Chambers, SIU center supporting Small Business Week of Southwestern Illinois

The Illinois Small Business Development Center for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is part of a professional committee supporting local restaurants and retailers for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28. This group, known as the Small Business Week of Southwestern Illinois, reached out to area chambers of commerce to create a unique and enticing shopping experience to support local small businesses.

The Greater Belleville, Collinsville, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Metro East (Fairview-Swansea), O’Fallon- Shiloh and the Troy-Maryville-St. Jacob-Marine chambers are joining the effort in support of their small-business members.

These Madison and St. Clair Counties’ chambers solicited companies to spotlight themselves on a “passport” in an effort to promote their respective establishments and attract more customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local retailers and restaurant owners are also offering prizes in appreciation of their patrons.

The passport features 16 businesses from Madison and St. Clair Counties.

“This is a great opportunity for business owners to advertise and generate traffic for the upcoming holidays,” said SBDC Director Jo Ann Di Maggio May, who appreciates the support of the chambers and the committee of Small Business Week of Southwestern Illinois. “It truly takes a team effort to help small businesses survive and thrive.”

To obtain a “passport” and support Small Business, contact your local chamber or the Illinois SBDC for the Metro East at [email protected]

Shoppers have from Sunday, Nov. 22 through Saturday, Nov. 28 to stamp their “passport” at all 16 local establishments to win a prize from participating businesses. Return the passport via email (scan or take a picture of the completed passport) by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 28 to [email protected] Winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 30.

Small Business Week of Southwestern Illinois pays tribute to the contributions that small business makes to the U.S. economy. It focuses on:

Uniting the area’s tireless, hard-working entrepreneurs under one tent to inspire and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit that powers the economy through a full week of programming and events specifically tailored to their unique business needs.

Rallying southwestern Illinois to spotlight the unsung heroes of the small business community through the Small Business Awards. Together, achievements are celebrated in exponential growth, innovation, social entrepreneurship and company culture.

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists entrepreneurs as well as existing business owners operating in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses.

SBDC’s in Illinois are funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement among the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a service to the community. To learn how these no- cost services may help your business venture, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or [email protected]

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