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IL Launches $78M Small Business and Startup Initiative

October 05, 2011

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently released details about Advantage Illinois, an initiative that will provide financing and assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Initial funding for the initiative will be provided by the federal government through the U.S. Treasury's State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will administer the program, will use the $78 million in federal funding to spur private lending to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Advantage Illinois will incorporate four individual programs, including:

  • Capital Access Program — to encourage financial institutions to make loans to startups and small business that do not meet conventional lending requirements;
  • Participation Loan Program — to support projects to create or retain Illinois jobs or to modernize businesses, especially minority-, women-, disabled- or veteran-owned businesses, by mitigating lender risk;
  • Collateral Support Program — to establish savings accounts or CDs to enhance the collateral levels of small businesses; and,
  • Invest Illinois Venture Fund Program — to provide venture capital access to young, innovative, Illinois-based companies with high growth potential.

Illinois is the latest state to announce its plans for federal SSBCI funding. For more details on the SSBCI initiative and how other states are using these funds, see the August 17, 2011 issue.

Illinoiscapital, public equity funds, entrepreneurship