Peoria County introduces an online guide for entrepreneurs to start their business
The Peoria County Board Advisory Committee for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development has launched a free online dashboard: Start A Business Greater Peoria.
The goal of the dashboard is to connect local entrepreneurs and business owners with resources that will help them in beginning or growing their businesses. The dashboard guides users to the support they need, creates access to mentorship and advice, and helps them ask the right questions.
The dashboard was rolled out during an event this week at the Peoria County Courthouse. Dr. Eden Blair, chairperson of the Advisory Committee for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, said it's a big step in providing the support the community needs.
“One of the things we were tasked with was determining what gaps exist in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and what we found was that people who knew the right people were getting help, but people who didn't know how to access those networks couldn't find them,” Blair said.
One of the main functions of this dashboard is to provide entrepreneurs with a mentor who can help teach the right skills to start and run a business.
“So they'll ask them questions, tell them what they need to do, understand the legal things that they have to manage, and really help them get started,” Blair said.
In addition to this dashboard, the Peoria County Board has allocated $50,000 to assist entrepreneurs who have worked through this online program. For those who have completed it and received a virtual “passport,” users can apply for a $5,000 business grant from the county. The grant is for those planning on starting a business in the Peoria area.
This program was contracted with Lifting Up LLC, and is now operational in Peoria County as well as Muscatine, Iowa.
The dashboard can be found at startabusinessgp.org.