Main Content

Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU



Access the COVID-19 Impact on Southern Illinois Businesses report here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Resource Links/Referrals

Child Care Restoration Grant - $270 million in grant funds is available for licensed child care providers in Illinois. 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Paycheck Protection Program – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses and non-profits. Portions of these loans will be forgiven to the extent that recipients maintain their existing workforce or rehire. 

Small Business Debt Relief Program – The SBA will cover up to 6 months of principal and interest payments that are owed on most new and existing SBA loans.

SBA Express Bridge Loan - Loans of up to $25,000 are available for businesses that can't get credit elsewhere to support the reopening of the business. 

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program – To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. Application will open March 27, 2020.

Illinois State Treasurer’s Small Business Relief Program – The program is an impact investment loan program to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program – Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.

Federal CARES Act -The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.

U.S. Rural Development Grants – This program is designed to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue.

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Covid-19 Emergency Resources for Businesses – PDF of available programs and Resources

Business Licenses – Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Licensing (IDFPR) IDFPR is providing relief from professional licensing requirements, including extensions for licenses due March through July and waivers from certain continuing education requirements.

Tax Relief– The Illinois Department of Revenue has provided contact info for taxpayer resources while taxpayer assistance offices and phone lines are shut down.  Penalties and interest for late payment of sales taxes owed from February through April will be waived for eating and drinking establishments that incurred a sales tax responsibility of less than $75,000 in CY2019.

Internal Revenue ServiceThe IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. 

Unemployment Insurance – IDES has assembled FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and the COVID emergency:

  • Self-employed business owners can apply for unemployment benefits starting 5/11.
  • Workers laid off due to COVID qualify for UI so long as they are prepared to return to work.
  • Workers sent home due to COVID illness or quarantine, or are caring for an affected family member, are also eligible for UI coverage.
  • IDES is waiving the standard 1 week wait to be eligible for UI coverage.

Employee Retention Credit – Treasury Encourages Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 to Use Employee Retention Credit.

Illinois State Agency Resources

Department of Revenue tax guidance
Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity business guidance and resources
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation licenses and registrations


SBDC Office Update

SIU RETURN TO WORK - June 29, 2020

Beginning on Monday, June 29, 2020, staff from the following SIU Research Park offices will be working both in-person and remotely until the end of July. SIU Research Park buildings will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Some services will be available in person but most will be offered through alternate formats. It is preferred that you contact staff for an appointment, rather than walking in, because they are holding many appointments as Zoom and conference calls rather than in-person meetings.

In compliance with the governor’s order, masks are required in indoor public spaces regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. Indoor public places include spaces anyone can access, such as reception areas with walk-in access and the lobbies of buildings. Social distancing guidelines also remain in effect.

For your convenience, see the list of office contacts below. Thank you for your interest in the programs and services of the SIU Research Park. We look forward to hearing from you and working with Southern Illinois--one business at a time.

Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU

Greg Bouhl or Ken Stoner (618-536-2424)

Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at SIU

John Morgan (618-536-2424)

SIU Research Park and Business Incubator Tenants

Administrative Questions: Lynn Andersen Lindberg (618-453-6754)

General Questions: Deb Barnett (618-453-3849)

Facilities Questions or Requests: Amy Ortiz (618-453-1495)

Business Office Questions: Lynn Harbert (618-453-6752)

Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center

Lori Amerman (618-453-3829)

Office of Workforce Innovation and Research and Illinois Nurse Aide Testing

Tom Hovatter (618-453-4367)



Helping Businesses in Southern Illinois Start, Grow and Succeed 

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University provides no-cost, confidential, one-on-one business advising services, training opportunities and business resources for entrepreneurs in southern Illinois. 

The Center's Certified Business Advisors assist business owners at every stage, whether they are starting, struggling, growing or selling. The advisors provide professional guidance for business growth by offering assistance and resources in areas such as business planning, marketing, financing, financial analysis, e-commerce, product development and more.

Funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Southern Illinois University, the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU has been a trusted resource to serve small businesses owners in southern Illinois since 1984. 

Ready to see how the SBDC can help your business?  Sign up to become a client to get started!

Starting a Business?

Have a great business idea but not sure what to do next? We offer business assistance and training for start-ups in areas such as legal structure selection, licensing, and permitting, market research, site selection, development of a business plan, business financing, just to name a few services.

Learn more about our assistance for starting a business in Illinois >

Growing a Business?

Growing a business can be challenging. Our advisors can provide assistance with growth services such as  managing cash flow, branding, establishing personnel policies, marketing plans, creating an exit plan and business financing for expansion projects. 

Learn more about our business growth assistance >

Buying or Selling a Business?

Interested in buying an existing business or selling the one you have?  Our advisors can provide assistance with resources to help determine preliminary valuations to know what a business is worth, reviewing financial statements and more.

Our team of professional advisors are not only advisors but also small business owners with diverse backgrounds and expertise in a variety of areas such as business planning, market information, business financing programs, financial analysis, prototype development, e-commerce, and intellectual property, among others.

Impacts of the Illinois SBDC at SIU in 2020 included:

  • Advising 696 clients
  • Providing 2,920 hours of consulting
  • Assisting 28 entrepreneurs create new businesses and 5 business expand
  • Helping create 67 new jobs and retain 434 jobs
  • Loans and investments totaling $16,394,279
  • Delivered 83 business workshops, training 1,569 participants

In addition to the business services of the Illinois SBDC at SIU, there is assistance to help businesses sell their products and services to the government through the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at SIU.

There is also assistance to assist businesses export their products and services throughout the world with the International Trade Centers in addition to all the Small Business Development Centers located throughout Illinois and the U.S. Find the nearest Center to you. 

Whatever questions you have or business goals you want to achieve, the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU can help.  Feel free to give us a call at 618-536-2424 or Contact Us to set an appointment for no-cost and confidential business guidance.


Illinois Small Business Development Center   U.S. Small Business Administration