The Small Business Development Center is an invaluable resource for any business owner or for those looking to start their own company. The program is funded through both the federal and state governments and their mission is to provide information, confidential guidance, training and other resources to start-up and existing small businesses.

Here in the Fox Valley area, organizations can reach out to Sybil Ege at Elgin Community College or Harriet Parker at Waubonsee Community College. Both locations have years of experience helping companies with a wide range of business models and services. As Harriet put it, “We are here to help owners get more intentional with their businesses.” About 400 companies visit just these two centers each year, a staggering amount. The SBDC’s role is to advise and guide – it’s really up to the business owner to do the heavy lifting.

For the FVEC, Harriet and Sybil help identify businesses that may be ready for their assistance. This is a symbiotic relationship – some companies that pitch just aren’t quite ready, but they can benefit greatly by working with the SBDC. It takes a specific mindset to work with us at the FVEC. Owners need to be open to all suggestions, as well as being ready to be challenged, contradicted and second-guessed.

All businesses can benefit from the fresh set of eyes and professional help that the SBDC offers. Visit the Waubonsee or Elgin Community College websites to learn more about advising, planning and other services.