SBA Hosts Economic Recovery Forum in Downtown Chicago

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District Office will host a one day Economic Recovery Forum in downtown Chicago at Navy Pier on Tuesday, March 24, 2009. The Forum, co-hosted with federal, state and local partners, is designed to educate small businesses on the importance of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and how they can grow their businesses in the current economy. Barry J. Moltz, Small Business Expert and Author of “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence of Your Next Great Success” will provide the luncheon keynote address.

“We encourage small businesses from all over the State of Illinois to join us at this very important forum. The SBA and its partners will illuminate specific strategies announced last week by President Barack Obama that will restart the flow of capital to small business entrepreneurs. In addition, government agencies at the local, state and federal levels will outline their plans for Recovery Act spending, which provide contracting opportunities for Illinois small businesses,” said Judith A. Roussel, Acting SBA Region V Administrator and Illinois District Director.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act takes a comprehensive approach and attacks several problems facing small businesses at once by reducing fees, guaranteeing a greater share of certain loans, expanding capacity in the Microloan program, providing new loans to help small businesses keep their doors open through economic hardship, as well as new mechanisms to help unfreeze the secondary markets for SBA-backed loans.

“The resources provided by SBA are essential to reenergizing the small business community. The revitalization of small and minority-owned businesses will be critical to America’s recovery from the current economic crisis,” says Eric Dobyne, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). “The Economic Recovery Forum will be an important meeting ground for businesses looking to access information, access opportunity and access relationships needed to sustain and grow their business.


State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias


Erick Zarnikow, Associate Administrator for Capital Access, SBA, Washington, D.C.

Judith A. Roussel, SBA Acting Regional Administrator and Illinois District Director
Captain Jake Washington, Commander NAVFAC Midwest
Col. Vincent Quarles, Commander/District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Eric Dobyne, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency

Norma Reyes, Commissioner of Business Assistance & Consumer Protection, City of Chicago
Montel Gayles, Director of Procurement, City of Chicago
Other Officials from Participating Agencies and Municipalities

Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Barry J. Moltz


TUESDAY, MARCH 24 (7:00AM-6:30PM)


NAVY PIER, 600 E. Grand Avenue (Festival Hall A—Rooms 201-207 and Grand Ballroom)

For event registration and fees, visit www.IL-Economic-Recovery.us or contact: (312) 353-4599; (312) 353-4385 or (312) 353-4519.


Tuesday, March 24

7:00 am – 8:00 am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:15 am

General Session

9:30 am – 10:45 am

Concurrent Breakout Sessions (Rooms 201-207)
— Access to Capital
— Opportunities with Municipalities
9:15 am – 6:30 pm Exhibitor Hall (Lakeview Terrace)
11:00 am – 12:15 pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (Repeat—Rooms 201-207)
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Luncheon (Grand Ballroom)
2:15 pm – 3:30 pm Breakout Session – State Contracting Opportunities

3:45 pm – 5:00 pm

Breakout Session – City/Regional Contracting Opportunities

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Networking Reception


U.S. Small Business Administration Illinois Small Business Development Centers
U.S. Navy, Great Lakes Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) City of Peru
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Village of Olympia Fields
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Village of Bolingbrook
U.S. Department of Energy Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Village of Carpentersville
SCORE: Counselors to America’s Small Business Village of Richton Park
Metra Village of Oak Park
Internal Revenue Service Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
Illinois State Treasurer Village of Tinley Park
Illinois Housing Development Agency (IHDA) RUSH Medical Center/TRINAL, Inc.
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency City of Moline
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Village of Lansing
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Village of Lombard
Illinois Central Management Services City of Peru
General Services Administration (GSA) City of Oak Forest
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chicago Housing Authority (CHA)
Chicago Office of Procurement Army Corps of Engineers (COE)

Editor’s Note: To schedule media interviews or for press registration contact Carol Wilkerson at [email protected] or Mark Ferguson at [email protected]

The U.S. Small Business Administration thanks the following partners of the Illinois Small Business Economic Recovery Forum: SCORE, Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), U.S. Department of Energy, Ridgestone Bank, Women’s Business Development Center, the U.S. Department of Commerce-Minority Business Development Agency, Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce, SomerCor 504 Inc, smarTechs.net, and Microsoft.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s participation in this cosponsored activity does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any cosponsor’s, donor’s, grantee’s, contractor’s or participant’s opinions, products, or services. All SBA programs and cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made by contacting (312) 353-4599.