HomeStar Bank & Financial Services press release
Local business, government and community leaders are hosting a symposium to support economic development activities in Kankakee County. The event, titled Expanding The Economic Development Team: The Importance of Community Partnerships and Access to Capital, will focus on the potential of community partnerships to support economic development and the importance of access to capital to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The symposium will also highlight programs designed to provide access to capital for small businesses owned by veterans, women and/or minorities and businesses operating in low-income communities.
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Jeremiah Boyle, the community affairs managing director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s community development and policy studies division, will open the symposium. His areas of expertise include community reinvestment; concentrated poverty; small business and minority business development; and corporate engagement in local economic development. Boyle has served as an advisor to the Milwaukee Urban Entrepreneur Partnership and is a contributing editor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Profitwise News and Views publication.
The first panel discussion will focus on national and regional models of community partnerships that have been used to generate economic development. Panelists will address the importance of supporting local entrepreneurs, the significant impact of “anchor institutions” on economic development, the success of supplier diversity programs, the importance of revitalizing commercial corridors and the impact of arts and entertainment venues, among other things. This panel will feature local economic development professionals and national economic development experts, including Jeremiah Boyle.
The second panel discussion will begin with an introduction of Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) to Kankakee County and then focus on the variety of capital sources available to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Panelists will discuss credit options from banks, including SBA loans; alternative capital options, such as microloans; products offered by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFis) and specialty programs like CRF’s Patient Capital Fund. Time will be reserved for an interactive question and answer session. The panelists will include small business lending experts, including Robert (Bo) Steiner, the Director of the Illinois District Office of the Small Business Administration, and local business owners.
The event will conclude with a 30 minute networking session that will allow attendees to connect with the various panelists and other attendees.
This symposium is targeted to attract three groups of attendees. The first is entrepreneurs and business owners interested in opportunities for capital investment into new and growing businesses. There will also be information presented regarding opportunities for capital investment into veteran, women and minority owned small businesses and businesses that operate in low income communities. The second target audience is local bank and credit union leaders and their business lenders. The third group targeted for attendance at this event is business, government and community leaders interested in learning about opportunities to stimulate economic development in our community.
The hosts of the symposium are the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Kankakee Community College, Catalyst Innovation Center, Community Foundation of the Kankakee River Valley, the Kankakee County Mayors Association, the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County and HomeStar Bank & Financial Services. The event is sponsored by Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, Manteno Chamber of Commerce, Kankakee County Hispanic Partnership, Kankakee County Farm Bureau and the NAACP Kankakee County Branch.
The symposium is Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Registration begins at 8:30 AM and the program runs from 9:00 AM to Noon, followed by a networking event until 12:30 PM. The program will be held at Kankakee Community College’s Riverfront Campus in the Iroquois Room. Admission is free.
Please RSVP to AccessToCapitalKankakeeCounty@gmail.com or 815-352-4676 by Thursday April 7, 2016.
About Community Reinvestment Fund, USA
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a key national player for transforming communities. CRF fills a gap in community development funding by bringing a larger amount of capital to communities that need it most. Specifically, CRF specializes in making small business loans not found elsewhere for people living in underserved communities so they can grow a business, create and preserve jobs, make a business more energy efficient and/or improve cash flow. This has a powerful impact on the communities in which CRF works, which now includes Kankakee County.