CHICAGO – Gov. Pat Quinn announced that the U.S. Treasury Department has awarded $26.64 million to Illinois to expand the state’s efforts to support small businesses and economic development.
The award recognizes Illinois’ success in creating and expanding opportunities for small businesses and helps the state partner with local banks to ensure that small businesses have access to necessary credit.
“Illinois’ small businesses are the cornerstone of our economic comeback,” Quinn said. “This federal award will provide access to capital for small business owners across our state who are helping to drive our economy and put more people back to work.”
The funds are through the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The new award brings the total Illinois has received under SSBCI to $78.36 million since it was enacted in 2010. These funds have leveraged more than $403 million in private sector loans and investments to date. Recipients report the financing is allowing them to create 2,534 jobs across Illinois and retain another 1,547.
The funds will continue to grow as loans are repaid with interest and will be recycled into loans for additional small businesses across Illinois.
Illinois ranks fourth among the states in its overall funding allocation under SSBCI. The state handles the funds through the Advantage Illinois program operated by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The program has approved loans totaling $53.4 million during almost three years of operation and so far none are in default.
Under Advantage Illinois, the state provides low-interest loans together with financing from local lenders. The partnership reduces the risk for banks and enables borrowers to qualify for a larger amount of financing. The program also includes the Invest Illinois Venture Fund, which provides capital for startup companies with a high potential for growth.
For more information on SSBCI and the U.S. Treasury Department’s other small business programs, visit www.treasury.gov/smallbusiness. For information about doing business in Illinois, visit www.illinois.gov/dceo.