Small business conference

Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton meets with women business owners and leaders in February at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center to hear what women need for their businesses to thrive. (Photo by Amihere Benson)

April 30, 2024

SIU’s Small Business Development Center named Illinois SBDC of the Year

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. —The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the 2024 Illinois SBDC of the Year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The prestigious award will be presented during a special public ceremony at 10 a.m. May 2 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive.

State and regional officials will be in attendance for the event, held in conjunction with National Small Business Week.

“The Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU has been the foundation of our business services since we met with our first small-business client in 1985,” said Lynn Andersen Lindberg, executive director of the Office of Innovation and Economic Development and of the SIU Research Park. “Whether assisting with market research, business plan development, financial analysis or other services, the SBDC team works together to support emerging and expanding Southern Illinois businesses to be the best that they can be. This award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and recognition from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is really a tribute to the many small-business owners throughout the region who have chosen the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU to be their trusted business advisers. I am so proud of all the staff who have worked to provide high-quality business assistance, not only today, but for the past 39 years.”

Media advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are invited to cover the 2024 Illinois SBDC of the Year Award presentation at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive, Carbondale. For more information, email or call 618-536-2424.

Helping launch and grow businesses

The SBA recognizes the accomplishments of small businesses and their “champions” each year during National Small Business Week (April 28-May 4), a time devoted to recognizing those who boost the nation’s economy on a daily basis.

Special guests slated to attend Thursday’s ceremony include Willette LeGrant, Illinois District director of the SBA; Ericka White, Illinois SBDC state director; Carbondale Mayor Carolin Harvey and other SIU and area officials. Harvey will deliver a proclamation in honor of National Small Business Week, and a reception will follow the presentation.

Additional activities showcasing small businesses will be taking place throughout the day, including the announcement of the winners of the Carbondale Accelerator Program’s business competition and the presentation of the most recent Launch That Business program graduates at 4:30 p.m.

The SBA Illinois District office, along with its partners, will host its annual lender and small business awards reception this summer, and at that time SIU’s SBDC and others will be recognized. That event will also feature expert panelists and guest speakers highlighting the state’s economy and the future of Illinois small businesses.

Services available for all

The Illinois SBDC is a foundational component of SIU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development and offers a full array of no-cost, confidential business services to assist the region’s entrepreneurs in launching and growing small businesses. The center also helps with utilization of new technology and expanding into additional markets, one-on-one professional advising, training and workshops, and more.

For more information about SIU’s SBDC and its numerous services, visit the website, email or call 618-536-2424.