New resources available for rural businesses

Illinois District Office  - September 2020

u s small business administration
rural

The SBA is working to help rural businesses access the tools they need

Small businesses in rural areas may lack access to capital and other resources available in more urban areas. SBA’s Rural Strong initiative aims to level the playing field and elevate small businesses by offering loan incentives and training entrepreneurs to access government contracting and export opportunities. Learn more about SBA resources for rural businesses, including:

  • Funding resources
  • Export assistance
  • Opportunity Zones and HUBZones 
  • And more.

Keep reading


Illinois DCEO opens two new PTACs in Chicago

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) recently announced the opening of two new Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) and ongoing support for another seven centers across Illinois. Supported by a $2 million state and federal investment, these new centers will help more small businesses compete for contracts with local, state and/or federal government agencies where they can sell goods or services and in turn grow their business.

PTACs play a critical role in providing businesses with support needed to enter the world of government contracting. Last year alone, PTACs helped Illinois small businesses secure nearly 800 government contracts valued at over $1.1 billion.

The State’s investments pave the way for two new community-based centers and expand the reach of existing PTACs – bringing the statewide network to a total of 9 locations. The two new PTAC locations are:

  • Greater Southwest Development Corporation
  • Far South Community Development Corporation

Find a PTAC near you


Online training and other events

Wednesday, Sept. 2

Starting Your Business in Illinois | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC | 10 a.m. | Register here

Kick Start Your Small Business | 10 a.m. | Register here

Thursday, Sept. 3

Bootstrapping for Business | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at the College of Lake County | 11 a.m. | Register here

Contracting Corner Q and A | 11 a.m. | Register here

Step Up Your Side Hustle: Hear from a small business owner who transformed his side hustle into a full-time small business | 12:30 p.m. | Register here

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC | 10 a.m. | Register here

Friday, Sept. 4

Fridays with Fergie: One-on-one counseling | 11:30 a.m. | Register here

Tuesday, Sept. 8

Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. | Register here for 10 a.m. | Register here for 2 p.m.

Digital Marketing Strategies: Get Ready for Takeoff | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at the College of Lake County | Register here

Small Business Resiliency: The Bounceback | 1 p.m. | Register here

Starting Government Contracting | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 1 p.m. | Register here

Wednesday, Sept. 9

The Startup Guide to Business in Illinois | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 10 a.m. | Register here

How to Increase Your Social Media Visibility to Rockstar Status | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at Harper College | 12 p.m. | Register here

Thursday, Sept. 10

Export Funding Options | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC/ITC at Champaign County EDC | 10 a.m. | Register here

Live Value Proposition: Your Unfair Advantage | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 10 a.m. | Register here

External Funding Options | Hosted by the SBDC/ITC at College of Lake County | 11 a.m. | Register here

Starting Your Business in Illinois | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at Bradley University | 3 p.m. | Register here

Friday, Sept. 11

Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC | 3 p.m. | Register here

Monday, Sept. 14

Business Model Canvas: A Planning Tool for Startups | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 11 a.m. | Register here

Tuesday, Sept. 15

Restaurant 101 | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 10 a.m. | Register here

The Certification Process | Hosted by the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage | 1 p.m. | Register here


Stay updated

Visit sba.gov/coronavirus for updates on the loan programs, guidance for businesses and employers, and other SBA resources.

If you have questions about your already submitted EIDL application, contact the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Follow @SBA_Illinois on Twitter.

E-mail questions to illinois.do@sba.gov.