Proud Supporter of America's SBDCAs a proud host, Growth Corp wholeheartedly commits to helping the Illinois Small Business Development Center for Central Illinois (SBDC) expand its services to disadvantaged businesses, increasing its community outreach–especially to the surrounding areas, retaining additional staff, and involving more subject-matter consultants. Perhaps now more than ever, central Illinois businesses need this expanded access to the services provided by the Illinois SBDC. 

As small business owners navigate an ever-changing landscape, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) continue to support and elevate their clients through innovative at-cost training programs and free advising strategies. Nearly 1,000 SBDCs can be found across the United States and its territories, serving clients virtually and from their centers in host institutions like universities and chambers. Whether SBDCs are serving rural America, addressing a solution in fintech, or helping a millennial woman-owned business expand to global exporting, SBDCs are at the forefront, assisting their clients at every step. Don’t miss the new America’s SBDC Annual Report to read about hundreds of small businesses and how their small businesses thrived with the help of their local SBDC.

According to the most recent Chrisman Survey, which collected data from SBDC clients in 2020-2021, America’s SBDCs provide measurable economic results. Nationwide SBDCs helped generate; 85,094 jobs, $10.1 billion in sales growth; $7.7 billion in capital investments; and started 14,487 new businesses, proving that SBDCs are leaders in job creation and economic development.

To celebrate the collective impact and success SBDCs have across the nation, and in local communities each year, America’s SBDCs are hosting the seventh annual SBDC Day today, March 15th. SBDC Day is a national movement to help share the small business success stories and notable impact SBDCs have fostered nationwide.

SBDC partners and supporters celebrate the day by participating in the national SBDC Day Ambassador program, designed for organizations and businesses to get involved in SBDC Day and show their support through social media, blogs, and newsletters.


Growth Corp is proud to host the Central Illinois SBDC

Growth Corp’s mission as a Certified Development Company is to be a vehicle for economic development, particularly within the small business sector.  The Illinois SBDC carries the same objectives and follows a parallel path.  Growth Corp wholeheartedly commits to helping the center expand its services to disadvantaged businesses, increasing its community outreach–especially to the surrounding areas, retaining additional staff, and involving more subject-matter consultants. Perhaps now more than ever, central Illinois businesses need this expanded access to the services provided by the Illinois SBDC.  These services are desperately needed in our community and Growth Corp wants to do whatever it can to fill that need.

“Through adversity, we strengthen and grow, and nothing could be truer for the SBDC network and its thousands of clients this past year,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC. “This SBDC Day, we are celebrating the SBDC network’s reimagined approach to doing business and its direct positive impact on Main Streets all across America.”


Who is eligible for assistance from SBDCs?

If you’re starting a business for the first time or are new to the small business sphere, you are eligible for assistance from SBDCs. Any existing small business owner who is looking to grow their business and cannot afford private consulting services is also eligible for services from SBDCs. In most cases, the SBDC you’re working with will review your eligibility when you first reach out.


What services do SBDCs provide?

The center can help small businesses with:

  • starting a new business
  • writing a business plan
  • creating financial projections
  • developing marketing plans
  • increasing sales
  • record-keeping and accounting
  • personnel management
  • sources of credit financing
  • advertising and sales promotion
  • understanding financial statements
  • industry research


How do SBDCs impact the economy?

Nationwide, small businesses employ 60 million people, which is nearly half of all American workers. With deep roots in their communities, small firms and their employees are the engine driving the American economy. SBDCs provide these local businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to thrive, compete, and succeed.


Check out America’s SBDC most recent Annual Report.

America’s SBDC is the association that represents America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers. According to its website, in 2019, it had provided $5.6 billion in financing and created over 99,124 jobs nationwide. Between 2017-2018, it helped start 16,499 businesses, and in 2019, it generated $7 billion in new sales.


About the Central Illinois SBDC

The Illinois SBDC, hosted by Growth Corp, follows its mission of providing professional guidance for business growth in ten Central Illinois counties, including Sangamon, Menard, Logan, Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin, Morgan, Cass, Greene, and Scott.

The Illinois SBDC carries on the long history established through the SBDC’s 35-year role as a leader in economic development for the area. Hosted by SBA Certified Development Company, Growth Corp, the Center now adds access to the in-house expertise of one of the top 504 lenders in the country.


Meet the Director

The Director, Kevin Lust, Mr. Lust began his service at the Illinois SBDC at Lincoln Land Community College in 2005 and was with the Center through its closing in December of 2020, when he opened the new Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois.  He originally began his career in banking and has owned his own professional services business since 1996, along with two other small businesses.


The Offices

The Central Illinois SBDC operates from professional offices in the Growth Corp Building, a modern, accessible building with ample free parking on one of the busiest streets in the City’s west-side commercial district. The Director’s office allows for private, confidential meetings with clients and the Illinois SBDC uses a separate 315 square foot space housing its John L. “Jack” Smith Small Business Library, which is open for clients and visitors during office hours.



The Illinois SBDC for Central Illinois brings a special market focus to the service sector. The seat of State government, the Springfield area economy is heavily weighted to service-oriented businesses and there are a great number of opportunities for businesses of all sizes in that marketplace. Also, the Director has built extensive experience and an additional market sector focus in the restaurant industry.


Contact Information

2401 West White Oaks Drive; Springfield, IL 62704  ·  sbdc@cisbdc.com   ·  217.522.2772   ·  www.cisbdc.com



About Growth Corp?

Founded in 1992, Growth Corp is the largest provider of SBA 504 commercial real estate financing in Illinois. 

Growth Corp is a non-profit development company certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to originate SBA 504 loans in Illinois and its surrounding areas.  Driven by a passion for helping small businesses grow, Growth Corp is the largest SBA 504 Lender in Illinois and one of the top ten Certified Development Companies in the country.  With a current portfolio in excess of $740 million, Growth Corp has helped thousands of small and medium-sized businesses get the financing they need.

We know your success depends on having access to expansion capital.  We offer affordable and accessible expansion capital to grow your business.  Our experienced staff takes pride in making a difference in the lives of small business owners and their employees.  Start-ups to seasoned businesses and everything in between can benefit from working with Growth Corp.  Here’s why:

  • We’re the #1 SBA 504 Lender in Chicago and Illinois.  Growth Corp also consistently ranks as one of the top ten SBA 504 Lenders nationwide.
  • SBA recognized Growth Corp as an Accredited Lender after a thorough review of its policies, procedures and prior performance.  The prestigious ALP status grants Growth Corp increased authority to process and close 504 loans, which provides expedited processing of loan approvals and closings.
  • We simplify the loan approval process.  Our team coordinates the entire process from application through closing, funding and servicing, making it seamless for you and your bank lender.
  • We are SBA 504 Experts.  Our responsive and educated staff focuses almost exclusively on SBA 504 loans.  We’ve got the process down to a science!
  • We’ve worked with thousands of businesses, spanning various industries.  That means, there’s not much we haven’t seen.  Your goals, project structure and business type will likely be familiar to us and we’ll understand your unique situation.
  • Our mission is to advocate for small business.  We love our communities and believe small business is the foundation of their economic prosperity.  We will do all we can to support you and your business goals.

If you run a small to medium sized business in and need financing to buy or construct a building or to purchase machinery/equipment, Growth Corp’s team of professionals will work with you directly to provide the best financing strategy for reaching your goal.  Contact any member of our Lending Team today!