Filed under: Small business

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SBA to hold Chicago forum on loans, new jobs act

Representatives of the Small Business Administration plan a free-one day forum in Chicago Friday to discuss opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs as a result of the Small Business Jobs Act. Get the full story »

Illinois in pilot to aid small manufacturers

By Katherine Skiba | Federal officials on Wednesday announced a $4.5 million pilot program to help small and medium manufacturers in Illinois and three other Great Lake states use supercomputing technology to speed  product design.

The public-private partnership will assist firms in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, officials said. Get the full story »

Groupon co-founder to head state innovation panel

Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to announce during his budget address Wednesday the creation of an innovation council to be headed by Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell.

Part of the council’s job will be to determine what kind of projects the state needs to support to be able to compete in the global market place, such as developing new technologies in agriculture, finance or in a combination of industries. Get the full story »

Black-owned businesses grow in number, not size

While the number of black-owned businesses are on the rise, 94 percent of them have no paid employees, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business owners released Tuesday.

At the same time, 87 percent of those businesses pull in less than $50,000 per year in revenue. Get the full story »

Ill. tax credit incentive to hire temp workers

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation providing a $2,500 tax credit to employers hiring trainees from the Put Illinois to Work temporary jobs program. The measure signed Monday takes effect immediately. Quinn says the new law gives employers an incentive to continue providing jobs to those who need them. Get the full story »

FeeFighters snags $1.6M in new funding

FeeFighters, a local startup that helps small businesses compare credit-card processors, has raised $1.6 million in a new round of funding. Get the full story »

Small business borrowing jumps again

Borrowing by small U.S. businesses jumped in November to the highest level in more than two years, PayNet reported on Monday, as entrepreneurs invested in their businesses and did a better job of paying existing debts. Get the full story »

Google searches for new role as business incubator

A small team has toiled since early October in a quiet corner of Google Inc.’s sprawling campus in Mountain View, Calif., on a project related to the discovery of human antibodies.

The group is not part of Google and has nothing to do with Google’s flagship Internet search business. Get the full story »

Payroll services providers strike merger deal

Payroll software firm Paychex Inc. agreed to buy privately held SurePayroll Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Paychex provides a full menu of services for small to medium-size businesses such as payroll, human resources and employee benefits outsourcing. Meanwhile, SurePayroll, which has about 30,000 small business customers, provides online payroll services through banking partners including  Citibank, Harris Bank and SunTrust Bank. Get the full story »

Illinois announces $5M in loans for small businesses

New and existing small businesses can apply for $5 million in loans through an Illinois program aimed at creating and retaining jobs in urban areas. Illinois economic director Warren Ribley announced the Community Development Fund program Wednesday in Chicago. The fund is a revolving loan program financed through federal and state programs. Get the full story »

Index shows smallest businesses add jobs

Some of the nation’s smallest businesses continue to add jobs this month, though Illinois’ tally was flat, according to an index released this morning.

Small business employment grew by 0.24 percent in November, or about 49,000 new jobs, according to the report by Intuit Inc., which uses data from 59,000 employers with fewer than 20 employees each. This monthly rate would produce annual growth of 3 percent. Get the full story »

Better Business Bureau reviewing ratings system

The Better Business Bureau says it is reviewing its business accreditation system following criticism from Connecticut’s attorney general that a pay-to-play system gives members a ratings boost over nonmembers. Get the full story »

Fed: Looser lending not luring small business

The Federal Reserve says banks loosened lending standards for small businesses the last three months but demand for loans remains weak.

It marks the second time in nearly four years that banks have made loans easier for small businesses to obtain, according to the Fed’s new quarterly survey released Monday. Get the full story »

Report: Small business loans rise

Small U.S. businesses stepped up borrowing in September, data released by PayNet Inc on Monday showed, suggesting the recovery is gaining steam even before the Federal Reserve Bank embarks on an expected new round of monetary stimulus.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses, rose 16 percent in September from a year earlier, PayNet said. The index rose 15 percent in August, and is now at the highest level in almost two years. Get the full story »

Small business loans less risky than junk bonds?

In the world of high-yield securities, small business loans are safer than junk bonds, and are expected to get even less risky over the next two years, according to PayNet, which provides risk-management tools to the commercial lending industry. Get the full story »