SBDC Day, held this March 15, is an annual celebration of the nation's 1,000 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). SBDC is a network of federally funded sites that provide free, personalized and confidential business advice to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. Small business owners.
Illinois' newest SBDC is expected to open in the coming months at Polsky Exchange, a University of Chicago initiative that provides free workspace and entrepreneurship programs to local business owners not affiliated with the school. . The SBDC will be the first resource on Chicago's South Side dedicated to supporting professional services and technology business owners, offering everything from business planning to marketing strategy to help increase revenue, create jobs, and more. We support improving the economic vitality of local communities.
In honor of SBDC Day, Polsky Exchange Executive Director Abigail Ingram shared the thinking behind the new center and what she hopes it will bring to the greater Chicago area.
Why is Polsky Exchange a good place to have an SBDC?
Logistically located in the heart of the vibrant Route 53rd The street corridor is close to transportation, great restaurants, and retail. Polsky Exchange offers a suite of free resources for business owners using SBDCs, from workspace to mentors to programs. We also have the only fabrication lab open to the community on the Southside.
Why is this SBDC focused on professional services and technology businesses? Can business owners outside these categories access its services?
Professional services businesses are particularly important engines for local economies because they serve companies in a variety of industries and have unique needs. His SBDC at Polsky Exchange specializes in serving professional services and technology businesses, but welcomes all small business owners.
What services does the SBDC provide?
In addition to our primary focus, we offer workshops and events for small business owners on starting and running a business in Illinois. It's about providing dedicated staff time to meet and share resources with business owners who want to run their businesses more efficiently. Effectively and with a growth mindset.
How were the nine districts served by SBDC chosen? Are services available to businesses outside of my ZIP code?
Polsky Exchange serves the Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn focus areas, and the SBDC serves every Illinois business, plus We also provide services to these areas. SBDC services.
How do you think this SBDC will help the economy of Chicago's South Side?
Experts from the south are doing it. that. all! Professional services businesses often involve one service provider setting up the business and, in addition to actually performing the service, serving as marketers, accountants, sales staff, and all other business functions. to start. We aim to help business owners deploy systems, automation, connections and advice that enable them to reach more customers and hire or contract functions outside of their field of expertise. When one business operates more efficiently by hiring other businesses to perform other functions, that business has time to earn more revenue, and that updraft flows to businesses across the ecosystem. Bring in even more funds.
What are the goals of the center? What does success look like?
We aim to serve 100 small business owners over the next year, and we will measure our success by the impact we have on them. Every increase in sales, revenue and profits, and new jobs is a win.
Who would you like to hire as your SBDC director? What experience and qualifications are you looking for?
Our SBDC Director must have experience as an entrepreneur/entrepreneur support. All of us at Polsky have expertise in running small businesses, primarily because many of us have run our own businesses. We are looking for candidates who understand the stress, freedom, and excitement that business owners face every day.