The governor is giving credit to federal funds and Illinois banks for creating jobs at small businesses. The program getting the credit is called Advantage Illinois. “It is a program that does provide loans to businesses, small businesses, because we want to make small business mean big business in Illinois,” Gov. Pat Quinn said.
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The program started two years ago with $45 million in federal funds made available through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which was created as part of the American Small Business Jobs Act, which became law in 2010. It has worked with 80 banks to leverage $336 million in private investment on 131 projects, creating 1,956 jobs, the governor’s office says.
“This Advantage Illinois program has really helped us leverage and make loans when otherwise we might not have been able to because of the state of a company’s development or where they were,” said Jon A. Levey, chief lender at Green Choice Bank. Companies with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to participate in Advantage Illinois.