SBDC small business advisors, set up a presentation

Yemisi Anderson and Michael Jessup, SBDC small business advisors, set up a” Launch That Business” presentation, one of the many services offered at the center. Photo provided

March 09, 2023

SIU’s Small Business Development Center invites people to March 15 open house and more

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — An open house, facility tours, networking and a workshop are all happening at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center on March 15 in recognition of SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Day. The public is welcome to attend.

“SBDC Day is an important occasion to recognize and celebrate the vital role that small businesses play in the economy and the support that the SBDC provides these small businesses,” said Melissa Ray Roach, SBDC director. “Small businesses are a critical driver of economic growth. They help create jobs, stimulate economic development and build stronger communities. SBDCs play an important role in supporting their success. This day is also an opportunity to highlight some of the success stories of the small businesses we have helped and showcase the benefits that our center provides to the broader community.

It’s exciting to build on the foundation that began when the center launched in 1985 and continues to serve as a valuable resource for small businesses throughout the Southern Illinois region while working with our team to expand our outreach efforts, connect with new businesses and make a meaningful impact on the region’s economy.”

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are invited to cover the open house and tours, 2-4 p.m. on March 15 at the Illinois SBDC at SIU, Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. SBDC officials will be available for interviews during that time as well. For more information, contact Melissa Ray Roach at or Amy Dion at or 618-536-2424.

What’s happening

The festivities begin with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. March 15 at the Illinois SBDC at SIU, located at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive. Carolin Harvey, Carbondale mayor pro tempore, and Steve Mitchell, Carbondale economic development director, will present a proclamation in honor of the day and then visitors can tour the facility and the business incubators. Participants can also network and visit informational tables with staff and representatives of Carbondale Main Street, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the SBDC during that time.

Turning Your Side Hustle into a Legitimate Business, a free workshop, will be offered at 5:30 p.m. Aimee Wigfall, a professional photographer and SBDC small business adviser, will provide valuable information about turning your hobbies, interests and side-business ideas into a professional enterprise. Pre-registration is required for the no-cost workshop; sign up at

Each year, SBDC Day celebrates the SBDC programs that partner federal, state and local governments with universities and other organizations to provide no-cost or low-cost assistance of various kinds to new and existing businesses. The Illinois SBDC at SIU is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) and SIU.

SIU’s SBDC program offers a wide range of services to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start, manage and grow their businesses. For more information about the Illinois Small Business Development Center, the SBDC events or the many services the center provides, visit, call 618-536-2424 or email