PLAINFIELD — As many small businesses across the state worry about the financial hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced new funding for small business development centers to help businesses get through this difficult time. 

“Small businesses make up a majority of our state’s private workforce, so investing in these companies is an investment in Illinoisans,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Additional funds for small business development centers will help guide these important parts of our community through this difficult time.”

A $7.3 million investment announced by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Wednesday will flow from the U.S. Small Business Administration to the Illinois Small Business Developmental Center program. The statewide program focuses on supporting Illinois businesses and entrepreneurs in starting, growing and maintaining their businesses. 

The money will go toward additional resources for education, training and professional business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure as a result of COVID-19.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has played an important role in connecting businesses with support resources and assistance programs designed to help keep them from shutting their doors permanently. 

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