Navicore Provides Education And Resources For Minority Small Business Assistance Workshop
Navicore Provides Education and Resources for Minority Small Business Assistance Workshop
While the economic recovery has helped the economy in the aggregate, the minority business community in Peoria, Illinois has not experienced that same resurgence as others. By helping women and minority business owners gain access to the tools and resources they need to grow their businesses, they are able to help grow their regional economy and build up capital within the community.
On August 4th, Navicore Solutions' Janice Parker was invited as a panel guest for the “Small Business Assistance Workshop for Minority Business Owners and Entrepreneurs” event hosted by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Janice Parker, Illinois Relationship Manager for Navicore Solutions
The minority small business assistance workshop brought together business owners, lenders, and small Business Assistance (SBA) staff to address the issue of access to capital in the minority business community in the Peoria district. Specifically, the event engaged business owners regarding the various types of lenders, what lenders are looking for in successful loan applications, and what resources the SBA provides to prospective borrowers. The workshop also highlighted success stories during the panel discussion and allowed for business owners to interact with SBA staff on a one-on-one basis following the conclusion of the program. The event connected minority business owners with the resources needed to grow their businesses and helped build goodwill in the minority business community.
What's the Problem: Access to Capital
As a result of Minority Small Business Roundtable discussions in February, we frequently heard that access to capital was a challenge for the minority business communities in Rockford and Peoria, IL.
For example, in 2015, the Small Business Administration issued over $23 billion in 7(a) Regular SBA loans. The African American community received fewer than 2% of those funds, down from 8% in 2008. Small businesses account for over half of the sales in the United States, and in Illinois, small businesses represent 2.4 million jobs – 46% of the jobs throughout the state. As of 2012, the SBA states that only 36% businesses are owned by women, and only 10.5% of those businesses have paid employees.
The SBA assistance workshop was very well attended. There were more than 75 attendees at the event which was covered by the local media outlet WEEK 25 news here. Councilwoman Denise Moore (1st District of Peoria), Congresswoman Bustos, and SBA District Director Bo Steiner delivered opening remarks.
The SBA then delivered their presentation focused on access to capital and SBA resources that are available to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Following the presentation was the panel discussion, which included:
Justine Peterson Financial Group
South Side Trust & Savings Bank
Illinois Business Financial Services
Navicore Solutions' Janice Parker
Navicore Solutions focused on the importance of managing and maintaining personal finances to ensure that the business owners or potential business owners are credit worthy for small business loans. Janice Parker also discussed the importance of good credit and keeping personal household budgets separate from business budgets. The SBA and financial lending institutions echoed the sentiments of the importance of good credit and using your credit score as an asset until your business is able to gain assets and business credit.
Parker gave examples of success stories from Navicore Solutions working with potential small business owners and there was even a former Navicore client in the audience who is now a business owner with a credit score over 800!
Navicore has followed up with several interested small business owners and provided credit counseling sessions in addition to education and resources.