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posted: 5/15/2019 1:00 AM

Harper College helps small businesses start and grow

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The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Harper College provides no-cost consulting and training for entrepreneurs and small businesses to help owners achieve marketing, financial and operational success. Many companies need expert help most when they are still small and can least afford it.

In addition to business advising, the center -- located at the Harper Professional Center in Schaumburg -- hosts a variety of workshops and webinars designed to help small business owners start and grow. These events focus on issues ranging from capital access to buying or selling a small business and everything in between.

The center has six experienced advisors, most business owners themselves, who specialize in different areas and work closely with clients to find solutions that work best for their business.

Last year, the Illinois SBDC at Harper College trained more than 700 business owners and individuals on topics like search engine optimization, email and digital marketing, the new tax law and more.

The center has also partnered with local firms in accounting and law to offer clients access to free legal and tax guidance.

New for 2019, the Illinois SBDC at Harper College is introducing two helpful programs for small business owners and individuals just starting up.

The "Dream Big -- Angel Grant" Up to $15K

The Harper College Educational Foundation recently established the Dream Big -- Angel Grant. Through a generous gift provided by Barrington-area philanthropist Kim Duchossois, this program awards up to $15,000 to expanding businesses and startups. To qualify, applicants must be a client of the Illinois SBDC at Harper College and have met with an advisor at least twice. After submitting an application, finalists will be invited to make a "Shark Tank" style pitch to a panel of judges who make the final selections and award amounts. Deadline for submissions is October 1, 2019.

DIY Prototyping Lab and Makerspace

This fall, the Illinois SBDC at Harper College is partnering with the Harper College Makerspace and Entrepreneur Center.

Inventors, product designers and business owners will now have access (through affordable memberships) to the space, equipment and training to develop a design idea, prototype or product. Equipment will include 3-D printers, laser cutters, 3-D scanners, CNC, wiring stations for electronics and more.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Harper College is located at 650 E Higgins Rd., Suite 18N, Schaumburg, IL 60173.

They've recently added a fast and easy online schedule system where clients can see advisors' specialties and book an appointment right from their smartphone.

To learn more about any the programs mentioned above and to schedule an appointment, visit and follow the link for the Illinois Small Business Development Center.