Enhancing business access to capital is a top priority for this administration and the Illinois Innovation Council. The Brookings Institution recently noted more than 95% of new jobs are derived from business expansion or start up activity.
Advantage Illinois will accelerate investments and ease the credit crunch for small businesses, thanks to more than $78 million from the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Advantage Illinois consists of three programs to spur institutional lending to small businesses and one program to leverage private venture capital in start-ups and high-growth businesses.
Illinois expects to generate a minimum "bang for the buck" of at least $10 in new private lending for every $1 of federal funding provided through this program, generating more than $800 million in private investments in Illinois' small businesses. There has never been a better time to grow Illinois ideas or business!
Small businesses are the backbone of the Illinois economy, and the Great Recession was tough on them. Advantage Illinois will be a shot in the arm to our small businesses. By working with the state's banking community and venture capitalists, we'll get entrepreneurs and small businesses starting up or expanding and creating new jobs at a faster rate.