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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 1999

Governor Announces Small Business 2000 Summit

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George Ryan today announced the Governor's Small Business 2000 Summit, which will bring together small business owners to discuss issues that affect the state's economic development strategy. The two-day event will be held January 25-26, 2000 at the Renaissance Hotel in Springfield.

The purpose of the Governor's Small Business 2000 Summit will be to engage the small business community in a meaningful dialogue on critical small business issues and serve to heighten the visibility and influence of small businesses in Illinois--shaping a new agenda for small businesses, legislation and regulatory reform.

"I invite you to join me in recognizing and celebrating the Illinois small business community. Small businesses represent the fastest growing segment of the Illinois business economy," Ryan said. "Ninety-eight percent of Illinois' more than 653,000 firms are small businesses. I encourage you to attend the Small Business 2000 Summit to discuss issues that affect your small business. I believe that the continued development of a small business voice in government will enhance the general economic health of Illinois and encourage the growth of small businesses into the 21st century."

The Summit will be an excellent opportunity for Illinois small business owners to make their views known to government leaders and develop concrete, measurable recommendations for improving the Illinois business climate and opening new doors of opportunity for Illinois small business.

Participants in the Governor's Small Business 2000 Summit will discuss topics that will lead to the development of concrete, measurable recommendations in the areas identified as most critical to the development and growth of small businesses: Capital Formation, Workforce Development, Communications/Information and Technology, Procurement, International Trade, Economic Development and Community Development, Health Care, Taxation and Environmental Policy.

"The goal of the Governor's Small Business 2000 Summit is to develop an action agenda that gets to the heart of the issues affecting small businesses and lays out ways to meet these challenges," Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) Director Pam McDonough said. "We want to identify state and federal legislative and administrative actions that can help small businesses overcome regulatory obstacles while identifying policy actions that can be taken at the state level to help enlist business, labor and government in new partnerships for economic growth."

In addition, winners of the Governor's Small Business Awards will be recognized at the Governor's Small Business Awards Dinner on the evening of January 25, 2000. 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.

For registration information for the Governor's Small Business 2000 Summit, contact the DCCA Small Business Division at 217/524-5856. 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 at www.commerce.state.il.us.


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