Small Business Development Center to close
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Illinois State University will close as of June 30 due to the Illinois budget impasse. The center was established in March 2005 to help entrepreneurs start a new business or expand or improve an existing business.
The SBDC has been funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Illinois State University’s College of Business has provided space, graduate assistantships, and in-kind support. The funding is grant-based and funding will no longer be provided by the state to cover the costs for the center.
Through the leadership and dedication of Director Elizabeth Binning approximately 150 clients are served each year through the SBDC.
During the 11 years the center has been open, it has served more than 750 small businesses and almost 2,000 people attended various workshops and seminars, according to Binning. The center helped to create 187 new businesses and 889 new jobs while retaining 1,623 existing jobs and increasing sales for clients by more than $35 million, said Binning.
Binning is a recognized expert in program development and coaching for small businesses. She has enthusiastically supported the development of small businesses in Bloomington-Normal and the surrounding area by offering workshops, training sessions, and private appointments on a regular basis during her tenure. Her expertise and support services will be greatly missed. Binning has been the director of the center at ISU since it opened in 2005. Before that, she worked in a similar capacity at Bradley University in Peoria for eight years.
Anyone needing further assistance is being directed to Bradley University, Illinois Valley Community College or the Champaign Economic Development Council, but Binning suggested people call their closest center to verify their status.
Binning said client files, including confidential data such as tax returns and proprietary business information, will be boxed and the DCEO will take possession when the center closes.