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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2002

Governor Invites Entrepreneurs to Attend 2002 Small Business Conference and Awards Banquet

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today invited representatives of Illinois small businesses and entrepreneurs to attend the Governor's 2002 Small Business Conference and Awards Banquet, scheduled for February 5-6, 2002 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

"Small businesses are the foundation of the Illinois economy," Governor Ryan said. "Our state's more than 625,000 small businesses provide jobs for more than 2.5 million Illinois workers. As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges these business people face every day. This conference is designed to provide opportunities and information to help them meet those challenges."

Pam McDonough, Director of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. (DCCA), said the 2002 Conference supports small business growth and entrepreneurship in Illinois through information, resources and training targeted specifically toward small businesses. Featured topics include: eBusiness Strategies, Accessing Business Financing for Business Expansion and Start-Up, Tips on Thriving in Today's Economy, Low Cost Marketing Strategies, and Small Business Security.

The conference also will feature a State Agency/Association Small Business Resource Area, including exhibits from a number of state agencies and associations. Exhibitors' representatives will be available throughout the conference to discuss the services they offer to small business owners and entrepreneurs in Illinois.

"A strong Illinois small business community means jobs for Illinois workers and a more diversified Illinois economy," McDonough said. "This conference combines practical training with networking opportunities that can help our small businesses and entrepreneurs achieve success."

Highlighting the conference will be the Governor's Small Business Awards Banquet on February 5, celebrating the success of Illinois small businesses and entrepreneurs. Awards to be presented include the Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Women’s Advocate of the Year, Small Business Minority Advocate, Entrepreneur Success Award, and Young Entrepreneur Award.

The fee to attend the conference is $50 per person, which includes the Governor's Small Business Awards Banquet dinner and program. To register, download the registration form by clicking on the scroll bar on DCCA's home page. Registration forms may also be requested by calling 217/698-7066 (TDD: 800/524-5856) or DCCA's Small Business Office at 217/524-5856 (TDD: 217/785-6055). Completed registrations may be faxed to 217/793-0041 if accompanied by a credit card number, or may be mailed with a check or money order made payable to Governor's 2002 Small Business Conference to: Governor's 2002 Small Business Conference, 1224 Centre West, Suite 200B, Springfield, IL 62704.



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