The City of Peoria’s commitment to help & grow startup businesses received a boost after receiving notice of a $50,000 award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of SBA’s inaugural competition. “On behalf of the City, I want to thank the SBA for the grant, ” said Mayor Jim Ardis.  “we look forward to transforming the way we serve our business community to help entrepreneurs start up and grow their business,” he added.

The “Startup in a Day” initiative is a collaboration between the City of Peoria, Peoria County, Startup Peoria, & the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council. Designed to assist entrepreneurs in establishing their businesses within 24 hours, this program addresses two key obstacles that businesses often cite; obtaining permits & licenses and finding business development resources. This initiative also includes a focus on developing minority-owned business enterprises.

Jake Hamann, Co-Founder of Startup Peoria commented, “Being awarded this grant is a testament to how collaboration across the community can help drive and implement positive change for our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our region has tremendous potential and I believe that we can use this opportunity as a catalyst to take it to the next level.”

Jennifer Daly, CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, expressed, “We are looking forward to working as a key partner to support new business startups in Greater Peoria. Not only will this project simplify the startup process, but it will also allow our team to better identify and connect entrepreneurs with resources and networks critical to their future success.”

Peoria County Board Chairman Andrew Rand agreed, “The Startup in a Day Grant will be an important catalyst to help Peoria’s minority businesses and entrepreneurs get a leg up to grow their business and create local jobs. Peoria County is excited to work with our grant partners on this exciting opportunity.”

The SBA reviewed more than 100 applications and awarded grants to 28 cities and Native American communities to help develop a streamlined, centralized business formation platform. “This is a big win for our community and area entrepreneurs.  We work with many startup companies each year and this will make their process of starting their business even easier,”said Ross Miller, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University.

“When I started my businesses, it was overwhelming,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the SBA and member of President Obama’s Cabinet. “I had to set up a legal structure, find office space, learn local zoning laws, apply for multiple licenses and permits and navigate a maze of city, county, state and federal requirements before I could even open my doors. That’s why I’m proud to join the White House in announcing the winners of the Startup in a Day prize competition as we work to make it easier for entrepreneurs all across the country to get started.”

To find out more about Peoria’s “Startup in a Day” initiative contact Cesar Suarez, Senior Development Specialist for the City of Peoria at csuarez@peoriagov.org or 309/494-8645.