FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/8/2010
Marcelyn Love 217/558.1542
Mike Claffey 312/814.3957

 State Economic Director Announces New Initiative to Boost Trade in Illinois, Support Innovation

Highlights Programs to Serve Illinois Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

CARBONDALE � Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley today visited the Technology and Innovation Expo, being held on the Southern Illinois University Campus, to talk about a new initiative to boost trade in Illinois. 
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SIUC has been named an �International Trade Center,� to give entrepreneurs help in marketing their products beyond Illinois.

�The half-a-million small businesses and entrepreneurs in Illinois are the foundation of the state�s economy; if they can't grow, our economy won't grow,� said Director Ribley. �Resources like the ITCs, which are a part of the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network, and the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit, are helping Illinois entrepreneurs improve their competitiveness, building a stronger state economy and creating more jobs for hard working Illinoisans.�

With a mix of state and federal funding, Illinois will open five new International Trade Centers throughout the state at Illinois SBDCs at Rock Valley College (in partnership with Rockford Area Economic Development Council), the College of Lake County, Governors State University, the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, and SIU-Carbondale. The International Trade Centers will provide training and education as well as one-on-one business advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs who wish to compete in a global economy.

�The opportunity to expand our support for international trade in Southern Illinois is an exciting extension of the global outreach of this great university,� said Southern Illinois President Glen Poshard. �SIUC takes great pride in educating students representing over 100 nations.   Our university community truly represents the entire world.  The linkage between this wonderful global diversity and the establishment of the new center we announce today will prove to be of great benefit to southern Illinois exporters and those who rely on those businesses for employment.  We thank DCEO and the US Small Business Administration for recognizing the dynamic potential for these important new services and providing the resources that will make this a reality.�

In fiscal year 2010, the state�s six current International Trade Centers provided 7,572 hours of business advice to 831 clients, helping to secure $226.9 million in international sales. With the addition of the five new centers, it is expected that the Centers will be able to double the number of hours serving clients, which will result in over $400 million in export sales.

During his visit, Director Ribley also reminded small businesses that the Illinois Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit is still available. Small businesses with under 50 employees that create new jobs between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 are eligible to receive a $2,500 tax credit for each new position created. The Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit was proposed and signed into law earlier this year by Governor Pat Quinn. For eligibility requirements for the Illinois Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit, and to register a new position, visit JobsTaxCredit.illinois.gov

For information on the Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers, visit www.ilsbdc.biz .