Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 102-0272
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Public Act 102-0272


Public Act 0272 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY



Public Act 102-0272
HB0665 EnrolledLRB102 11777 RJF 17112 b

    AN ACT concerning State government.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 5. The Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
is amended by adding Section 605-503 as follows:
    (20 ILCS 605/605-503 new)
    Sec. 605-503. Entrepreneurship assistance centers.
    (a) The Department shall establish and support, subject to
appropriation, entrepreneurship assistance centers, including
the issuance of grants, at career education agencies and
not-for-profit corporations including, but not limited to,
local development corporations, chambers of commerce,
community-based business outreach centers, and other
community-based organizations. The purpose of the centers
shall be to train minority group members, women, individuals
with a disability, dislocated workers, and veterans in the
principles and practice of entrepreneurship in order to
prepare those persons to pursue self-employment opportunities
and to pursue a minority business enterprise or a women-owned
business enterprise. The centers shall provide for training in
all aspects of business development and small business
management as defined by the Department.
    (b) The Department shall establish criteria for selection
and designation of the centers which shall include, but not be
limited to:
        (1) the level of support for the center from local
    post-secondary education institutions, businesses, and
        (2) the level of financial assistance provided at the
    local and federal level to support the operations of the
        (3) the applicant's understanding of program goals and
    objectives articulated by the Department;
        (4) the plans of the center to supplement State and
    local funding through fees for services which may be based
    on a sliding scale based on ability to pay;
        (5) the need for and anticipated impact of the center
    on the community in which it will function;
        (6) the quality of the proposed work plan and staff of
    the center; and
        (7) the extent of economic distress in the area to be
    (c) Each center shall:
        (1) be operated by a board of directors representing
    community leaders in business, education, finance and
        (2) be incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation;
        (3) be located in an area accessible to eligible
        (4) establish an advisory group of community business
    experts, at least one-half of whom shall be representative
    of the clientele to be served by the center, which shall
    constitute a support network to provide counseling and
    mentoring services to minority group members, women,
    individuals with a disability, dislocated workers, and
    veterans from the concept stage of development through the
    first one to 2 years of existence on a regular basis and as
    needed thereafter; and
        (5) establish a referral system and linkages to
    existing area small business assistance programs and
    financing sources.
    (d) Each entrepreneurship assistance center shall provide
needed services to eligible clients, including, but not
limited to: (i) orientation and screening of prospective
entrepreneurs; (ii) analysis of business concepts and
technical feasibility; (iii) market analysis; (iv) management
analysis and counseling; (v) business planning and financial
planning assistance; (vi) referrals to financial resources;
(vii) referrals to existing educational programs for training
in such areas as marketing, accounting, and other training
programs as may be necessary and available; and (viii)
referrals to business incubator facilities, when appropriate,
for the purpose of entering into agreements to access shared
support services.
    (e) Applications for grants made under this Section shall
be made in the manner and on forms prescribed by the
Department. The application shall include, but shall not be
limited to:
        (1) a description of the training programs available
    within the geographic area to be served by the center to
    which eligible clients may be referred;
        (2) designation of a program director;
        (3) plans for providing ongoing technical assistance
    to program graduates, including linkages with providers of
    other entrepreneurial assistance programs and with
    providers of small business technical assistance and
        (4) a program budget, including matching funds,
    in-kind and otherwise, to be provided by the applicant;
        (5) any other requirements as deemed necessary by the
    (f) Grants made under this Section shall be disbursed for
payment of the cost of services and expenses of the program
director, the instructors of the participating career
education agency or not-for-profit corporation, the faculty
and support personnel thereof, and any other person in the
service of providing instruction and counseling in furtherance
of the program.
    (g) The Department shall monitor the performance of each
entrepreneurial assistance center and require quarterly
reports from each center at such time and in such a manner as
prescribed by the Department.
    The Department shall also evaluate the entrepreneurial
assistance centers established under this Section and report
annually beginning on January 1, 2023, and on or before
January 1 of each year thereafter, the results of the
evaluation to the Governor and the General Assembly. The
report shall discuss the extent to which the centers serve
minority group members, women, individuals with a disability,
dislocated workers, and veterans; the extent to which the
training program is coordinated with other assistance programs
targeted to small and new businesses; the ability of the
program to leverage other sources of funding and support; and
the success of the program in aiding entrepreneurs to start up
new businesses, including the number of new business start-ups
resulting from the program. The report shall recommend changes
and improvements in the training program and in the quality of
supplemental technical assistance offered to graduates of the
training programs. The report shall be made available to the
public on the Department's website. Between evaluation due
dates, the Department shall maintain the necessary records and
data required to satisfy the evaluation requirements.
    (h) For purposes of this Section:
    "Entrepreneurship assistance center" or "center" means the
business development centers or programs which provide
assistance to primarily minority group members, women,
individuals with a disability, dislocated workers and veterans
under this Section.
    "Disability" means, with respect to an individual: (i) a
physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or
more of the major life activities of an individual; (ii) a
record of such an impairment; or (iii) being regarded as
having an impairment.
    "Minority business enterprise" has the same meaning as
provided for "minority-owned business" under Section 2 of the
Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with
Disabilities Act.
    "Minority group member" has the same meaning as provided
for "minority person" under Section 2 of the Business
Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with
Disabilities Act.
    "Women-owned business enterprise" has the same meaning as
provided for "women-owned business" under Section 2 of the
Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with
Disabilities Act.
    "Veteran" means a person who served in and who has
received an honorable or general discharge from, the United
States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or
reserves thereof, or who served in the Army National Guard,
Air National Guard, or Illinois National Guard.

Effective Date: 1/1/2022