Champaign & Decatur EDC’s Work Together To Expand Small Business Development Services
The regional branch of the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and International Trade Center (ITC) in Champaign-Urbana is expanding its scope. It will now offer its free services to businesses in the Decatur area as well.
Decatur is home to the Midwest Inland Port, which provides businesses with a convenient way of exporting to distant markets by rail, air and truck.
Ryan McCrady of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County says the Small Business Development Center will be a big help for businesses that want to make the most of that facility.
“They have an international trade specialist (Cathy Cravens), one of the best in the state, that works there,” said McCrady, “that could help businesses learn how to import and export, help them reach global markets, help them understand paperwork and taxing and tariffing that goes into those processes. And that fits so well with what we have here in Decatur with the Midwest Inland Port.”
The Illinois Small Business Development Center & International Trade Center’s expansion into Decatur comes thanks to a partnership between Decatur’s EDC and its Champaign County counterpart, which hosts the SBDC & ITC’s regional office. The Decatur-Macon County EDC and the Midwest Inland Port will now help fund the center, which receives principle funding from the federal Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Champaign County EDC.
“Don (Elmore, the SBDC director) and Cathy (Cravens) each have some clients in Decatur already,” said Champaign County EDC assistant director Carly McCrory. “So this will just allow them to grow a little bit more in Decatur, and hopefully help some more folks who are interested in either starting their own businesses, or need advice or service related to their existing business.”
The first programs to be held in Decatur by the Illinois SBDC will be workshops on “Starting Your Business in Illinois”. They will be held at the Decatur EDC office on the morning of May 11th and the afternoon of May 25th. Attendees can RSVP for the free workshops by contacting Carly McCrory at the Champaign County EDC, at email@example.com or 217-359-6261.
In addition, McCrory says SBDC director Don Elmore will hold periodic office hours in Decatur, to meet with business people there.