Recent Searches

Loading Search Results...
Loading Directory Results...



Recent Pages

Recent Searches

EIU Media Relations

EIU launches Small Business Development Center


Lumpkin College of Business & Technology leads efforts to promote, support regional small businesses

(Charleston, IL) – In honor of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (U.S. SBA) celebration of National Small Business Week April 28 through May 4, Eastern Illinois University’s Lumpkin College of Business and Technology announces the official launch of its Illinois Small Business Development Center.

EIU’s Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) central office is located in Mattoon within the Elevate Innovation Center, LLC at the Cross County Mall, with another EIU SBDC office opening in Effingham this summer. Through grant support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Small Business Development Lead Center, EIU’s SBDC partnered with Elevate Coles County Innovation Center (CCIC) in 2023 to further broaden access to professional business advising, training, and access to state and federal resources. Together, the two EIU SBDC centers will have an eight-county focus area, spanning Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Moultrie, and Shelby Counties.

To kick off 2024’s Small Business Week, the EIU SBDC teamed up with its partners at Elevate to host a Regional Chamber After Hours networking event in Mattoon last week. Next week, the center will host a Commercial Lenders Forum in Effingham, in partnership with U.S. SBA.

“A connection to the University gives the region’s small businesses a wider network of resources, enabling increased support for both new and existing small businesses as they look to grow and expand,” said Amy Patrick, director of EIU’s SBDC. “The center is ready to roll up its sleeves and get to work.”

Behind the scenes, however, EIU’s SBDC has already been hard at work for more than a year. Patrick’s leadership during the center’s conceptual phases has led to a collaborative planning process and a list of no-cost services now available to established small businesses and start-ups. Those services include providing consultants and advisors, workshops and training, networking and community engagement opportunities, market research and financial analysis, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and strategic road mapping activities.

Patrick is eager and excited to see how the EIU SBDC will enrich the future of the East Central Illinois business landscape. Already, her ambition at the helm of EIU’s SBDC has garnered recognition specifically for the dedication and commitment she’s shown in developing unique and innovative programming for the center. As a lifelong resident of Coles County with more than 25 years’ experience in professional development, Patrick is invested in the EIU SBDC’s efforts, and wants nothing more than to see the whole region prosper.

“The Illinois SBDC at Eastern Illinois University is here to cheer on local entrepreneurs, support economic growth, and celebrate the spirit of innovation in our community,” Patrick said. “Whether you need help running a business, coming up with marketing ideas, figuring out finances, or planning for the future, the SBDC at EIU will have your back.”

Interested small business leaders and entrepreneurs are encouraged to reach out to Patrick directly for more information. The Illinois SBDC at EIU can be reached at or by calling (217) 258-7233.

EIU prepares students to accomplish their life goals through a combination of quality academics, personal relationships, and both on-campus and online learning opportunities. For more information about Eastern Illinois University, including its broad array of academic and career readiness programs, or any of EIU’s other community-based services and opportunities, visit or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.

About the Illinois SBDC at Eastern Illinois University: The Illinois Small Business Development Center, hosted by Eastern Illinois University's Lumpkin College of Business and Technology, is dedicated to providing no-cost advising services to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Through strategic partnerships and community engagement, the SBDC serves as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation across an eight-county focus area in Illinois.



Related Pages

Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart,
Public Information Coordinator

Booth House
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Take the next step

apply now
schedule a visit