Steve Boyd, left, and Jeff Stassi, recently acquired Central Illinois Care Services, a home-care services agency serving 15 counties across Central and Southern Illinois.
Wood River native Jeff Stassi and his business partner Steve Boyd are combining their extensive nonprofit, health-care and emergency relief agency experience in acquiring, operating and expanding a non-medical home care business – Central Illinois Care Services – to serve clients across Central and Southern Illinois.
“Both of us have always had careers that revolve around helping others,” Stassi said. “We wanted to combine our expertise, and were attracted to the business model and growth generated by the home care service agency’s initial owners. It is clear that the population in our Illinois coverage area supports this business objective.”
Commercial lender and SW Illinois SCORE Chapter president John Vitale referred Stassi and Boyd to the Illinois Metro East SBDC to tap into the center’s expertise at no cost. SBDC Interim Director and Small Business Specialist Jo Ann DiMaggio May worked closely and systematically with Stassi to help the duo prepare a Small Business Association loan application and fine-tune CICS’ business plan. Stassi said DiMaggio May also provided names and contact information for accountants, attorneys, insurance agents and other small business consultants.
CICS’ objective is to support clients’ wishes to remain independent and in their own homes. “Steve and I firmly believe this,” said Stassi. “Aging adults who are able to safely and securely remain in their home live healthier, more productive, happier lives. Our goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations and to care for them as if they were our own family members.”
“I was so impressed with Jo Ann,” Stassi said. “She did a phenomenal job and did it so quickly. She helped shape our business plan and pare it down. Jo Ann also assisted in helping bring clarity to the business plan document. I recommend that anyone who wants to buy a business should first seek the expertise of the Illinois Metro East SBDC.”
Stassi, an SIUE graduate, added that thanks to the SBDC’s assistance, CICS qualified for a substantial SBA 7(a) guaranteed loan. “Jo Ann readily understood the details of what we wanted to do with the business and what we needed to share with the lending institution, and was extremely valuable as a liaison with the bank,” he said.
The agency’s 60 employees include home health aides and certified nursing assistants who provide a wide array of services within the clients’ home to help them remain as independent as possible. Assistance from CICS includes skin care, ambulation, bathing, dressing, exercise, feeding, hair care, mouth care, nail care, positioning, shaving, toileting, transfers, medication reminders, running errands, light housekeeping and cooking. CICS also provides specialized client care for hospice, palliative and Alzheimer patients.
Di Maggio May said working with Stassi and Boyd was a rewarding experience for the Metro East SBDC, and that the center continues assisting their business whenever a need arises.
“Jeff and Steve quickly and diligently worked on their business plan to secure the funds needed to open CICS,” DiMaggio May said. “They are exceptionally business minded and dedicated to helping others. I am confident in their success and look forward to their bright future.”
For more information about Central Illinois Care Services, call (217) 994-9016 or visit the agency’s Facebook page, facebook.com/YourCareServices/.
The Illinois SBDC at SIUE assists new businesses and newly acquired businesses like Central Illinois Care Services headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a no-cost service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
The SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large. To learn how the SBDC can help small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.