Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship Apply Now for the 7-Week Program

Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) is a 7-week program that will assist aspiring entrepreneurs that want to launch their new business model. Applicants will bring their great idea, passion and drive, to harness their business mindset and creativity to start their own company.

Curriculum Summary:
Week 1- Foundation & Vision – Company Background, Determine Need, Financial Health Assessment
Week 2 – Foundation & Vision – Target Market and Intellectual Property
Week 3 – Marketing & Exposure – Marketing strategy, Branding and Promotional Strategies
Week 4 – Marketing & Exposure – Presentation Financial & Finesse Operations
Week 5 – Financial & Finesse – Pricing, Expenses Research
Week 6 – Financial & Finesse – Financial Statements
Week 7 – Final Presentation and Access to Capital Panel

Additional Benefits:

  • Financial Health Assessment – A loan pre-qualification assessment for each borrower to assess loan readiness
  • One-One-Session – Meeting with an attorney to assist with questions on your business
  • Access to Capital Panel – Presentation of your business to a panel of microlenders, banks, community lenders
  • The ADME Program is free; however, the application fee is $25 (non-refundable)

Cohort Locations:

SBDC Quad Cities
June 14, 2018 – July 26, 2018
Thursdays from 5PM – 8PM
Western Illinois University QC Campus
3300 River Drive
Complex C – Room 1418
Moline, Illinois

SBDC Far South
June 20, 2018 – August 8, 2018
Wednesdays from 5PM to 8PM
9923 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60628

SBDC Champaign
June 19, 2018 – July 31, 2018
Tuesdays from 5:30PM – 8:30 PM
Champaign Public Library (Business Center)
200 W. Green St.
Champaign, IL 61820

Application Period Opens: May 3, 2018
Application Deadline: May 31, 2018

Click here to download the ADME Program Application.


Celebrating Small Business Week

In celebration of National Small Business Week, we’re happy to share some exciting events and learning opportunities scheduled during the month of May. Check out the details of these events below.

Get Found on Google Search & Maps Workshop
The EDC is happy to partner with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation to host a free workshop called “Get Found on Google Search & Maps and Grow Your Business Online.”

This workshop will teach you how to set up Google My Business, a free tool that helps manage information displayed to customers on Google Search and Maps. You will also learn how Google tools can help improve your presence online.

The workshop will be held on Friday, May 11th from 12 to 1:15 PM at the EDC of Decatur & Macon County office (101 South Main Street, Suite 600 in Decatur).

Stick around after the session until 3:30 PM for open office hours with SBDC’s Don Elmore.

To secure a spot, register here. Lunch will be provided.


Attend a Lender Forum Series
Need a refresher on the benefits of SBA loan guarantees? Attend an upcoming free event sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Illinois SBDC.

The event will be held on Wednesday, May 23rd and is hosted by the Decatur SCORE Chapter at the Decatur Club on 158 West Prairie Avenue in Decatur. To register, email Bethany Wetherholt at or call 217-424-6296. The event begins with check-in at 8:30 AM and runs from 9 to 11 AM.


Virtual Webinars
Can’t make it to the workshops listed above? Consider checking out these free virtual webinars on topics ranging from how to share your business story to managing finances to embracing customer complaints.

SBDC Workshop on Exports & Payment Methods

Join the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation on March 14, 2018 for a FREE workshop on Export Documentation and International Payment Methods.

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Time: 12 – 1:30 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
(1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820)

The following topics will be covered:

  • Export Process Overview
    Identify Necessary External Service Providers
    Overview of a Freight Forwarder & Customs Broker
    Overview of Export Compliance
  • Typical Export Documentation
    Proforma Invoice
    Commercial Invoices
    Certificates of Origin
    Shipper’s Export Declaration
    Other Necessary Documents
  • International Methods of Payment
    Open Account
    Cash Against Documents
    Letters of Credit

Limited space available. RSVP to or call 217-378-8535. Lunch and materials will be provided.

Illinois Ranks Third in Governor’s Cup Awards

Chicago, March 5th, 2018 – Congratulations are in order for the state of Illinois and the combined work efforts of INTERSECT ILLINOIS, the statewide private economic development organization, and the states’ local economic development organizations! In the highly coveted Governor’s Cup rankings for 2017, Illinois ranked third in the country for total number of economic development projects.  The state’s continued pursuit of economic development excellence has yielded this esteemed ranking as well as year-over-year growth in total number of projects – for the 5th year in a row! In fact, Illinois has not placed outside the top ten in these rankings in over 20 years.

Per Site Selection Magazine, the Governor’s Cup ranks the 50 states according to their success in attracting capital investment projects that meet one or more of these three criteria: a minimum investment of US$1 million, creation of 50 or more new jobs, and new facility construction or floor space of at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,860 sq. m.).

“Intersect Illinois is excited to have taken part in many of these deals. Our mission is to bring awareness to all Illinois has to offer: the transport infrastructure, central location, highly-educated workforce, venture capital and innovation, quality of life, etc.” states Mark Peterson, President and CEO. “We are eagerly pursuing each and every opportunity to bring jobs and investment to Illinois and our pipeline is growing. These rankings help us tell the story of why Illinois continues to be a global hub of business and investment. It’s time for Illinois to promote what we have to offer for a change. We are proud to be that voice.”



Intersect Illinois works in collaboration with multiple economic development organizations throughout the state. Focusing on the state of Illinois’ economic development efforts, Intersect Illinois was established as a private entity with greater flexibility to actively pursue prospects, and market Illinois.


Apply for the Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) Grant

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) recently announced receipt of an Employer Training Investment Program grant (ETIP) through the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO). All training that occurs during this time period may qualify for reimbursement based on eligibility requirements.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the grant and how it can be used:

  • Participating companies must have a physical location in Illinois and agree to train only full-time Illinois based employees
  • The grant term will run from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018
  • Grant funds may be used to cover no more than 50% of actual approved expenses related to the training for a company’s full-time employees. Companies are required to fund a match amount of the remaining 50%

We hope your company can take advantage of this grant to help alleviate employer training costs. For more information or questions about the grant, please click on the icon “Learn More” below or contact Randy Prince at

EPL BAS Midwest Analytical Lab Named Winner for Global AGROW Award

November 15, 2017 | Decatur, IL – EPL Bio Analytical Services (EPL BAS), Niantic/Harristown, IL, is once again a winner for the annual AGROW – Best Supporting Role Award.  This sought after international award recognizes the company that has contributed most to the global crop protection industry through the provision of support services. Judges look for a company that offers outstanding client support, excellence in service provision and a willingness to go the extra mile for its customers.  Winners in other categories include Dow AgroSciences, Certis USA, and DuPont Crop Protection.  “Congratulations to EPL BAS on their 2017 Agrow Award win,” said Sanjiv Rana, Editor in Chief, Agrow. “The awards highlight the best in the crop protection industry. We are continually amazed at the innovation exemplified by the winners. We applaud them for their hard work.”

CEO, Robin King, adds, “EPL Bio Analytical Services is so honored to be a winner at the 2017 AGROW Awards in London this year. Winning this award is such a great way to end our 30th-anniversary celebration.”  Since 1987, EPL BAS has provided globally recognized Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliant contract analytical laboratory support for crop protection product regulatory submissions, safety and nutrition evaluations of genetically modified crops, and analysis of feed and food ingredients.  We have continued to demonstrate leadership in the agricultural industry through the implementation of new technology, methods and processes for data generation and assessment in pollinator health studies in collaboration with others in the agricultural industry.  EPL stands for Excellence, Passion, and Leadership in the Ag industry and winning this award adds to the sense of accomplishment and pride that our employees take in the services that we provide in agriculture.”

About EPL Bio Analytical Services

EPL Bio Analytical Services (EPL BAS) is an award-winning, Good Laboratory Practice-compliant (GLP), ISO 17025-accredited analytical contract lab. Our vision is to be the “most trusted analytical laboratory in the Ag Industry.” EPL BAS serves the global agricultural industry by analyzing feed and food ingredients, organic products, genetically enhanced crops, bio-pesticides, plants, algae, plant protection agents and crop chemicals. With the goal of providing safe, healthy, and abundant food while protecting and improving the environment, EPL BAS uses advanced innovative technology in the areas of nutritional chemistry, agricultural chemistry, including residue and product chemistry, and molecular biology to provide excellent, timely support our industry. We don’t have an Ag Division…because we are Ag! Visit us at, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

EPL Contact Information:

Robin King
217-963-2143 Ext. 124

Source: EPL Press Release

Celebrating Manufacturing Day Local students particpate in Decatur's 2nd Annual Manufacturing Days


Approximately 250 students from Decatur’s MacArthur and Eisenhower High Schools and Heartland Tech Academy participated in Decatur’s 2nd Annual Manufacturing Days held on October 25th through October 27th at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL.

The three-day event encouraged students to get a closer look at available manufacturing career paths through facility tours, symposiums with local manufacturers, and interactive presentations.

Studies show that the U.S. will need to fill 3.5 million advanced manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years. Events like Decatur’s Manufacturing Days are coordinated in hopes that the next generation of manufacturers will become inspired for careers in manufacturing.

Manufacturing Days would not be a success without the help from the participating manufacturers (see list below), Richland Community College, DPS61, Heartland Tech Academy, IMEC, the EDC of Decatur and Macon County, and ADM for the generous lunch donation.

Decatur Industrial Electric
International Control Services
Mason Manufacturing
Midstate Electrical Training Center
Mueller Company
Ring Container Technologies
SMART Local 218
Tate & Lyle
TCCI Manufacturing
UA Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Local 137
Union Iron
Voestalpine Nortrak
Western Illinois University
Workforce Investment Solutions

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