News & Blog

Updates + Events: September 2018

Thank you for your interest in the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC.

2019 SBA National Small Business Week Awards
Are you a small business owner with an amazing success story to tell? If so, submit your nomination today for the 2019 SBA National Small Business Week Awards! All nominations must be mailed or hand delivered to the nearest SBA Office no later than 3:00 PM (ET) on January 9, 2019. Learn more: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/national-small-business-week-awards

SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9 AM – 12 PM) at Launch every other Tuesday. The upcoming dates are September 4th & 18th (link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library/2018-09-04/). Champaign Public Library’s new business initiative, Launch at the Library, offers free resources to help you start and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.

Small Business Regulatory Fairness Roundtable – September 10th in Springfield
Small business owners are invited to take advantage of a unique opportunity to share concerns about federal regulatory challenges facing your business with those who can make a difference. You’re invited to join the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy in Springfield, IL on Monday, September 10, 2018 from 8:30 AM – 12 PM for a Regulatory Fairness Roundtable at the Capital City Training Center. This is a unique opportunity to share concerns about federal regulatory challenges with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy. The Office of Advocacy is the voice of small business before the federal government on issues of regulatory reform.

You will have an opportunity to: provide input on regulatory fairness issues impacting your business and discuss ways the federal government can help your small business, learn how the SBA’s Office of Advocacy and other partners can help your small business save time and money resolving complex regulatory compliance and enforcement issues, and meet local SBA representatives and state and local business resource partners. This event is free and open to all small business owners. For more information or to register, visit https://regulatoryfairnessroundtable.eventbrite.com.

 Small Business Resource Articles

You are invited to participate in the following SBDC events:  

 SBDC Workshop: Website Design
Presented by: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing
In this workshop, you will learn the latest website design trends and strategies to help improve your search engine rankings and user experience across your website. You will also learn the importance of having Google Analytics and conversion tracking codes installed on your website, the popularity of customer live chat systems, and more!
Date: Friday, September 14, 2018
Time: 9 – 10:30 AM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Main Branch) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing carly@champaigncountyedc.org, or calling 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-website-design/

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to HTS/Schedule B Classification
Presented By: Mike Allocca of Allocca Enterprises
As many of you know, classification is one of the hardest parts of importing/exporting. How do you know that the classifications used by your customs broker or freight forwarder are up-to-date? Do you know if you have any binding rulings with CBP? Do you know if there are similar products with binding rulings that you can review? When was the last time you received training on classification? Relying on a customs broker or freight forwarder without input from the importer/exporter is not using due diligence or reasonable care. Do you have a current list of each of your classifications and descriptions? Is it reviewed by your staff and/or an expert regularly to ensure its accuracy? How can you prove to customs that you used due diligence and reasonable care when determining your classifications? All of these questions – and more – will be answered during this workshop.

This training will help you begin to understand how to use the Harmonized Tariff System for imports and the Schedule B listing for exports. You will learn and review the 6 GRI- General Rules of Interpretation used to classify every product + go through instructor & CBP based sample classifications using each of the GRI’s. By using the CROSS system, we will show how CBP reviews binding ruling requests and what that means for your products. After the training, you will know where to go for help and what to look at when beginning to look at your own products. Many companies are exposing themselves unnecessarily by not regularly reviewing or understanding their own classifications. Importers and exporters are required to use reasonable care and due diligence in determining accurate classifications. This training focuses on how to keep your company in compliance.
Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: iHotel & Conference Center (Humanities Room) – 1900 S. First Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Cost: $150/person if you register before August 31st; $195/person starting September 1st. An invoice will be sent after you register (check & credit card accepted).
RSVP: Registration and payment required to secure a spot – limited space available. Registration fee includes conference fees, materials, breakfast, and lunch.
Link+Register: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-introduction-hts-schedule-b-classification/

 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 or expanding your own? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements of starting or growing a small business in Illinois. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Time: 3 – 5 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/starting-business-illinois-workshop-21/
*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, September 19, 2018
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, joining our office on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10 AM – 4 PM, by contacting us at ptac@cusbdc.org or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/ptac-services-2/2018-09-19/
*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.

Decatur Office Hours
Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC, will host office hours at the EDC of Decatur & Macon County.
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018
Time: 1 – 4 PM
Location: EDC of Decatur & Macon County – 101 South Main Street, Suite 600, Decatur, IL 62523
RSVP: To schedule an appointment with Don, email don@cusbdc.org with your preferred date and time.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/decatur-office-hours/
*This is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC & CCP Info Session: City of Champaign’s Small Business Incentive Program
Through their Small Business Incentive Program, the City of Champaign offers financial support to small businesses for a variety of eligible expenses. Participants can request up to $7,000 in matching funds for professional services or business expenses such as legal, financial and marketing services; education expenses; equipment purchases or other needs. This program is targeted at new and existing small businesses within the city limits of Champaign. The City of Champaign’s Planning and Development staff will describe this program and answer questions. This session is hosted by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and Champaign Center Partnership.
Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
Time: 4 – 5 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Room C) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available, materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org or call 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-ccp-info-session-city-champaigns-small-business-incentive-program-3/

Immigrant Entrepreneurship in C-U: A Panel Discussion
Hear a panel of successful immigrant business owners share stories about their entrepreneurial experience and answer questions about their most challenging barriers starting out, greatest successes over the years, and insights into the business process within Champaign County. Audience questions and discussion will follow the formal panel. Champaign Public Library is proud to present this event in partnership with the New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA, the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC, and the Champaign County EDC.
Date: Monday, September 24, 2018
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Main Branch – Robeson Pavilion Rooms A & B) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: https://host5.evanced.info/champaign/evanced/eventsignup.asp?ID=18350&disptype=info&ret=http%3A%2F%2Fchampaign.org%2Fevents%3Fyear%3D2018%26month%3D09

SBDC Workshop: Search Engine Optimization
Presented by: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing
High ranks on Google can increase brand exposure and traffic to your website. Learn how search engines work and ways to help increase your rankings online. Understand how to select the best keywords while auditing your own website so you can make high-impact improvements.
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Time: 12 – 1:30 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Main Branch) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing carly@champaigncountyedc.org, or calling 217-378-8535. Lunch and materials will be provided.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-search-engine-optimization/

SBDC Workshop: Remarketing Codes
Presented by: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing
Notice specific ads that appear on Google or Facebook after visiting a website? Learn how these profitable remarketing ads work and how to apply them to your business. You will learn how to install remarketing codes to your website and best practices for running successful remarketing campaigns.
Date: Friday, October 19, 2018
Time: 9 – 10:30 AM
Location: Champaign Public Library (Main Branch) – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration required to secure a spot. Limited space available. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing carly@champaigncountyedc.org, or calling 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-remarketing-codes/

To learn more about what the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC does and how they 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 Director Don Elmore at don@cusbdc.org.

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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.