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Waubonsee SBDC Helps Foster Job Creation, Economic Growth in Region, State

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Waubonsee Community College continues to set a standard for excellence in supporting the local businesses that foster job creation and economic growth in the region and Illinois.

Last year, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) reported the Waubonsee SBDC, under the leadership of Manager Harriet Parker, helped local small businesses create 142 jobs in the 2013 calendar year.

That, however, only builds on the legacy of economic development success the Waubonsee SBDC has established in recent years, annually ranking among the best SBDCs in the state for job creation and businesses assisted. In 2012, for instance, the Waubonsee SBDC was credited with helping to foster the creation of 135 jobs. That placed Waubonsee fourth overall among the state’s 37 SBDCs, and first among SBDCs based at community colleges. 

In the previous five years, 2008-2012, the Waubonsee SBDC was credited by IDCEO with helping to foster the creation of an average of 87 jobs per year, which ranked third among SBDCs based at Illinois’ community colleges, behind only the SBDCs located at Harper College and Elgin Community College.

Further, the Waubonsee SBDC has also annually assisted hundreds of small businesses, both those currently in business and new start-ups. Last year, the SBDC provided one-on-one assistance to 324 business clients. And from 2008-2012, the Waubonsee SBDC assisted an average of 361 business clients per year.

Parker said the Waubonsee SBDC helps businesses create or refine strategic plans, create and refine operational efficiency and establish management best practices in their companies, whether in consultation with SBDC staff or the local SBDC’s extensive “bullpen” of management and planning consultants.

The SBDC also helps businesses obtain the financing they need to turn growth plans into reality.

Businesses helped come from all sectors of the local economy, including retail, restaurants, small manufacturing and many others. 

Parker’s more than 25 years of firsthand experience managing and running small businesses prepare her well to help other small business owners understand their situations and develop the resources they need to not just survive, but thrive in any economic environment.

“We help them get a better handle on their business, and then to stay healthy and expand,” Parker said.