Building small businesses

Building small businessesOne of the many pieces of economic development is the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University. The center in Macomb is one of over 40 Illinois Small Business Development Centers. The center at WIU serves 12 Illinois counties including Knox, Henderson, McDonough, Fulton, and Warren.

The director of the center at WIU Greg Garrett said, “We help businesses with job creation and job retention.” He also added that “sixty-five percent” of what he and his center does is help with financing and building business plans.

The Illinois SBDC provides confidential, no-cost business counseling and low-cost training to prospective and established business owners. The Start Your Business in Illinois workshop series is held annually at several locations in western Illinois as part of the center’s low-cost training. The SBDC also co-sponsors programs on other special interest topics including business taxation, environmental and safety regulations, and human resources.

Garrett added that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity sets goals for the various centers. He said that one goal for 2012 was for the center at WIU to help six clients over the year.

“We hit out goals before March 31. We have 19 total (clients) this year,” he said.

Jake and Jessican Glasnovich, owners of Glasnovish Auto Body, said that the help from SBDC was invaluable.

“I don’t know if we could have gotten everything together without them and it didn’t cost a dime,” said Jake.

He added that SBDC helped them to create a business plan. Garrett helped them to get in contact with the bank that they got the loan from.

Although there has been great success, awareness among the businesses that qualify for help remains a problem.

Garrett agreed, saying, “The problem we have is small business owners don’t know who we are and that we’re out there.”

If you are the owner of a small business and need help, get in contact with the Small Business Development Center of Illinois, and an experienced business attorney. It’s never too early to get your papers in order, so contact The Gierach Law Firm today.