News & Blog

UPDATES & EVENTS: NOVEMBER 2019

// UPDATES & REMINDERS + GOOD TO KNOW:

 National Entrepreneurship Month
Did you know there are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States? Here’s another amazing stat: small businesses created 65 percent of all new jobs since 2010. Behind those numbers are entrepreneurs who pursued their dreams of business ownership and turned them into a reality – strengthening communities and America’s economy. During National Entrepreneurship Month this November, the SBA is celebrating the hardworking, creative and driven women and men who took the plunge into small business ownership. Learn more: https://www.sba.gov/blog/5-ways-kickstart-your-small-business-national-entrepreneurship-month?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher Program
IMEC recently announced the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher Program, an opportunity for manufacturers to incorporate technology in their processes or products to sustain their competitive advantages. The Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher will award up to $25,000 in match funding to:

  • Accelerate Technology Adaption
  • Identify and Implement Productivity Improvements
  • Overcome Organizational Growth Barriers

Voucher projects must be conducted in Illinois is for existing Illinois manufacturers with between 5 and 500 employees. Projects are expected to be practical in nature and focus on productivity improvements and/or product development that lead to innovation and measurable gains. Learn more: https://www.imec.org/innovation/

Immigrant Welcoming Plan for Champaign County – Community Survey & Business Survey
Your input is needed! The New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA in the process of preparing an Immigrant Welcoming Plan for Champaign County and they’ve spent the past several months gathering community input from over 600 foreign-born and U.S.-born residents. Will you help them out by taking this short 15-minute survey? This helps them identify how we can strengthen our community and increase access to services, education, and employment opportunities for all: http://www.universityymca.org/welcome/survey. The Community Survey is open to all residents of Champaign County 18 years or older.
*Note: are you a small business owner? Take the Business Survey from the New American Welcome Center (takes an average of 6 minutes and can be completed anonymously): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q8FMJJ3

 Illinois’ State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) Program – 2019/2010 Group Trade Mission Schedule Released
Illinois’ State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) program provides Illinois’ small businesses with both financial and technical assistance to increase their exports. Learn more about this program, including Group Trade Missions, and how we can help you: http://www.cusbdc.org/illinois-state-trade-and-export-promotion-istep/. Assistance is also available in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

SBA Seeks Public Input on Potential Changes to SBA’s Export Loan Programs
The SBA seeks comments on potential changes to the regulations governing its Export Loan Programs. SBA’s Export Loan Programs provide access to capital for U.S. small business concerns to support expansion into international markets and the growth of U.S. small business exports. SBA is soliciting comments on how the Agency can improve the products, procedures, forms, and reporting requirements of the Export Loan Programs. Feedback will be used to modernize the Export Loan Programs, increase lender participation and usage, ensure that U.S. small businesses can finance their international sales, and increase U.S. small business exports. The SBA is seeking public comments on the ANPRM by November 18, 2019. Learn more / provide feedback: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-seeks-public-input-potential-changes-sbas-export-loan-programs

Take Advantage Now of Expiring Provisions
Several tax breaks that are available in 2019 are set to expire soon, which means that now is the time to act if the tax breaks benefit your company. Learn more via SBA: https://www.sba.gov/blog/take-advantage-now-expiring-provisions

SBA Small Business Awards Nominations
National Small Business Week will take place May 3-9, 2020. Nominations are now open for SBA’s Small Business Week Awards! In addition to the typical national awards – Small Business Person of the Year, Exporter of the Year, 8(a) Graduate of the Year – the SBA Illinois District will also be opening some new categories this year, including Young Entrepreneur of the Year, an Encore Entrepreneur of the Year, a Rural Small Business of the Year, and a Family-Owned Business of the Year. Nomination forms and guidelines are available at www.sba.gov/IL and www.sba.gov/NSBW. The deadline to apply is January 7, 2020.

// YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FOLLOWING SBDC EVENTS:

 SBDC Workshop: Social Media 101: A Beginner’s Guide
Presented By: Clanin Marketing
Ideal for those about to start their social media strategies, this workshop will cover the various social media platforms and their targeted users, the importance of handles and hashtags, ways to post and schedule to social media, and many other best practices.
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Time: 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Robeson A & B) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, email info@cusbdc.org, or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-social-media-101-beginners-guide/

SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant awar

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Date: Friday, November 15, 2019
Time: 12 – 1 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 online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-understanding-grant-accountability-transparency-act-gata-pre-award-process/2019-11-15/
*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: 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, November 19, 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-2-2019-11-19/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

PTAC Services at CUSBDC
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, November 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/2019-11-20/
*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 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, November 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-3/2019-11-21/

SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant award:

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Time: 8 – 9 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 online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-understanding-grant-accountability-transparency-act-gata-pre-award-process/2019-11-26/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

Small Business Saturday® – November 30, 2019
This November 30, be a part of the 10th annual holiday shopping tradition that brings together communities in support of their favorite small businesses. Find out how you can get in on one of the biggest days for the Shop Small Movement: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/.

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to QuickBooks Online
In this workshop, you will learn to manage the financial aspects of your small business quickly and efficiently using QuickBooks Online. You will learn the basics of using this tool to manage your business’ finances including how to navigate easily, manage customers and vendors accounts, recording income and expenses, reconciling bank and credit card accounts, and more. This workshop is intended for new QuickBooks Online users with little to no experience. You are encouraged to bring your computer with you (wifi is available). This session will be led by Mariel Huasanga, a certified QuickBooks instructor.
Date: Friday, December 6, 2019
Time: 1 – 3 PM
Location: EDC of Decatur & Macon County – 101 S. Main Street, Suite 600, Decatur, IL 62523
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot – limited space (10 seats) available. All materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-introduction-quickbooks-online/

SBDC Workshop: Social Media 201: Level Up
Presented By: Clanin Marketing
Level up your social media presence with ways to create thumb-stopping content, best practices for going live, utilizing the latest ad options, finding new customers, and more. Familiarity with social media is recommended.
Date: Friday, December 13, 2019
Time: 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Robeson A & B) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, email info@cusbdc.org, or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-social-media-201-level/

// WHO WE ARE + CONTACT US:
To learn more about what the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC does and how we 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), email info@cusbdc.org, or contact

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