A Publication of WTVP


Are you feeling a bit lost in the alphabet soup of financing programs for your expansion or new business? Raising the money you need is a fundamental business operation. However, it can be complicated and frustrating. Finding someone to help you navigate through the process will improve your chances of scoring the financing you need to succeed.

The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois (EDC) can connect you with a corps of business resource experts that will help you shape your project plans and prepare your business presentations. These experts are ready to assist you with your business plans and financing needs, and some are located right here in our offices: SCORE, Illinois Finance Authority, DCEO, Heartland Capital Network, Central Illinois Angels, and more.

We’ve learned that no business—big or small—can go it alone. The EDC is here to help. We specialize in making things happen by building strong partnerships and bringing all our resources to bear. We listen to your story, your questions and your needs, and then bring in the expertise that can best address your project. Economic developers typically have connections in finance, utilities, commercial real estate, communications, transportation, infrastructure, taxes and incentives, just to name a few.

So, where do you begin? Gather your plans. You will find it necessary to articulate your business plan, financials, projections, labor force and details about your project’s financial need to a number of different professionals. You may only have a few minutes with a bank or investor to tell your story, so prepare a short, simple presentation about your business and its needs.

Next, gather your own professional network. When applying for financing for your business, your existing network may be your lifeline. Accounting, legal, construction and real estate professionals may all be of assistance in researching the details of your project. Your contact at the EDC is also an important part of your network. The EDC can provide industry statistics and labor information, research locations for your expanding business, and connect you with potential resources.

Through EDC’s network, we may be able to help you close the financing gap. A meeting with the EDC can connect the dots in your financing plan. We have access to low-interest loan programs in addition to what your bank may offer. The key is carefully matching your business with the right program. That is why we will get to know your business thoroughly. For example, the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program can be used for real estate purchases and working capital needs when a business project includes job creation and/or expansion. We even have a program to follow up with your business to see how you are doing!

When economic development works, everyone benefits. iBi