The economy on Illinois, like that of every other state, depends on entrepreneurs deciding to start a business. That’s a difficult process, so the state has helped those new business owners learn about marketing, finance, and other important topics with their Small Business Development Centers. The centers have been highly successful for several decades, but many of them have been forced to closed down in the past few years.
What Do The Centers Do?
The centers provide training affordable training to new entrepreneurs. The training can cover essentially every aspect of running a small business, from management skills to the different ways of financing expansion. The low cost makes it especially valuable for people who never had the opportunity to attend business school, and their local focus means the lessons can be adjusted to deal with local market conditions.
Where Are They Closing?
Small Business Development Centers are closing all over the state. Approximately one fifth of the centers have either closed already or are scheduled to close in the near future. That’s a large number, but the fact that the closures are scattered all over the state means that many people will still have access to a center if they need it. They will need to travel a little further than they used to, and the centers will be more crowded, but relatively few people will suffer from a complete loss of support for their small business.
Why Are They Closing?
The centers are closing down due to a lack of funding. The program depends on government grants to survive, and those grants have suffered significant cuts in recent years. The majority of the centers are associated with universities. Those universities contributed to funding the centers, but few of them can afford to support the centers without help from the state, especially when their own funding has also suffered recent decreases. The Business Development Centers that are not associated with universities tend to be significantly less reliant on funding from the state, so many of them are still operating and have no plans to close.