Direct Route To Your Profitable Business

Rockford area’s resource agencies collaborating to help local entrepreneurs find the most direct route to a profitable business!

News & Events

Increasing Access to Capital for DBEs Workshop Series
by IDOT Supportive Services
Thu, September 15, 2022 / 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT

Please join the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Office of Business and Workforce Diversity and DCEO on September 15th to learn about how to get DBE’s access to capital to successful bid on IDOT’s work. We will discuss how this participating loan program, has a set-aside, specifically for minority owned DBE firms. Governor Pritzker recently announced the 34.6 billion Dollar Multi-Year Plan which encompasses $1.6 billion dollars in infrastructure improvements and investments over the next five years.

Register Here

 

Rockford SBDC

Virtual Classroom & Workshops

Essential Marketing Strategies for Start-Ups
Thursday September 29, 2022 / 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
(ENGLISH)

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

In this workshop, you will learn the go-to marketing strategies start-ups must consider. We will discuss marketing basics, social media marketing, content marketing and digital marketing. We will also cover why it’s important to have a marketing budget, marketing plan and a clear strategy.

Guest Speaker: Cindy Rowe

Cindy Rowe Marketing has impacted hundreds of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals through consulting, coaching, workshops, events, a weekly Facebook Live Show {Back Stage with Cindy Rowe} and most recently her weekly Kindness Advantage Live Show.

Cindy has taken her background in business, marketing, fitness and entrepreneurship and combined them into a solid strategy using the marketing tactics that best suit your business or organization.

In business since 2016 and almost 25 years of marketing experience, Cindy is committed to helping businesses with their marketing needs regardless of their size or budget.

Register Here

 

Marketing for Tomorrow; How Your Business Can Survive

Thursday October 06, 2022 / 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

(ENGLISH)

 

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

 

This workshop is focused on the established business. We will dive deep into what companies need to do to not only survive but to succeed in this ever-changing marketplace. We will cover how the marketing playing field has changed but going back to the basics can win the game. We will also be covering marketing strategies, marketing plans and new opportunities with digital marketing. 

Guest Speaker: Cindy Rowe 

Cindy Rowe Marketing has impacted hundreds of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals through consulting, coaching, workshops, events, a weekly Facebook Live Show {Back Stage with Cindy Rowe} and most recently her weekly Kindness Advantage Live Show.

Cindy has taken her background in business, marketing, fitness and entrepreneurship and combined them into a solid strategy using the marketing tactics that best suit your business or organization.

 In business since 2016 and almost 25 years of marketing experience, Cindy is committed to helping businesses with their marketing needs regardless of their size or budget.

 This workshop will be live broadcasted in the Rockford SBDC Facebook Page.

 

Register Here

 

 

Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurs Workshop
(ENGLISH)

Thursday October 13, 2022

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

Guest Speaker: Francisca Reyna
Vice President of Business Development & Education at Blackhawk Bank

Why you should care about start-up finance? ” I am a visionary”, you might say. “I don’t want to get bogged down in financial reports. That’s what bean counters are for. “Right? Wrong. You need to understand your numbers – to understand your business better, make better decisions, make fewer mistakes, and hopefully turn a little cash into a lot of cash.

Register Here

 

Digital Marketing & Social Media for Small Businesses Workshop
(IN SPANISH)

Thursday October 27, 2022

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

Guest Speaker: Edward Caceres
Director at the Small Business Development Center at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce

Learn how marketing your business can be simple, doable and and fun!

During this webinar, learn the key aspects of digital marketing. discover the essential components of an effective online strategy, with tips on how to get started using a website, social media, and email marketing, to promote your business.

Register Here

 

Educacion Financiera para Emprendedores Workshop
(IN SPANISH)

Thursday November 10, 2022

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

Guest Speaker: Francisca Reyna / Vice President of Business Development & Education at Blackhawk Bank

Why you should care about start-up finance? ” I am a visionary”, you might say. “I don’t want to get bogged down in financial reports. That’s what bean counters are for. “Right? Wrong. You need to understand your numbers – to understand your business better, make better decisions, make fewer mistakes, and hopefully turn a little cash into a lot of cash.

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

Register Here

 

How to start your business in Illinois. Workshop
(ENGLISH)

Thursday December 1, 2022

ALL CLASS TIMES 5:00-6:00 pm in the chamber board room. (404 S State Street, Belvidere, IL 61008)

Presenter: Shelby Flores. Business Consultant at the Rockford SBDC

This guide will inform you of various legal requirements and direct you to additional resources.

Register Here

 

 

DCEO Grant Opportunities

Learn More

Other Funding Opportunities

 

National Grant for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

A total of $25,000 will be awarded to 25 veteran-owned and-led small businesses nationally.

Inspired by Founders First CEO, Kim Folsom’s brother, U.S. Navy veteran Stephen L. Tadlock, the $25,000 fund will make investments of $1000 each to 25 veterans who are running employer-based small businesses across the country.

  • Must be a U.S. military veteran
  • Must have an active U.S. based business
  • Must be a CEO, President, or Business Owner
  • Must have between 2 to 50 employees

Deadline to apply is October 18, 2022. Grant finalists will be announced on Veterans Day, November 11, 2022.  

Apply Here

 

HerRise Micro-Grant

The HerRise Micro-Grant provides financial assistance to women of color creating innovative solutions that impact their community and that are often unable to secure funding for their small business. Each month a $500 micro-grant will be awarded to a small business owned by women of color.

Apply Here

 

 

Early Childhood Construction Grant

Governor JB Pritzker has announced $60 million in capital grant opportunities for Illinois Early Childhood Education providers through the Rebuild Illinois Capital Program. The funding will support the construction, expansion, and renovation of facilities that support early student learning.

Funding is being released in two rounds; $60 million will be awarded in late fall of 2022, and the remaining $40 million at a date to be decided. Grant recipients are required to provide matching funds of between 3% and 10% based on ISBE Tier level for the local elementary school district.

Applications will be accepted through October 10, 2022.

Apply Here

 

 

Get help starting your business. BUSINESS FIRST brings together all stakeholders to explain regulations for starting your business in Rkfd.

 

At a BUSINESS FIRST session, regulatory partners come together from city and county departments including Building & Construction, Zoning & Permitting, The Health Department, Rock River Water Reclamation District, and The Small Business Development Center to walk entrepreneurs through projects and provide them with information to get their business up and running while answering all of their questions. BUSINESS FIRST operates as a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs seeking to start their business in Rockford, IL.

Register Here

 


RLDC VetLoan Advantage Program Funding Options

To show its appreciation for the sacrifices our honorably discharged veterans have made in defending our country and the principles we hold dear and share, Rockford Local Development Corporation will pay the Bank Subordination Fee charged to any eligible veteran-owned business receiving an SBA 504 loan from the Rockford Local Development Corporation. Bank Subordination Fees vary based on project size and structure but can range from $500 to as much as $50,000 depending upon the loan size of the participating bank.

Learn More


Cyber and Data Protection Awareness Training

Cybersecurity Guidance For Small Businesses

Small businesses are under cyber and data-breach attacks. This has grown even more true in the last few months given the current climate. Cyber attacks happen every day, and for a small business they can be very costly and cripple business operations. To help provide small businesses with the education and resources to protect themselves, America’s SBDC has developed a national cybersecurity program called North Star.

Visit our website


Small Business Digital Alliance Publishes Library of Free Digital Tools from National Members, Fortune 500 Companies Available to Small Businesses

In addition to the new digital tool library geared toward empowering entrepreneurs to scale their business, SBDA announces additional details of its first National Webinar.

Learn More


Get help starting your business. BUSINESS FIRST brings together all stakeholders to explain regulations for starting your business in Rockford.

At a BUSINESS FIRST session, regulatory partners come together from city and county departments including Building & Construction, Zoning & Permitting, The Health Department, Rock River Water Reclamation District, and The Small Business Development Center to walk entrepreneurs through projects and provide them with information to get their business up and running while answering all of their questions. BUSINESS FIRST operates as a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs seeking to start their business in Rockford, IL.

Register Here


Business First – Food Truck Webinar

The Business First partners have created a food truck webinar that provides a wealth of information that individuals will need to operate in Rockford. This pre-recorded webinar discusses a range of topics such as health and fire requirements, waste disposal, operation requirements, and licenses.

Watch Complete Video Here


Our Rockford SBDC Consultants will be assisting entrepreneurs in the following locations:

  • At the Parks Chamber, inside Loves Park City Hall every Wednesday from 9 am to 2:30 pm. (Inside Loves Park City Hall). One on One sessions in Spanish will be provided).
  • At the Rockford Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce every Tuesday from 12pm to 4 pm (One on One sessions in Spanish will be provided).
  • At the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce (NEW) in Belvidere every Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm (business advice will be provided in English & Spanish as well).

Benefits of contacting your local SBDC include:

  • ​No cost, one-on-one, confidential business advising
  • Virtual business advising
  • Training programs & workshops designed for small businesses
  • Professional referral network
  • Accessing to capital
  • Technology development

Lifelong business partners

Visit Our Website


Read About the New Multi-County Entrepreneur Resource “Compass”


 Testimonials

“Launch815 is helping us to navigate the process of transforming our great idea into a viable, marketable product!”

– Fran Pierce, Pierce Products –

 

Launch 815 Partners: