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Business Support Group To Close

Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:24:09 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Bloomington Normal is losing a business incubator program that has helped more than 250 clients in the last several years. The Center for Emerging Entrepreneurs is closing at the end of September. A $750,000 federal grant is running out and Center Director Larry Maschhoff says such programs are not self sustaining even with client fees.

"Clearly startup businesses, you know it's difficult for them to afford let's say normal consulting fees. So it was set up from the very beginning as a less than profit enterprise."

ISU Spokesman Jay Groves says a memorandum of understanding with the Economic Development Council of McLean County indicated ISU would only start the center under the Small Business Administration.

"Illinois State was to turn over the operation of the center at that time or at whatever other time was decided upon."

Earlier this summer, the EDC notified ISU it was ending its participation under the terms of the memorandum. EDC Director Mike O'Grady tells WGLT the EDC does not have the money to fund the center. Larry Maschhoff says the Small Business Development Center, the EDC itself, a SCORE chapter of retired executives, and other entities offer similar, but not identical help to people trying to create new businesses.

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