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White, Durbin Announce SBA Grant For Public Library “Business Packages”

April 15th, 2011

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Illinois State Library will provide over 60 Illinois public libraries with “business packages” that include equipment, software and training videos to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs in local communities.

Senator Durbin obtained a $300,000 grant through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to fund the initiative.  Secretary White said the State Library will administer the funds, and White invited public libraries to apply for the packages.

“Our public libraries are cornerstones of our communities, and hopefully partnerships such as this between libraries, small businesses and aspiring employers can spur economic development and job creation in our local communities,” said White.  “Highly skilled librarians and library staff are extremely valuable and reliable sources of information for small businesses and entrepreneurs.    These business packages represent new tools that our public libraries can utilize to promote business development and entrepreneurship.  Illinois is very fortunate to have a public servant like Senator Durbin who supports our libraries and recognizes that they can be useful in assisting economic development in Illinois.”

“Small businesses are key to our economic recovery,” Senator Durbin said. “This funding will allow public libraries to offer information and assistance to small business owners in communities across the state. With these new resources and continued support from local public libraries, businesses throughout Illinois will grow and local economies will improve.”

Public libraries that are selected to participate in the program will receive equipment (laptops, DVD players, projectors, video cameras), software (planning and office functions) and training videos (office safety, sexual harassment, hostile workplace).  The criteria for awarding the package include local unemployment rate; proximity to and cooperation with a Small Business Development Center, Service Corps of Retired Employees (SCORE) office, or chamber of commerce.

Public libraries must apply for the packages by May 16th.  Complete the “Interest Indicator Survey” form posted at (http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/what_we_do/busandlibs.html).  For more information, contact Joe Natale (jnatale(at)ilsos(dot)net, 217-558-4185) at the Illinois State Library.

On Wednesday, May 4th from 1:30-2:30pm, the State Library will host a webinar to answer any questions you may have about these business package grants. You do not need a password and registration is not required.  Simply point your browser to http://isl.acrobat.com/r36212252/to join the discussion.  (Before using Adobe Connect, it is recommended that participants look at the Getting Started Guide and run the Adobe Connect Test Connection Wizard. This will ensure that all users have the Adobe Connect Add-on installed on their computers. Links to these resources are provided at Adobe Connect Connection: Test:https://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm)

 

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