Dec. 7, 2018 PRINCETON — The decentralized model of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) that started in the summer of 2017 has been making an impact in Bureau County.
Amy Lambert, executive director of the center, along with Scot Wrighton, chairman of the Starved Rock Country Alliance, which leads the center, gave a brief annual report to the Princeton City Council during its regular meeting Monday evening.
Wrighton said he was pleased to say the SBDC had made an impact on encouraging small businesses, entrepreneurs and people who had business ideas, but needed help getting started.
The SBDC used to be based at Illinois Valley Community College, but a decision was ultimately made by the Starved Rock Country Alliance to decentralize the center, and have it travel to host government sites.
Lambert spends a lot of her time on the road meeting with clients in Bureau County, Livingston County and in the cities of Peru, Ottawa, Streator and Morris.
She spends Mondays in Bureau County, and is based out of the Princeton Public Library or the Richard A. Mautino Memorial Library in Spring Valley.
Wrighton said Lambert had just made her 150th contact since she began in 2017, and he encouraged city council members to read the annual report, which was “full of success stories.”
Lambert explained how her confidential, one-on-one advising comes at no cost to clients.
“The time we spend in Bureau County has been one of the most energetic areas of the region,” she said.
Two local businesses that are included in the success stories of the SMDC are Experience Travel in Princeton and Rural Hair Parlor in Wyanet.
The city of Princeton pays an annual fee of $4,000 to be a host site for the SBDC. It plans to continue its partnership with the Starved Rock Country Alliance in 2019.