Starting a Business in Illinois Workshops


April 15, 2015

A blend of unique Southern Illinois ingredients has helped Grand River Spirits earn two medals in the American Distilling Institute's 2015 Annual Craft Spirits Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, last week.


From among nearly 500 entries, Grand River Baby Whiskey was awarded a "Best in Category" medal while the Grand River Baby Bourbon picked up bronze.


"You always want some validation, and I know better than to trust my own taste. This is a big deal for me - for all of us," said Karen Binder, distiller and owner of Grand River Sprits. "We taste and taste and get as many opinions as we can." [more] 

April 27, 2015

Southern Illinois has been a grape-flavored gold mine since before the prohibition era from 1920 to 1933.

The good weather and fertile soil located near the center of the country has allowed wineries such as Walker's Bluff, Blue Sky Vineyard and Rustle Hill Winery to grow plenty of grapes and produce one-of-a-kind wines.


With all three of these establishments located within a 20-mile radius of the university, it is assumed their popularity diminishes as summer approaches, but this is not always the case.  [more] 

April 21, 2015

Murphysboro is one step closer to becoming the official "BBQ Capital of Illinois."

In action Tuesday, a House committee endorsed a resolution recognizing the Jackson County community as an epicenter of meats cooked low and slow.


State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, said the dish is special to many, but Murphysboro and the rest of the region can prove they have the best. [more] 

Seven local food businesses are nominees for the 2015 Feast Awards, sponsored by Feast Magazine. 

The nominees and their categories include:

  • 17th Street Bar and Grill, 32 N. 17th St. in Murphysboro, was nominated in for its barbecue.
  • Doreen's, 1002 St. Louis St. in Sparta, was nominated for fried chicken.
  • Grand River Spirits, 428 Wood Road, Carbondale, was nominated in the distillery category.
  • Longbranch Café and Bakery, 100 E. Jackson St. in Carbondale, was nominated in vegetarian.
  • Rule of Pie, 1308 Walnut St. in Murphysboro, was nominated for pie.
  • Scratch Brewery, 264 Thompson Road, Ava, was nominated as a microbrewery.
  • Steam Shovel Coffee in Anna, was nominated in the small coffee roaster category.
See the full list here.
Greg Bouhl is the Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU.

Greg joined the Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University in 2003.  He is an experienced business professional having both grown up in a family business and owning multiple businesses.  Greg has a Master's Degree in Business Administration from SIUC and certifications as a Certified Business Advisor, Economic Development Finance Professional and is currently working on his Business Incubator Manager certification.  His background also includes over 14 years of consulting and training business owners on all aspects of starting, running and growing a business.  In his 12+ years with the SBDC, Greg has provided over 10,000 hours of assistance to over 1,200 clients and over $43 million in loan assistance and investment in the region.   


Greg's areas of expertise include:  Business Financing, Financial Analysis, Business Planning, Search Engine Optimization and E-Commerce.


Greg is passionate at helping entrepreneurs solve problems and reach their goals.  He has been blessed to have worked and built relationships with so many talented and passionate people and be a part of their entrepreneurial journey. 

Learn More about Us
The  Illinois Small Business Development Center / International Trade Center / Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can help you take your business idea from concept to reality, grow and sustain your current business, and lead the way for you to expand your company into the global marketplace.  The Small Business Incubator Program offers a professional business environment with direct access to business coaching. 

"That information would not have been readily available to me without the contacts I have here at the SBDC."
- Skyler Greskewicz, Hi-Standard Dog Food

The Illinois Small Business Development Center / International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale.