News & Blog

Updates & Events: March 2019

NEWS AND UPDATES:

SBA Office of Advocacy – Small Business Outreach Request on Trade Agreements with Japan, European Union, United Kingdom
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy is interested in receiving feedback from small businesses and their representatives regarding their views on trade agreements being negotiated with Japan, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and their experience doing business in these markets. The Office of Advocacy is tasked with producing a report to Congress evaluating the economic impacts of these trade agreements in negotiations regarding small businesses, particularly in the services, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors, as well as highlighting small business priorities, opportunities, and challenges. Advocacy is conducting outreach to small businesses across the U.S. to better understand important small business concerns regarding trade with these markets and how trade agreements would benefit small businesses.

Your feedback will greatly assist the Office of Advocacy in communicating to Congress how the trade agreements being negotiated will affect your business, and ways it can better serve your interests. Small businesses do not need experience in all three markets to participate and can provide feedback on a particular market. For more information on how you can provide your feedback to the Office of Advocacy, please email your name, company, industry and business size (number of employees) to AdvoTradeFeedback@sba.gov.

Participation Loan Program
Illinois’ Participation Loan Program (PLP) has been re-launched to make it more attractive to lending institutions as part of Advantage Illinois. PLP has four new product lines to support businesses with projects that create or retain jobs and/or modernize their business to improve competitiveness.

The Illinois Department of Commerce seeks to encourage new bank lending to small business, by purchasing portions of bank term loans, and RLOCs, applying below market interest rates to the state’s portion, and subordinating its exposure than those of the lending entities. For lenders, this is an acceptable method of addressing a lack of equity or collateral resources by the borrower; and a way for the borrower to improve its ability to meet its debt service need.

Product lines:

  1. Standard Participation Loan Program (PLP)
  2. Minority/Women/Disabled/Veteran-Owned Businesses (MWDV PLP)
  3. Revolving Line of Credit (RLOC PLP)
  4. SBA Supported Activity

To learn more, visit https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/AdvantageIllinois/Pages/default.aspx, email CEO.IllinoisAdvantage@illinois.gov, or call 800-252-2923.

Apply Now for SBA Emerging Leaders
Small business owners, you’re invited to access free training, mentoring, and networking opportunities through SBA’s Emerging Leaders program, a “mini-MBA” training initiative for local businesses on the brink of growth. The free, seven-month (April-October) executive education series includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and supports the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan. Participants should have at least $250,000 in annual sales, at least three years in business, and at least one employee in addition to the owner. Learn more: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-initiatives/sba-emerging-leaders-initiative

Click here to register your interest by Friday, March 8, and SBA will be in touch.

Illinois Health Make-a-Thon Competition
The Carle Illinois College of Medicine is seeking submissions for the first Illinois Health Make-a-Thon competition. The Health Make-a-Thon is a competition for makers, citizen scientists, and anyone in Champaign County with ideas for improving human health. A panel of experts from the University of Illinois and beyond will review submissions and choose the best. Finalists will pitch their ideas for a chance to win $10,000 in Health Maker Lab resources to create a real prototype of their idea. Idea submissions are due March 11. Learn more: https://healthmakerlab.medicine.illinois.edu/competition/

Growing an Established Company
How do you really know if you and your company are ready for the next step? Take SBA’s free self-paced training course to help you determine if a growth opportunity is right for you. Launch the course: https://www.sba.gov/course/growing-established-company/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FOLLOWING SBDC EVENTS:

SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
SBDC Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9:30 AM – 12 PM) at Launch twice per month. Launch at the Library business services include a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and resources to help start, manage, and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.
Date: Thursday, March 7, 201
Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library-2/2019-03-07/

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinois
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Thinking about starting a business in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Time: 9 – 11 AM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-2/2019-03-12/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Workshop: What’s in a Brand
Presented By: Clanin Marketing
Behind every logo lies an invaluable brand that resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. Why is branding important? Because people often choose products or services based on their perceived value rather than their actual value. Learn what makes a good brand and the best practices for developing your new company’s brand or rebranding an existing one.
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Time: 12 – 1:30 PM
Location: Lodgic Everyday Community – 1807 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-whats-brand-3/

SBDC Day
SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the success and impact America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have across the nation in economic development and the small businesses community. The third America’s SBDC Day will take place on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. SBDC Day will unite the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns (follow #SBDCDay online), public relations initiatives, online and in-person events and more.
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Link: https://americassbdc.org/sbdcday/

Free Headshots at Lodgic Everyday Community, Sponsored by the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC – Celebrating SBDC Day
Back by popular demand, Lodgic Everyday Community and the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC are excited to again welcome talented local photographer Anna Longworth, who will be offering free headshots to the community. Timeslots are available from 9 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 3 PM. Each session will be 10 minutes long, and photos will be delivered digitally within 30 days with full usage/printing rights. Please note that time slots are limited, and are first-come first-serve.
*You don’t have to be a Lodgic member or SBDC client to participate; this opportunity is open to the public.
**Please note, this is for professional headshots only. We will not be set up to accommodate family photos, etc.
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 9 AM – 3 PM
Location: Lodgic Everyday Community – 1807 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Call Lodgic at 217-607-8126 to sign up for a 10-minute photo session and show up looking camera-ready.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/free-headshots-anna-longworth-2/
*This opportunity will be offered again on Friday, May 10 – learn more: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/free-headshots-anna-longworth-3/

PTAC Services at CUSBDC – Celebrating SBDC Day
Keli Krueger-Huhra, Director of the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Bradley University
Need expert assistance with government contracting? We can help. Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are resources for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. The centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies.
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 10 AM – 4 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Small businesses in our area who need expert assistance with government contracting may schedule appointments with Keli Krueger-Huhra, Illinois PTAC Director at Bradley University, by contacting us at ptac@cusbdc.org or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/ptac-services-cusbdc/2019-03-20/
*PTAC services are offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.
**To learn more about and/or better understand PTAC services, watch this video: https://youtu.be/_mX88Sr18x8.

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to QuickBooks (Desktop 2019) – Session 1 – Celebrating SBDC Day
Gain a better understanding of QuickBooks accounting software for your own business or your employer’s company with this class, which is geared towards those who are new to or just starting out with QuickBooks. Session 1 will focus on:

  • Setting Up a Company File – create, open, modify, and update
  • Getting Around in QuickBooks – basic concepts, forms, lists, items, journal entry, etc.
  • Chart of Accounts – account names and numbers, types of accounts, working with registers, etc.
  • Working with Items – types of items, creating new items, using inventory items, etc.
  • Working with Customers – customer center
  • Selling – sales forms, invoices, statement charges, billing statements, etc.
  • Receiving Payments – sales receipts, recording deposits, etc.

This is designed for users who have less than six months of experience working with QuickBooks Desktop Version. We will also cover the accounting basics that serve as a foundation to operate the software correctly. Each session will last 2.5 hours, which includes time for questions.
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 11 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Lunch and materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org. You are encouraged to bring your computer with you (wifi is available). This class does not cover the cloud/online version of QuickBooks. Attendees will receive a special discount offer from QuickBooks.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-introduction-quickbooks-desktop-2019-session-1/

SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
SBDC Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9:30 AM – 12 PM) at Launch twice per month. Launch at the Library business services include a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and resources to help start, manage, and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library-2/2019-03-21/

SBA Lender Forum
Attend this free event, open to all area lenders, to refresh your knowledge of the benefits of SBA loan guarantees. Plus, you’ll hear updates from USDA Rural Development and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Time: 9 – 11 AM (check-in at 8:30 AM – coffee and pastries will be provided)
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sba-lender-forum/

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinois
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Thinking about starting a business in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-2/2019-03-27/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to QuickBooks (Desktop 2019) – Session 2
Gain a better understanding of QuickBooks accounting software for your own business or your employer’s company with this class, which is geared towards those who are new to or just starting out with QuickBooks. Session 2 will focus on:

  • Working with Vendors – vendor center, creating new vendors, etc.
  • Entering Bills – enter an item bill, creating a purchase order, etc.
  • Paying Bills – how to pay bills, writing a check, etc.
  • Banking – opening and entering payments, entering credit card charges, etc.
  • Analyzing Financial Statements – create and customize P&L reports, balance sheets, and cash flow statements
  • Setting Up Sales Tax – add sales tax, group single sales tax, etc.

This is designed for users who have less than six months of experience working with QuickBooks Desktop Version. We will also cover the accounting basics that serve as a foundation to operate the software correctly. Each session will last 2.5 hours, which includes time for questions.
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Time: 11 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Lunch and materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org. You are encouraged to bring your computer with you (wifi is available). This class does not cover the cloud/online version of QuickBooks. Attendees will receive a special discount offer from QuickBooks.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-introduction-quickbooks-desktop-2019-session-2/

SBDC Workshop: Getting Creative with Your Mobile Phone
Presented By: Clanin Marketing
Your phone can help you create and deliver great ads and content on social media. In this workshop, we will review creative solutions and apps to create thumb-stopping content through your mobile device without breaking the bank. Some experience with social media advertising is useful but not required.
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2019
Time: 12 – 1:30 PM
Location: Lodgic Everyday Community – 1807 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-getting-creative-mobile-phone/

To learn more about what the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC does and how it can help you, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pACBxITj1ds. To make an appointment with the SBDC, register on the website at http://www.cusbdc.org/ (click the red ‘Become a Client’ button), call us at 217-378-8535, or contact:

  • Don Elmore, SBDC Director: don@cusbdc.org
  • Mariel Huasanga, International Trade Specialist: mariel@cusbdc.org

Connect with the SBDC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC is funded through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce, and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation; with additional support provided by EDC of Decatur and Macon County and the Midwest Inland Port.