Small business owners get financial help in Illinois region

During the recession, many Illinois small businesses struggled to keep their doors open and their employees paid. Resources for small business owners are always available, but during the recession, those services took on a new importance. In order for communities to survive and recover from an economic downturn, jobs must be available. Employment options can help people remain in their community to pay their bills and spend their earnings. Without this symbiosis, communities cannot thrive.

Some small businesses survived the recession through programs such as the Community Reinvestment Act. The Act encourages banks in our communities to reinvest at least some of their capital back into the areas where they are located. One bank did so by indirectly helping small business owners in its region.

Castle Bank donated some $110,000 in 2013 to a number of small business development centers in six Illinois counties. Some of the monies went toward helping entrepreneurs and small business owners through the services of those centers. A spokesperson for Castle Bank, which is part of First National Bank of Omaha, indicated that the bank would continue to provide such support.

The goal is to help the small business community continue to grow. The success of a small business not only helps its owner, but it also ensures employment for the community's residents. When area businesses are successful, everyone wins.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs may also find financial assistance through other state and federal agencies such as the Small Business Administration. It can be challenging to start and/or maintain a small business. Knowing where to look for assistance and navigating the process to receive that assistance can give a small business the tools it needs to thrive and succeed.

Source:, Castle Bank funds small business center at WCC, No author, Dec. 13, 2013

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