minority business 111921ELGIN –State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) recently attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the new Illinois Minority Business Development Agency Businesses Center, a flagship location to help connect small businesses to resources that can help them thrive.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only broadened the existing challenges minority-owned businesses face when it comes to things like procurement and growing their markets,” Castro said. “It’s exciting to see Elgin become a hub for development with the opening of this new MBDA office.”

The MBDA Businesses Center will help increase business opportunities between major buying organizations and minority-owned businesses. The center can provide clients and partners value by guiding them on how to get ideal certifications, matching buyers with clients that can lead to contracts, providing bid opportunities, and offering strategic business counseling and networking opportunities.

The program is partly funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Minority Business Development Agency. The MBDA has business centers located in areas with a high concentration of minority populations throughout the country. Strategic Exceptions Professional Consulting Inc., an Aurora-based organization, was awarded a grant through MBDA to establish the center. 

“As a leader in the business community, I understand how badly minority business enterprises (MBEs) need support,” said Terrie Simmons, CEO of Strategic Exceptions. “My diverse team and I will work with community partners to provide education, training, and the financial resources our businesses have needed for a long time to help build capacity and facilitate business development.”

Senator Castro encourages local minority-owned businesses to take advantage of the new business center. With Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27 and the holidays approaching, the support for area businesses comes at a great time. 

The new business center is located at 31 S. Grove in Elgin. Learn more at www.strategicexceptions.com/il-mbda/.