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SIU and Carbondale Tourism hosting events to recognize National Small Business Week in May

Candace Monae of K2 Academy cuts the ribbon to celebrate the creation of her business.
Photo provided
University Communications and Marketing
Candace Monae of K2 Academy cuts the ribbon to celebrate the creation of her business and her graduation from the SBDC’s Launch That Business program. SBDC officials hold the ribbon and join her in marking the special occasion.

CARBONDALE, Ill. — In celebration of National Small Business Week, April 30-May 6, the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is sponsoring a variety of special events, including a guest speaker, a summit, a unique version of a scavenger hunt and much more. All events are free and open to the public.

“The Small Business Administration Small Business Week is a time to recognize the hard work and dedication of entrepreneurs who have taken a risk and started a small business,” said Melissa Ray Roach, director of the SBDC. “It also serves as an opportunity to educate and connect small-business owners with the resources they need to succeed. These businesses are the heart and soul of our communities, and we are honored to be able to help support them.”

Diverse activities

The celebration begins with Make Me Bankable, a financial literacy program from 1 to 3 p.m. May 1 at Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. The free workshop provides information about improving the financial operations of a business, understanding credit and increasing bankability.

The course covers the different forms of credit, strategies for repairing and improving credit scores, and how the SBDC can help foster the creation and growth of local small businesses. After successfully completing the course, participants can get individualized credit counseling and, if they choose, enroll in the Entrepreneurial Track Program, an eight-week course focusing on entrepreneurialism and starting a business.

Find details and register online in advance at sbdc.siu.edu/workshops.

Additional informational, training opportunities

Throughout the week the SBDC is offering other special opportunities for people to learn the ins and outs of founding and growing a business and to receive expert advice.

Starting Your Business in Illinois is set for 9-11 a.m. May 2 at Dunn-Richmond. The workshop will cover the basics of starting a new business and provide answers to any questions participants may have about starting or growing a business. That includes writing a business plan, legal structures, choosing a business name, licenses and permits, financing and much more.

Sign up at ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/37302.

The National Small Business Week virtual summit is May 2-3. This online event will feature a variety of educational sessions, online business resources and expert speakers to provide participants with new business strategies and a plethora of valuable information. They can also chat with industry experts and meet other small-business owners.

Sign up to participate at sba.gov/about-sba/organization/observances/national-small-business-week/virtual-summit.

In addition, as part of a new initiative to bring resources to the public, trained SBDC advisers will be at Ethos in Marion on a couple of dates to provide in-person business advisement at no cost. Sessions are set for May 5, as well as June 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling 618-536-2424.

Collaborative activities

The SBDC is also collaborating with other entities to host special events that week.

A group of 14 young student entrepreneurs will showcase their business ventures at the

Jackson County CEO Trade Show, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. May 4 at Dunn-Richmond. It’s a great chance for the public to experience the creativity and hard work put forth by the business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.

Finally, the SBDC is partnering with Carbondale Tourism to host the Southern Illinois Goose Chase May 1-31. Anyone can participate and win prizes.

To begin the shop local campaign contest, download the Goose Chase app at goosechase.com/download and participate in challenges. Create an account or play as a guest by searching for this experience with the code BD5E4X and password “shopsoil,” or by using the experience name, “Southern Illinois Goose Chase.” The contest will go live May 1, and each challenge asks participants to visit a local business or location and take a specific photo and share via the app.

Each challenge awards a specific number of points. The three people with the highest point totals will win prizes. All prizes are locally produced items and gift cards.

“With Small Business Week, we want to draw attention to the local economy and businesses, improve their sales, increase tourism and educate the region about all that is available right here in the region,” said Amy Dion, small business specialist and marketing. “The SBDC is an advocate and no-cost resource for small businesses.”


Christi Mathis — student affairs; diversity, equity and inclusion; business and analytics; education; health and human sciences; psychological and behavioral sciences; innovation and economic development; international education.

SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
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