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SBDC and City of Champaign Win Program Excellence Award

CHAMPAIGN, IL, May 23, 2017 – At the end of the 2017 Illinois Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth Association (IESBGA) Conference, held May 17-19 in Champaign, the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Champaign County EDC was awarded the Roger Luman Program Excellence Award. 

The award recognizes the City of Champaign’s Small Business Incentive Program, a collaborative effort by the City of Champaign and SBDC to target new and existing small businesses by offering financial assistance for legal, financial, marketing, and training expenses.

As of May 19, 2017, more than thirty SBDC clients have enrolled in the Small Business Incentive Program and the City of Champaign has committed up to $230,000 in matching and educational grant funding to these clients. These businesses provide important benefits to the community in such industries as retail, foodservice, healthcare, contracting, professional services, information technology, and agricultural technology, among others.

“We’re honored to receive this award,” said Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC. “I want to thank Bruce Knight, T.J. Blakeman, and Tina Ansong in Champaign’s Planning and Development Department for their roles in developing this program, as well as the Champaign City Council for recognizing the value of providing key financial support to emerging and existing small businesses.”

Bruce Knight, the City’s Planning and Development Director thanked the awards committee, stating “the Champaign City Council has a goal to promote economic opportunity and provide support for small businesses, and it would not have been possible to achieve that without our collaboration with the SBDC at Champaign County EDC. We want our community to be one that is inviting for entrepreneurs and accommodating to new small businesses and we very much appreciate being recognized for our collective efforts to support small businesses starting on the right path.”

The greatest benefits of the Small Business Incentive Program are connecting new and existing businesses in Champaign to the services provided by the SBDC and providing financial assistance to allow these businesses to use critical professional services they may otherwise believe they cannot afford. While the program does not limit participation to underserved members of the community, the location- and income-based incentives provide even more benefits to this group. This is an important benefit to both the City of Champaign and the SBDC.

About the Roger Luman Program Excellence Awards:

The Roger Luman Program Excellence Awards were created to recognize outstanding, innovative and best practices in the programs and services offered by member centers. These awards recognize specific programs developed by centers to meet a particular identified need and not the overall program or services offered by a center. It is intended that this awards program will facilitate the sharing of information regarding these programs with other IESBGA members resulting in their replication, and will be used to promote the excellence of Illinois small business assistance programs to small businesses and to similar small business assistance programs administered in other states.

The award is named in honor of Roger Luman who was the Managing Director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business Administration at Bradley University. As a founding member of IESBGA, he coordinated the Program Excellence Awards for many years. The award looks to recognize those organizations that embody Mr. Luman’s dedication to supporting small businesses in their communities. Learn more at

About the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC:

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC is part of America’s Small Business Development Center Network, the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States, and provides information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources to start-up and existing small businesses.

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. Learn more at




City of Champaign and SBDC win Roger Luman Program Excellence Award, Smile Politely