Quad City Chamber partners with EICC’s Small Business Development Center to boost support for minority entrepreneurs



To ensure the region’s small and medium businesses have the support needed to grow, the Quad Cities Chamber is enhancing its partnerships with EICC’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and other business service providers, devoting resources to expand assistance for minority entrepreneurs.

“We evaluated how to best provide additional services, and we thought it would be most productive to partner with existing experts to enhance and expand their services,” said Paul Rumler, Chamber President & CEO. “We have a business and economic growth ecosystem in the region that works best when we all collaborate.”

Key partners for the initiative include:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) and Western Illinois University – Quad Cities (WIU-QC)
  • SCORE Quad Cities
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers – Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University and Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC)

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ SBDC is one of 12 centers in the Iowa SBDC network and serves business owners in Scott, Clinton, Jackson and Muscatine Counties. Regional SBDCs are equipped to advise small business owners, including minority entrepreneurs, on all aspects of operating their business. They specialize in connecting businesses to sources of capital; federal, state and local resources; and other service providers, such as financial lenders, accountants and attorneys. Services are free for eligible clients.

“Eastern Iowa Community Colleges has proudly hosted the SBDC on our downtown Davenport SCC Urban Campus for years and are particularly proud of its outreach to and work with minority business owners in the community,” said EICC Chancellor Don Doucette. “As a family of colleges with one of the highest percentages of minority students in Iowa, EICC is committed to working to achieve equitable outcomes in all that we do, and we are pleased to join with the Quad Cities Chamber, WIU and other partners to support this initiative.”

As a result of the partnerships with EICC’s and WIU-QC’s Small Business Development Centers, the Chamber is devoting resources to expand assistance for minority-owned businesses with the goal of increasing their growth potential. Both the Illinois and Iowa SBDC offices are in the process of recruiting and hiring new staff to fulfill these services and address “longstanding unmet needs in our community,” Rumler said.

The SBDC at EICC is seeking qualified candidates for its open Minority Business Coordinator position and has the capacity to hire more than one person, said Joel Youngs, SBDC Regional Director.

“Our minority business coordinator will be providing workshops as well as working hand-in-hand with business owners to enhance their profitability, access to capital and ability to create jobs that allow for a strong and vibrant community,” Youngs said.

In conjunction with the Iowa SBDC State Office, the SBDC at EICC also has the capability to offer all of its workshops in Spanish.

To learn more, visit eicc.edu/sbdc