The SBDC conducts more than 30 seminars and workshops annually on topics important to successful businesses. Approximately half our offerings are directed toward individuals with a new business concept or early stage start-up. These range from a two-hour "reality check" on starting a business to more extensive sessions on business fundamentals, business acquisition and franchise purchases. The balance of our programming is designed for existing businesses and includes topics of marketing, financing, recordkeeping, exporting, social media, and many "industry specific" issues. Instructors are experienced small-business owners and professional service providers, ensuring that the information provided is timely, relevant and immediately applicable in a real-world environment.
The SBDC provides confidential, no-cost counseling services to entrepreneurs and existing business owners. Conducted by trained counselors, these sessions may include discussion and review of business plans, financing options, government assistance programs, marketing, management and other topics of concern to our clients.
For clients that require specialized services, the SBDC provides referrals to a variety of business professionals and consultants. Many provide free or low-cost initial consultation meetings. Areas of expertise may include business plan development, cash flow analysis, market research, engineering services and social media support. These experts are drawn from the IL SBDC network, University faculty and outside business professionals who have agreed to support the SBDC and its clients.
SBDC clients may visit our business resource library containing computer programs, video tapes and reference material on a variety of business-related topics. There is no cost to use the resource center.
The SBDC maintains a database of accountants, attorneys, banks and other business service providers who are particularly attuned to small-business needs. As the business services arm of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the SBDC answers your questions concerning federal and state financing programs, bank lending practices, equity investment and other capitalization options.