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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 28, 2000

Governor Announces Small Business 2001 Summit

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the Governor's Small Business 2001 Summit will bring together small business owners for a two-day event held January 23-24, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

The annual Governor's Small Business Summit was started last year so that members of the small business community can engage in meaningful dialogue on the critical issues affecting them, while heightening the visibility and influence of small businesses in Illinois and shaping a new agenda for small businesses, legislation and regulatory reform.

"Small businesses are the backbone of Illinois' economy, and this summit recognizes their contribution to the state," Ryan said. "I encourage small business owners to take advantage of this opportunity to get in touch with colleagues, business leaders and government officials to discuss issues that affect your business. With your help, we can continue improving our business climate and expand opportunities for Illinois small business."

The Governor's Small Business Summit will engage participants in discussions of topics aimed at identifying recommendations that will assist the development and growth of small businesses. This year's summit topics include: Regulations and Taxation; Technology and Innovation; Micro Enterprise; Self-employment and Home-Based Business; Workforce and Human Resources; Health Care and Business; and Government interaction.

"The Governor's Small Business Summit helps us better understand and address the concerns of small business owners in Illinois," Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) Director Pam McDonough said. "With 98 percent of the state's firms classified as a small business, it's important that we come together to promote this sector and use recommendations from the summit as we work to enhance our state's entrepreneurial spirit."

In conjunction with the Summit, winners of the Governor's Small Business Awards will be recognized at the Governor's Small Business Awards Program on the evening of January 23, 2001. The Governor's Small Business Awards Program has been established to celebrate the vital role that small businesses play in maintaining and strengthening the Illinois economy.

Several awards will be given recognizing the accomplishments and contributions made by small business owners and advocates in the following categories: Outstanding Small Business Owner, Women's Small Business Advocate; Minority Small Business Advocate; Entrepreneurial Success award; and Young Entrepreneur award.

Registration forms for attending the summit are available to download through the DCCA Web site at www.commerce.state.il.us and can be faxed to (217) 793-0041. Blank registration forms can be mailed or faxed at request by calling (217) 793-5143. Hotel reservations can be made by contacting the Springfield Crowne Plaza at (217) 529-7777.

For information about the Governor's Small Business Awards Program and the programs and services available to assist Illinois businesses through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, contact the First Stop Business Information Center at (800) 252-2923 (TDD: (800) 785-6055) or visit the DCCA Web site.



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