Huasanga, a certified QuickBooks instructor.
Date: Thursday, March 19, 2020
Time: 1 – 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. Materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-introduction-quickbooks-desktop/2020-03-19/

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinoi
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Thinking about starting a business in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Time: 2 – 4 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. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-6/2020-03-24/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant award:

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Friday, March 27, 2020
Time: 12 – 1 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. Materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-understanding-grant-accountability-transparency-act-gata-pre-award-process-2/2020-03-27/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

// WHO WE ARE + CONTACT US:
To learn more about what the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC does and how we can help you, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pACBxITj1ds. To make an appointment with the SBDC, register on the website at http://www.cusbdc.org/ (click the red ‘Become a Client’ button), email info@cusbdc.org, or contact:

  • Don Elmore, SBDC Director: don@cusbdc.org
  • Mariel Huasanga, SBDC International Trade Center Director: mariel@cusbdc.org

Connect with the SBDC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.