Frequently Asked Questions
I want to start my own business, where do I start?
You may start by attending some small business seminars offered through the SBDC, visit our offices and take advantage of our resource center, or contact First Stop Illinois at (800) 252-2923 or www.ienconnect.com.
I'm looking for a loan and would like to explore possibilities through the SBA or
state programs. Can SBDC help?
Most government "loans" through SBA and state programs are guarantees to banks rather than direct loans to businesses. These programs are quite effective and do not deserve the "horror stories" many people have heard about them. However, these loans are not for everyone. The lending programs generally work through banks, require collateral, equity (owner) investment, a business plan and other supporting documents. Preparation is key to successful borrowing. Call the SBDC offices to discuss your needs, and we'll advise you on the processes.
Does the SBDC write business plans for people?
No, we do not write them, but we will guide and review them, critique them and help you "fine tune" them. We can also direct you to workbooks, text books, computer programs and consultants that can help you through the process.
Does the SBDC offer any training events?
Absolutely! If you are looking for training, we offer many affordable seminars, workshops and online training to turn your good idea into a great business! Topics include: business planning, QuickBooks, techniques for social media, financing, The Art of Starting a Business in Illinois and more! Visit our calendar too see which topics fit best into your schedule, Center for Entrepreneurship. By clicking the first day of any month and changing the view to "Month" you can easily identify multiple opportunities at a time. If you schedule does not work with any of our events, please consider using our resource partner SCORE.
What resources are available for special populations?
The SBDC provides assistive technologies to individuals utilizing our resource room, counseling and seminar offerings. Many technologies are in place for those with sight, hearing and physical disabilities, and special services can be arranged as necessary. The SBDC and Center for Entrepreneurship offer targeted conferences throughout the year with specific focus on women-owned businesses, self employment for disabled individuals, Veteran’s entrepreneurship, certification for small, disadvantaged businesses and other special populations. Contact the center at (630) 942-3775 for more information on these programs.
What are my Affordable Care Act options if I am self-employed?
If you are self-employed, meaning you run a business with no employees, you can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to buy insurance as an individual instead of going through the SHOP Marketplace. You're not considered an employer even if you hire independent contractors to do some work. Depending on your income, you may qualify for financial help to make insurance more affordable. For more assistance, contact Enroll DuPage at 888-724-0077 or www.enrolldupage.org.
Does the SBDC offer assistance to established businesses?
Yes! The SBDC offers many training programs on leadership, planning, financial analysis marketing, finance and other topics beneficial to established businesses. Similarly, SBDC counseling is focused on established businesses and late-stage start-ups (well defined business plans, acquisitions, franchises). While we act as “general practitioners of business,” we have expertise in marketing, finance, planning, acquisitions, franchising, organizational structure, transition planning and other topics.
Developed in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and College of DuPage as a service to Illinois businesses under cooperative agreement #SB-2M-00097-15.
Center for Entrepreneurship
Illinois Small Business Development Center
2525 Cabot Drive, Suite 201
Lisle, IL 60532
Martha Carney, Program Manager
Phone: (630) 942-2771
Fax: (630) 505-4931
Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL
60137 (630) 942-2800
2015 College of DuPage