A Publication of WTVP

Small businesses are the backbone of the Illinois economy, and the Great Recession has been tough on them. Advantage Illinois, a new, federally-funded program to help grow the Illinois economy, will be a shot in the arm to our small businesses.

Advantage Illinois will accelerate investments and ease the credit crunch for small businesses, thanks to more than $78 million from the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Advantage Illinois consists of three programs to spur institutional lending to small businesses with 750 or fewer employees and one program to leverage private venture capital in start-ups and high-growth businesses. The State of Illinois expects to generate a minimum “bang for the buck” of at least $10 in new private lending for every $1 of federal funding provided through this program—meaning at least $800 million in private dollars pumped into the economy to grow the small business sector.

The institutional lending piece will consist of three programs:

Capital Access Program (CAP)

Participation Loan Program (PLP)

Collateral Support Program

The venture capital piece consists of:

Invest Illinois Venture Fund (IIVF)

The Invest Illinois Venture Fund program is a new venture capital fund to support young, innovative companies in our state that show high-growth potential. The IIVF is part of a suite of capital access and credit investment programs available through Advantage Illinois. The IIVF supports early-stage companies that hold promise for job creation, capacity for entrepreneurial talent and are supported by one or more qualified lead investors. The fund encourages the growth of private venture capital investment to increase the number of institutional investment-grade companies in Illinois.

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