Entrepreneurs in Central Illinois now have expanded resources available to them thanks to a partnership between Small Business Growth Corporation (Growth Corp) and the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for Central Illinois. 

Local Certified Development Company, Growth Corp, a national leader in SBA 504 lending, has been designated as the new host organization for the Illinois Small Business Development Center for Central Illinois.

The Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois at Growth Corp offers assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing confidential business guidance, seminars, business resource materials, and an impressive roster of business advisors.  In helping entrepreneurs define their path to success, the Illinois SBDC positively impacts the community, strengthens economic development, helps create and retain new jobs, and encourages new investments.  The Illinois SBDC also makes a concerted effort to reach members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups such as minorities, veterans, women, and the disabled.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Growth Corp, nearly all the SBDC’s programs and services are free to those needing assistance.

The financial contributions provided by Growth Corp are used by the Illinois SBDC as matching funds for its grant application, covering all facets of operation.  Last year, Growth Corp increased its annual investment by 30%, which, because those funds are matched by state and federal partners, allowed the Illinois SBDC to increase its total budget by over 60%, bringing more services to small business owners in the ten counties the Center serves.

Douglas Kinley, President of Growth Corp, said he is proud to see Growth Corp serve as a catalyst to SBDC’s continued development of new and growing business in central Illinois.  “Growth Corp’s mission as a Certified Development Company is to be a vehicle for economic development, particularly within the small business sector.  Because the mission of the Illinois SBDC is consistent with, and vitally important to, our mission at Growth Corp, we remain eager to increase our support. The services of the Illinois SBDC are desperately needed in our community, and we want to do whatever we can to boost the Center’s capacity to deliver assistance to local small businesses.”

Kevin Lust, Director of the Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois, says with the increased operating budgets he envisions the Center expanding its services and community outreach even more. “The Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois carries on the long history established through the SBDC’s 35-year role as a leader in economic development for the area.  Now that we are hosted by an SBA Certified Development Company in Growth Corp, the Center can add access to the in-house expertise of one of the top 504 lenders in the country.”

The new offices of the Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois are open and accepting new clients by appointment.  Anyone interested in advising services is encouraged to make an appointment at cisbdc.com/appointments.


About Growth Corp

Small Business Growth Corporation (Growth Corp) is a nonprofit, mission-based lender dedicated exclusively to connecting small businesses with quality expansion capital through administration of the SBA 504 Loan Program. With a commitment to economic development, job creation and the small business sector, Growth Corp is ranked a Top 10 National CDC for SBA 504 loan volume and is Illinois’ largest 504 loan provider.  In fact, Growth Corp’s substantial portfolio ($750+ million) is particularly impressive because every dollar was utilized by Midwest entrepreneurs to open and expand their small businesses.  For more information, please visit www.growthcorp.com.


About the Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois

The Illinois Small Business Development Center for Central Illinois provides professional guidance for business growth. The Illinois SBDC offers small business owners and entrepreneurs the tools and advising services needed to become successful.  As part of a national network of nearly 1,000 centers, the Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois works with businesses in every industry and at every stage of growth, from startups to well-established companies.  In addition to no-cost confidential advising, the Illinois SBDC offers online training, seminars, an impressive roster of advisors, and an extensive library of business resources.  For more information, please visit www.cisbdc.com.