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NEWS

SBDC Represents Entrepreneurship at Metro East Employment Expo

SBDC Collaborates with SIUE Business Students

SIUE SBDC Director receives 2010 State Star Award

The 2010 Meet the Lenders Workshop

If you are an SBDC client or a part of the entrepreneurship resources and have some news to share, please contact our office at (618) 650-2929.

SBDC Represents Entrepreneurship at Metro East Employment Expo

On Tuesday January 10th, more than 50 employers in the public and private sectors, social agencies, and the Illinois Small Business Development Center gathered at Edwardsville's Lewis & Clark Community College for the Employment Expo: Metro East to reach out to residents struggling with employment and financial stability.

The event was sponsored by the Illinois Office of the Comptroller, Lewis & Clark Community College, and the Southern Illinois Employers Association. The first of the Expo's was held in Rockford in November, followed up with one in Elgin in December. With over 1,200 attendees, this was the largest attendance of the three successful Expo's.

To kick-off the Expo, Topinka, joined by Congressman John Shimkus, Lewis & Clark Community College President Dale Chapman, Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, and Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur addressed the crowd:

"Each and every one of us has a story - either of trying to find or keep a job, or having a close friend or family member who is out of work or living in fear of the next round of layoffs," said Topinka acknowledging the current economic difficulties with Illinois' high unemployment rate of 10 percent. "And at the same time, we know that there are Illinois businesses that are hiring. The key is to get job seekers in front of the people who are doing the hiring - and that's what our Employment Expos are all about."

Topinka speaks

Above: Have coffee, will travel! Comptroller Topinka addresses the crowd at the Employment Expo: Metro East as U.S. Congressman John Shimkus looks on.

Topinka encouraged the job seekers to speak with employers and take advantage of the opportunities available to them at the Expo. Throughout the day, job seekers could receive resume feedback and attend classes on using Illinois WorkNet, starting a business (sponsored by SCORE), and interviewing for jobs. The SBDC was able to greet attendees, network with local businesses and social agencies, and get the word out that the SBDC is a resource committed to the success of small business owners.

Crowd at the Expo

Above: Local job seekers meet with the employers and social agencies at the Expo.

For more information on the event, visit the Illinois Office of the Comptroller's website at http://www.ioc.state.il.us/ .

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SIUE Business Students Present Consulting Projects for SBDC Clients

During December 2011, the SIUE Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) attended the project presentations that the students in the School of Business's Entrepreneurship and Small Business course (Management 475) did for 8 of their clients. The students did a fantastic job conducting research on the clients' markets, industries, competitors, and possibilities for expansion. These applied projects involved our students working with:

• Certa Pro Painters of Belleville

• Chambeez of Collinsville

• Dent Residential Lawn Care of East St. Louis

• J & J Chocolate Chalet of Edwardsville

• Lashah Design Studio of Belleville

• M.S. Management of Edwardsville

• Somtech E-Cycling of Alton

• Worden Lumber Company of Worden

Clients and SBDC Counselors alike have enjoyed attending the presentations and have learned new recommendations for business improvement. The SBDC continues to benefit from its partnership with the SIUE School of Business and is proud to support this project. A big thank-you to the course's instructor, Associate Professor Tim Schoenecker, for his continued partnership with the SBDC. The project was a great success!

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SBDC Collaborates with SIUE Business Students

Starting this October, the SIUE Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) visited students in the School of Business's Entrepreneurship and Small Business course (Management 475) to introduce the clients they'll be working with during their class project. Over the semester, student groups will work with 8 of the SBDC's clients on management and marketing objectives to help them grow and improve. The students will be working with:

• Certa Pro Painters of Belleville

• Chambeez of Collinsville

• Dent Residential Lawn Care of East St. Louis

• J & J Chocolate Chalet of Edwardsville,

• Lashah Design Studio of Belleville

• M.S. Management of Edwardsville

• Somtech E-Cycling of Alton

• Worden Lumber Company of Worden

The SBDC continues to benefit from its partnership with the SIUE School of Business and is proud to support this project. Working with the students is a great opportunity for our clients. As the students start this "real world" project, the SBDC will be looking forward to seeing what they create for these small business owners!

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SIUE SBDC Director receives 2010 State Star Award

Kwa receiving State Star Award

The National Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) recently named Kwa Mister, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, one of the Association's 2010 State Stars.

Mister was among a select group from across the country recognized by the Association for demonstrating "exemplary" performance, "making significant contributions to … SBDC programs, and showing a strong commitment to small business." Mister and other winners were recognized at a special awards reception honoring the ASBDC 2010 State Stars in San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with ASBDC's 30th Annual Conference.

"I am delighted to make this announcement, and to recognize Kwa for extraordinary contributions to the work of the Illinois SBDC at SIUE and to small businesses throughout the region," said Gary Giamartino, dean of the SIUE School of Business.

"It is an honor to accept this award," Mister said, "and to have the opportunity everyday to assist so many entrepreneurs achieve the dream of starting and succeeding in their own business." The ASBDC Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration's largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and enhance their own businesses.

The Illinois SBDC at SIUE is a service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the SIUE School of Business. The SIUE SBDC enhances Southwestern Illinois' economic interests providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses.

In the above photo, Kwa Mister (third from right) is shown receiving the award. From left are: Charles "Tee" Rowe, president/CEO, Association of Small Business Development Centers; Jerry Cartwright, state director, Florida SBDC; Mister with his award; Antonio Doss, associate administrator, Office of Small Business Development Centers, U. S. Small Business Administration; and Jim Mullery, vice president, ACT! Sales, Sage North America.

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The 2010 Meet the Lenders Workshop

This opportunity was a chance for clients to meet one-on-one with loan officers from Small Business Administration (SBA) participating lenders. Clients brought their business idea or business plan and discussed their business loan proposal with the lenders.

The SBA described how loan program, funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, allows them to reach more small businesses that need help. Clients also learned of loan programs available to small businesses from federal, state, and community agencies.

Experts from the Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois State Treasurer's Office, Sangamon County and the Illinois Ventures for Community Action were available to meet one-on-one with business owners. Additionally, business owners were able to talk with representatives from the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville/ East St. Louis and SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Business).

The Lenders that were include are as follows: Associated Bank, The Bank of Belleville, The Bank of Edwardsville, The Bank of Springfield, Centrue Bank, First Clover Leaf Bank, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, First National Bank, National Bank, Peoples National Bank and UMB Bank.

Clients speaking with Lenders Clients speaking with local lenders

The 2010 IL IRS Tax Practitioner Symposium

The 2010 IRS Tax Practitioner Symposium was held on the campus of SIUE and hosted by the Illinois Small Business Development Center. The symposium attendees received important IRS information from key departments such as the Small Business/Self-Employed Examination Division, Taxpayer Advocate Office and the Small Business/Self-Employed Collection Division, Illinois Department of Revenue and Missouri Department of Revenue. Each practitioner who attended received 7 CPE credits. This is the fifth tax symposium hosted by the SBDC. For more information, please contact Jane Bagent at 618-650-2929.

Kwa Introduced Practitioners Seated

Practitioners Seated Presentation

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