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Small Business Development Center offers free workshop Tuesday, one client shares success story

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Small Business Administration reported that more than 60 percent of America’s workforce is employed by small businesses.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) works to help hopeful entrepreneurs in Central Illinois, offering free resources at its Peoria location.

Samm Hutchason went to the SBDC for guidance as she got her business, Bear’s Bites, off the ground.

“They have helped me a lot,” she said. “Even if it’s just going ‘hey, how’s it going?’”

She said she is blown away by how quickly her business has progressed, starting in 2018 and going national in less than two years.

“I figured, if I was having the problem finding good dog treats to where I had to make them myself, other people were having the same problem,” Hutchason said.

In September, Bear’s Bites won Small Business of the year at the SBDC Small Business Awards.

“I can’t tell you what it meant to me because it still makes me cry,” Hutchason said. “It’s kind of one of those things that’s still unreal.”

Eric Sampson, director of the SBDC, said they will host a free, virtual workshop titled “Starting your business in Illinois.”

“We offer that in the hopes that we can address some of the questions that people who are interested in getting started with their own business find right out of the gate,” Sampson said.

To join the workshop Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 10 a.m., register to this Zoom link.

For those who cannot attend, there is another workshop on Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m. Eric Sampson said people interested should email [email protected].