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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to help small manufacturers compete for new business across Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to help small manufacturers grow their businesses, increase their competitiveness and create more jobs, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation launching a program to let Illinois companies across the state know how and where to bid on work for federal, state and local government contracts. 
 
“Small manufacturers face many hurdles in today’s ultra-competitive global economy, but learning of new opportunities to increase their sales and grow their business certainly shouldn’t be one of them.  This legislation will build on the customized services provided by our many business resource centers, and simply offers manufacturers another resource to help them pursue and secure new business opportunities.   By acting as a better partner to small businesses and ensuring they have all the tools they need to succeed, we can help our manufactures not only compete in the new economy, but thrive,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
The legislation, House Bill 1529, authorizes the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to administer the program that will generate better awareness among Illinois small manufacturers regarding opportunities to bid for work on these contracts.  HB 1529’s chief sponsor was State Representative Carolyn Krause (R-Mount Prospect).  The bill was also co-sponsored by Senators Carole Pankau (R-Bloomingdale), Debbie Halvorson (D-Chicago Heights), Gary Forby (D-Benton) and Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero).
 
“Gov. Blagojevich understands that small businesses are our state’s leading job growth engine and simply vital to the health and well-being of the Illinois economy.  Legislation like this shows that the Governor and the General Assembly are committed to continuing to find new opportunities for small businesses to succeed and keep our economy moving forward,” Sen. Forby said.
 
The services DCEO will be authorized to provide under the new legislation will coincide with those it currently provides through its Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs).  In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, DCEO sponsors a network of 11 PTACs throughout Illinois.  PTACS provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing Illinois businesses that are interested in selling their products and/or services to local, state or federal government agencies.  The services are offered through PTACs located at community colleges, universities, chambers of commerce and business development organizations across the state.
                                                                    
“Gov. Blagojevich is taking an innovative approach to economic development by looking at all avenues that impact business growth and job creation.  Sometimes, our manufacturers have the desire, expertise, and capacity to secure new business deals, but they simply don’t know they exist.  The signing of this bill should pave the way for manufactures across the state to compete for and win new contracts, meaning more business growth and more job growth.   When we find ways for our manufactures to act as a more vigorous engine of economic growth, the entire Illinois economy wins big,” State Rep. Carolyn Krause (R-Mount Prospect) said.
 
HB 1529 will take effect on January 1, 2006.


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