Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0665
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Full Text of HB0665  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Department of Commerce and Economic
5Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
6is amended by adding Section 605-503 as follows:
7    (20 ILCS 605/605-503 new)
8    Sec. 605-503. Entrepreneurship assistance centers.
9    (a) The Department shall establish and support, subject to
10appropriation, entrepreneurship assistance centers, including
11the issuance of grants, at career education agencies and
12not-for-profit corporations including, but not limited to,
13local development corporations, chambers of commerce,
14community-based business outreach centers, and other
15community-based organizations. The purpose of the centers
16shall be to train minority group members, women, individuals
17with a disability, dislocated workers, and veterans in the
18principles and practice of entrepreneurship in order to
19prepare those persons to pursue self-employment opportunities
20and to pursue a minority business enterprise or a women-owned
21business enterprise. The centers shall provide for training in
22all aspects of business development and small business
23management as defined by the Department.



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1    (b) The Department shall establish criteria for selection
2and designation of the centers which shall include, but not be
3limited to:
4        (1) the level of support for the center from local
5    post-secondary education institutions, businesses, and
6    government;
7        (2) the level of financial assistance provided at the
8    local and federal level to support the operations of the
9    center;
10        (3) the applicant's understanding of program goals and
11    objectives articulated by the Department;
12        (4) the plans of the center to supplement State and
13    local funding through fees for services which may be based
14    on a sliding scale based on ability to pay;
15        (5) the need for and anticipated impact of the center
16    on the community in which it will function;
17        (6) the quality of the proposed work plan and staff of
18    the center; and
19        (7) the extent of economic distress in the area to be
20    served.
21    (c) Each center shall:
22        (1) be operated by a board of directors representing
23    community leaders in business, education, finance and
24    government;
25        (2) be incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation;
26        (3) be located in an area accessible to eligible



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1    clients;
2        (4) establish an advisory group of community business
3    experts, at least one-half of whom shall be representative
4    of the clientele to be served by the center, which shall
5    constitute a support network to provide counseling and
6    mentoring services to minority group members, women,
7    individuals with a disability, dislocated workers, and
8    veterans from the concept stage of development through the
9    first one to 2 years of existence on a regular basis and as
10    needed thereafter; and
11        (5) establish a referral system and linkages to
12    existing area small business assistance programs and
13    financing sources.
14    (d) Each entrepreneurship assistance center shall provide
15needed services to eligible clients, including, but not
16limited to: (i) orientation and screening of prospective
17entrepreneurs; (ii) analysis of business concepts and
18technical feasibility; (iii) market analysis; (iv) management
19analysis and counseling; (v) business planning and financial
20planning assistance; (vi) referrals to financial resources;
21(vii) referrals to existing educational programs for training
22in such areas as marketing, accounting, and other training
23programs as may be necessary and available; and (viii)
24referrals to business incubator facilities, when appropriate,
25for the purpose of entering into agreements to access shared
26support services.



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1    (e) Applications for grants made under this Section shall
2be made in the manner and on forms prescribed by the
3Department. The application shall include, but shall not be
4limited to:
5        (1) a description of the training programs available
6    within the geographic area to be served by the center to
7    which eligible clients may be referred;
8        (2) designation of a program director;
9        (3) plans for providing ongoing technical assistance
10    to program graduates, including linkages with providers of
11    other entrepreneurial assistance programs and with
12    providers of small business technical assistance and
13    services;
14        (4) a program budget, including matching funds,
15    in-kind and otherwise, to be provided by the applicant;
16    and
17        (5) any other requirements as deemed necessary by the
18    Department.
19    (f) Grants made under this Section shall be disbursed for
20payment of the cost of services and expenses of the program
21director, the instructors of the participating career
22education agency or not-for-profit corporation, the faculty
23and support personnel thereof, and any other person in the
24service of providing instruction and counseling in furtherance
25of the program.
26    (g) The Department shall monitor the performance of each



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1entrepreneurial assistance center and require quarterly
2reports from each center at such time and in such a manner as
3prescribed by the Department.
4    The Department shall also evaluate the entrepreneurial
5assistance centers established under this Section and report
6annually beginning on January 1, 2023, and on or before
7January 1 of each year thereafter, the results of the
8evaluation to the Governor and the General Assembly. The
9report shall discuss the extent to which the centers serve
10minority group members, women, individuals with a disability,
11dislocated workers, and veterans; the extent to which the
12training program is coordinated with other assistance programs
13targeted to small and new businesses; the ability of the
14program to leverage other sources of funding and support; and
15the success of the program in aiding entrepreneurs to start up
16new businesses, including the number of new business start-ups
17resulting from the program. The report shall recommend changes
18and improvements in the training program and in the quality of
19supplemental technical assistance offered to graduates of the
20training programs. The report shall be made available to the
21public on the Department's website. Between evaluation due
22dates, the Department shall maintain the necessary records and
23data required to satisfy the evaluation requirements.
24    (h) For purposes of this Section:
25    "Entrepreneurship assistance center" or "center" means the
26business development centers or programs which provide



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1assistance to primarily minority group members, women,
2individuals with a disability, dislocated workers and veterans
3under this Section.
4    "Disability" means, with respect to an individual: (i) a
5physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or
6more of the major life activities of an individual; (ii) a
7record of such an impairment; or (iii) being regarded as
8having an impairment.
9    "Minority business enterprise" has the same meaning as
10provided for "minority-owned business" under Section 2 of the
11Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with
12Disabilities Act.
13    "Minority group member" has the same meaning as provided
14for "minority person" under Section 2 of the Business
15Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with
16Disabilities Act.
17    "Women-owned business enterprise" has the same meaning as
18provided for "women-owned business" under Section 2 of the
19Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with
20Disabilities Act.
21    "Veteran" means a person who served in and who has
22received an honorable or general discharge from, the United
23States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or
24reserves thereof, or who served in the Army National Guard,
25Air National Guard, or Illinois National Guard.