Aurora may get a Small Business Development Center to help fledgling businesses succeed, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner. […]
He told an audience in the Arthur N. Bonifas Conference Center next to Alarm Detection Systems that there is money in the current budget proposal for a small business center in Aurora. While that budget is still in flux — he said the current projected $1.7 billion deficit is too much and must be cut — he said officials are looking for an Aurora location for the facility.
The SBDC, as it is called, would help small businesses develop a network of relationships, assisting them to find resources they might need to be succeed, Rauner said.
“The key to sustaining successful business is being in a network,” Rauner said. “You need a network of relationships.”
* Thirteen months ago…
Springfield’s fiscal mess continues to rack up victims: small-business development centers on college campuses around the state, which are shutting their doors or retrenching because of funding shortfalls.
About a quarter have closed, the latest at Governors State University in south suburban University Park, which is going the way of abandoned locations at Joliet Junior College, Illinois State University in Normal and Waubonsee Community College in Aurora.
For three decades, the centers have been a free resource for fledgling entrepreneurs starting companies or trying to keep them going. Juicy Luzy Sangria owner Luz Cavazos is opening a 1,500-square-foot plant in Oak Lawn with $20,000 from small-business lender Accion and said it wouldn’t have happened had Governors State’s SBDC not helped draft a business plan.
Once numbering 36 statewide, the centers typically serve a few hundred clients each and cost in the neighborhood of $200,000 annually to operate. They’re jointly funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and matching state funds; some directors said schools chip in an amount equal to three-quarters of the state match through employee salaries and in-kind contributions.
…Adding… I missed this DGA press release yesterday…
Today, Governor Bruce Rauner visits Aurora to speak to announce the opening of a new Small Business Development Center, but perhaps he should explain why the previous center closed under his watch. Or why the state’s economy lags under his failed leadership.
Illinois Small Business Development Centers were hit hard in the two-year budget impasse. Crain’s Chicago estimated that a quarter of all SBDC’s on college campuses closed in Illinois including one located on Waubonsee Community College campus. The Aurora Beacon-News reported that the center closed in 2016 due to the budget impasse, and had served 400 businesses the year before.
WCC is about 20 minutes from Aurora.
* Pritzker campaign today…
Yesterday, Bruce Rauner announced an expansion of the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity’s Small Business Development Center Network (SBDCs) – the same program he’s decimated as governor.
Under Rauner’s failed leadership and manufactured crisis SBDCs in Illinois were decimated, forcing almost one quarter to close and slashing the number of jobs created and retained by them.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and Bruce Rauner destroyed many of the small business development centers needed to help them grow and thrive,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “With jobs leaving this state and businesses shutting their doors, Bruce Rauner’s damage is done.”