January 10, 2007

Small business workshops start Jan. 24

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) is taking its popular "How to Start Your Own Small Business" workshops on the road.

In its 21st year, the ISBDC, a service unit of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, provides training for prospective and existing business owners. In past years, instructors held classes at SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center but for the first time, workshops will also take place in local communities, including in Murphysboro, Marion, West Frankfort and Du Quoin.

It's all part of an effort to bring SIUC services to local communities.

"We realize that we need to go to people more rather than expect them to come to us," said Emily J. Carter, interim director of SIUC's Office of Economic and Regional Development (OERD) and SIUC's director of Entrepreneurship and Business Development. "SIUC is committed to providing high-quality training and investing in our communities."

Robyn Laur Russell, director of ISBDC, is working with the cities' mayors to pinpoint specific needs and opportunities for each community. At the workshops, participants will receive a one-page fact sheet listing local phone numbers and resources as well as a step-by-step guide on how to start a business in their respective towns. "We have found that when we go into the communities, the towns embrace us," said Russell.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provide funding for the center, which SIUC hosts as a service to small businesses.

The ISBDC will cover three topics: "How to Start Your Own Small Business," "Finding Financing" and "How to Sell to the Government." The classes provide workshop-based instruction and individual one-on-one counseling. Those attending may purchase a $10 business startup kit that

includes a business plan workbook, a business startup checklist, resource guides and a copy of the presentation slides.

Unless otherwise noted, classes take place at SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale.

The full schedule follows:

How to Start Your Own Business: The basic requirements of starting your own business, including: legal structure, startup requirements, and business planning basics and finding financing.

• Wednesday, Jan. 24, 9-11 a.m.
• Thursday, Feb. 8, 6-8 p.m. - Murphysboro Davis-McCann Center
• Thursday, Feb. 22, 9 -11 a.m.
• Tuesday, March 6, 6-8 p.m. - Marion City Hall
• Thursday, March 22, 1-3 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 11, 6 -8 p.m.
• Thursday, April 26, 9-11 a.m.
• Thursday, May 10, 6-8 p.m. - West Frankfort (TBD)
• Thursday, May 31, 1-3 p.m.
• Tuesday, June 5, 6-8 p.m. - Du Quoin City Hall
• Wednesday, June 20, 9-11 a.m.

Finding Financing: How to sell your ideas to banks and investors.

• Wednesday, Jan. 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Thursday, March 22, 3-5 p.m.
• Thursday, May 31, 3-5 p.m.

How to Sell to the Government: Learn how to market and sell your business to the government.

• Thursday, April 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 20, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

All "Finding Financing" and "How to Sell to the Government" sessions immediately follow "How to Start Your Own Business" workshops.

All classes require registration. For more information, call 618/536-2424 or visit http://www.southernillinois.biz.