Proposed Rules Open for Public Comment 
Proposed Rules Open For Comment 
The following rules have been proposed by State of Illinois agencies and are open for public comment.   To see a comprehensive list of rules which could impact small businesses, visit   You can learn about rules and submit comments regarding their impact  by clicking on " submit comments".   
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation proposed amendments which will impact certified public accountants and accounting firms.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments,  click here.  This rule is open for public comment until 11/4/19.  

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation  proposed amendments which will impact real estate appraisers.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments,  click here.  This rule is open for public comment until 11/4/19.  

The Department of Children and Family Services proposed amendments which will impact day care homes and centers.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until 11/11/19.  

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission proposed an amendment which will impact small businesses and nonprofits that sell or serve alcoholic beverages, including holders of retailer, caterer retailer, special event retailer's license (not for profit), railroad, boat, wine maker's premises, airplane, brew pub and distributor licenses.   To learn more about these changes or to submit comments,  click here .  This rule is open for public comment until 11/18/19. 

The Secretary of State proposed an amendment which will impact new and used vehicle dealers, currency exchanges, and other businesses that issue temporary registration permits.   To learn more about these changes or to submit comments,  click here .  This rule is open for public comment until 11/25/19. 

The Secretary of State proposed an amendment which will impact certain used vehicle dealers that also offer customer financing.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until 12/2/19. 

For more information on any of the above proposed rules, contact Katy Khayyat at (217) 558-0190 or email .    
Federal Regulatory Corner
Federal Regulatory Corner

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking participants for a survey on cybersecurity issues for  small and mid-size businesses.  The Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are conducting a survey on cybersecurity issues for small and mid-size businesses. The survey is open to all small businesses. This is a voluntary survey and will not publish confidential or identifiable information. It will help inform the use of the Cybersecurity Framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other agencies. The Cybersecurity Framework aims to help organizations better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk and has implications for some government contracts.
  Here is a link to the survey, which will be open until Nov. 11, 2019. 

Comments On Hours Of Service Proposal
On August 22, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) published a proposed rule on Proposed Hours of Service of Drivers Amendments Rule. The proposed rule would provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to the Hours of Service (HOS) rules without, according to FMSCA, affecting safety.  The proposed rule would make five specific changes to the current HOS rules, affecting the provisions related to short-haul drivers, adverse driving conditions, the 30-minute break, split-sleeper berth, and split-duty time provisions.  Other aspects of the current HOS rules would remain unchanged.  
Advocacy commends FMCSA for its retrospective review of the current HOS regulations and supports the proposed changes that will result increased flexibility and cost savings for small carriers without diminishing safety or the health of drivers.  Learn more. 

FDA Seeks Comments On Pre-market Tobacco Product Applications Proposal
On September 25, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the proposed rule "Premarket Tobacco Product Applications and Recordkeeping Requirements." The proposed rule establishes the requirements for the content and form of premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for new tobacco products and requires manufacturers to maintain records establishing that their products are legally marketed. Additionally, the proposed rule establishes the general procedures FDA will follow to review PMTAs. Written comments on the proposed rule are due by November 25, 2019.The Food and Drug Administration is seeking comments on the Premarket Tobacco Product Applications and Recordkeeping Requirements proposed rule. Comment deadline: Nov. 25, 2019.  Learn more.  

AMS Seeks More Comments On Origin Certification For Organic Dairy Livestock
On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), published a proposed rule to amend the origin of livestock requirements for dairy animals under USDA organic regulations. The proposed rule added requirements for transitioning dairy animals to organic production. Specifically, the rule states that producers can transition dairy animals into production once. After completion of the one-time transaction, any new animals added to the farm would need to be managed organically according to a specified schedule. The rule is intended to provide greater clarity as to when the transition of a herd into organic production should be considered complete, as currently industry and certifying agents have varying interpretations. On October 1, 2019, the agency reopened the comment period to allow for additional public comments on the propose rule. Written comments are due by December 2, 2019.USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service reopened the comment period for a proposed rule to amend the origin of organic livestock requirements. Comment deadline: Dec. 2, 2019.   Learn more.  

DOL Proposes New Tip Regulations Under The Fair Labor Standards Act 
On October 8, 2019, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule that implements changes to tip regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (CAA).  The FLSA generally requires covered employers to pay employees at least the Federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.  The FLSA allows an employer to count a limited of amount of the tips its "tipped employees" receive as credit towards the minimum wage obligation, this is called a "tip credit."
* The Act prohibits employers, managers, and supervisors from keeping tips received by employees; regardless of whether the employers take a tip credit or not.
* This proposed rule does not change the requirements for employers taking a tip credit, which allows these employers to implement a tip pool among those employees like the bartenders and servers who "customarily and regularly receive tips." 
* The proposed rule allows employers who pay the full minimum wage (and do not take a tip credit) to implement a mandatory "nontraditional" tip pool in which employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips, such as cooks and dishwashers, may participate.  
* The proposed rule eliminates the "80/20 rule," which required the employers to pay tipped employees the minimum wage, if the employee spends more than 20 percent of his or her time performing non-tipped duties.   The proposed rule allows employers to take a tip credit for any amount of time that an employee in a tipped occupation performs non-tipped duties contemporaneously with his or her tipped duties, or for a reasonable time immediately before or after performing the tipped duties.  
Written comments on the proposed rule are due by December 9, 2019.  Learn more.  

Need Help With Federal Regulatory Issues? There are two main ways you can connect with SBA's Office of Advocacy and share your concerns about regulatory burdens on small businesses: 1) Fill out this form and share it with your small business colleagues.2)  Talk to your regional advocate about regulatory issues your small business is experiencing.
Illinois Department of Labor News
IDOL Highlights Importance of Preventing Hearing Damage at Work
Just about everyone has complained about their workplace being too noisy at one time or another. But noise at work can be a lot more dangerous than a co-worker's overly loud conversation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Fortunately, much can be done to mitigate damage to people's hearing, which is the message the Illinois Department of Labor is stressing during October -- National Protect Your Hearing Month.

Exposure to loud noise can kill the nerving endings in the inner ear, causing permanent hearing damage. Unfortunately, while devices such as hearing aids can assist, nothing can reverse hearing damage once it occurs. Noise-induced hearing damage affects a person's ability to hear high frequency sounds and understand speech.

But how loud is too loud? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), if you need to raise your voice to speak to someone three feet away, noise levels may be exceeding 85 decibels. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.

Some situations pose obvious dangers for hearing damage. Working around jet engines, operating a jack hammer or using a chainsaw for long periods all qualify as extreme noise environments. But plenty of other less obvious workplaces can pose a risk as well.
"We had never been concerned about noise levels at our job sites because we always felt the levels would be below the permissible exposure level," said Stephennie Brumley, Health and Safety Officer for Andrews Engineering in Springfield.

However, about a year ago, Andrew Engineering began working with Illinois OSHA - a division of IDOL - in pursuit of the top national workplace safety ranking, which it achieved earlier this month. Illinois OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program staff explained that as part of the process, testing would need to be done to ensure that job site noise levels were below allowable levels.

After completing noise testing, Andrews Engineering found peak levels were high enough to warrant a hearing conservation program for its field staff, something Brumley says the company has now instituted.

While specially calibrated instruments are used to do OSHA testing for noise levels, a slightly less sophisticated device is easily available for anyone curious about the noise levels around them. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offers a free download of a sound level meter for any IOS-operating device.

The louder the noise, the less time you need to be exposed to it to suffer hearing damage. A worker who is consistently exposed to 85 decibels for an eight-hour shift, should be provided some form of hearing protection or mitigation.

Noise mitigation can take several forms and can often be accomplished without great expense or engineering. Some simple steps include keeping machinery properly lubricated, choosing low-noise tools and machinery, placing barriers between the noise source and workers. Employers can also reduce the amount of time a worker spends in a noisy area and provide quiet areas for relief from hazardous noise levels.

If it is not possible to reduce noise to safe levels, hearing protection devices such as earplugs and earmuffs should be used to protect workers.

For more information on Illinois OSHA, please visit

IDOL Releases Top 5 Safety Violations for Illinois Transportation Departments 
Worker safety is the primary mission of the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Illinois Department of Labor. Documenting dangers is one way to avoid them in the future. With that in mind, Illinois OSHA is releasing the Top 5 safety violations Illinois transportation departments received in fiscal year 2019.
Illinois OSHA's jurisdiction is over public employees while federal OSHA covers private sector employees.

Top 5 Transportation Safety Violations

1. Personal Protective Equipment - This involves providing and requiring the use of protective equipment wherever it is necessary, including personal protective equipment for eyes,  face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers and maintaining the equipment in a sanitary and reliable condition.
2. Head Protection - This involves requiring the employer to ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.
3. Asbestos -- This involves regulations concerning occupational exposures to asbestos.
4. Flammable Liquids - This involves the proper storage and safety precautions to be taken around flammable liquids.
5.  Hazard communications - This involves providing label warnings of hazardous chemicals, data sheets for such hazardous materials and training of employees on these hazards.

Illinois OSHA protects the health and safety of public employees through the inspection, investigation and evaluation of public facilities and working conditions to ensure compliance with occupational safety and health standards and conducts educational and advisory activities to assure safe and healthy working conditions.

Illinois OSHA is partially funded by two federal grants. The State Plan is a shared 50 percent state/50 percent federal funding. The On-Site Consultation Cooperative Agreement is funded 90 percent by a federal grant with 10 percent state funding.
Illinois' No Salary History and Equal Pay Toolkit Now Available
WorkNet New
Illinois No Salary History and Equal Pay Toolkit  Now Available 
Illinois's new No Salary History law went into effect on September 29th, which means that employers will no longer be allowed to ask job applicants for past wages during the hiring process. It's a huge victory for equal pay! The practice of using past pay to determine salary offers is a major contributing factor to the gender wage gap.

We want to make sure all of Illinois knows about this win for economic justice! So Women Employed has created a toolkit to help job applicants understand their rights, employers understand their responsibilities, and advocates spread the word. As a valued partner of Women Employed, we share a belief that women deserve equal opportunity at economic security and advancement for themselves, their families, and their communities. We want to make sure you have access to this toolkit to share with your personal and professional networks, as well as the communities you serve!

Included in the toolkit, you will find:
  • Resources for employers, to help them comply with the law and go further to advance pay equity.
  • Resources for job seekers, to help them understand their new rights, and to give them tips on what to do if they are still asked for their salary history.
  • Sample social media posts and language for e-newsletters and emails, to make it easy to spread the word!
You can access the toolkit here. If you have any questions, please reach out to Mary Kay Devine at, or by phone at 312-782-3902, x224.
SBA News

National Veterans Small Business Week
Just like the military, entrepreneurship is not a solo mission - although it can feel like it. Join us as we celebrate, connect, and empower service members (including National Guard and Reserve), veteran, and military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners-past, present, and future-during National Veterans Small Business Week. (Although these events are designed with veterans in mind, all current or potential small business owners are welcome.)
SBA Disaster Assistance for Illinois Businesses - Deadline November 25
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) encourages businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to apply for a disaster loan for physical damage before the Nov. 25 deadline. Anyone in the declared counties in Illinois with damages caused by severe storms and flooding on June 26 - 28, 2019 should apply for the SBA disaster loan assistance .
The declaration covers Cook and Will Counties and the adjacent counties of Dupage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, and McHenry in Illinois; and Lake County in Indiana.
Businesses and nonprofits can apply up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Loans for working capital, known as Economic Injury Disaster Loans, are available even if the business did not suffer any physical damage. Homeowners can apply up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate. Homeowners and renters can apply up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property including automobiles.
Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines loan amounts and terms based on each applicant's circumstances.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA's secure website at .
Additional details on the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can also be downloaded at Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 25, 2019. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 26, 2020.

Small Business Awards Nominations
National Small Business Week will take place May 3-9, 2020. Nominations are now open for SBA's Small Business Week Awards! In addition to the typical national awards - Small Business Person of the Year, Exporter of the Year, 8(a) Graduate of the Year - the SBA Illinois District has also added some new categories this year, including Young Entrepreneur of the Year, an Encore Entrepreneur of the Year, a Rural Small Business of the Year, and a Family-Owned Business of the Year. Nomination forms and guidelines are available at and . The deadline to apply is January 7, 2020.

Answers to 5 Questions About Overtime Rules
There's no law-federal or state-that caps the number of hours a person can work (other than for minors). But if you are an employer, be sure to understand that working past 40 hours triggers overtime rules for certain employees. Some of these rules have been around for years, while others are new. Here's what you need to know for 2020 and beyond.  Read more.  
News from the IRS 
Tax Treatment for Family Members Working in the Family Business
One of the advantages of someone running their own business is hiring family members. But when including family members in business operations, certain tax treatments and employment tax rules apply. Here are some facts to know when working with a spouse, parent or child.

Both spouses carrying on the trade or business
If spouses carry on a business together and share in the profits and losses, they may be partners whether or not they have a formal partnership agreement. If so, they should report income or loss from the business on Form 1065. They should not report the income on a Schedule C (Form 1040) in the name of one spouse as a sole proprietor. But, the spouses can elect not to treat the joint venture as a partnership by making a qualified joint venture election. 

Qualified joint venture
Spouses may elect treatment as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership. A qualified joint venture conducts a trade or business where:
  • The only members are a married couple who file a joint return,
  • Both spouses materially participate in the trade or business, and
  • Both spouses elect not to be treated as a partnership.
Only businesses owned and operated by spouses as co-owners and not in the name of a state law entity, such as a limited partnership or limited liability company, are eligible for the qualified joint venture election. Find more information on joint ventures in Publication 541, Partnerships.
Spouses electing qualified joint venture status are sole proprietors for federal tax purposes. Each spouse must file a separate Schedule C to report their share of profits and losses. They don't need an EIN unless their sole proprietorship must file excise, employment, alcohol, tobacco or firearms returns. One spouse cannot continue to use the partnership's Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the qualified joint venture. The EIN must stay with the partnership; it's used by the partnership for any year in which the business doesn't meet qualified joint venture requirements.

Employment taxes
If the business has employees, either of the spouses as sole proprietors may report and pay the employment taxes. The spouse, as an employer, must have an EIN for their sole proprietorship. If the business filed or paid employment taxes for part of the year under the partnership's EIN, the spouse may be considered the employee's "successor employer" for purposes of figuring whether wages reached the Social Security and federal unemployment wage base limits.
One spouse employed by another
The wages for the services of an individual who works for their spouse are subject to income tax withholding and Social Security and Medicare taxes but not to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).
Child employed by parents
Payments for the services of a child under age 18 aren't subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes, if the business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership in which each partner is a parent of the child. Payments to a child under age 21 aren't subject to FUTA. Payments are subject to income tax withholding, regardless of the child's age.
Payments for the services of a child are subject to income tax withholding as well as Social Security, Medicare and FUTA taxes if they work for:
  • A corporation, even if it's controlled by the child's parent, or
  • A partnership, even if the child's parent is a partner, unless each partner is a parent of the child.
Parent employed by child
The wages for the services of a parent employed by their child are subject to income tax withholding and Social Security and Medicare taxes. They're not subject to FUTA tax.
Employees complete Form W-4 so that their employer can withhold the correct federal income tax from their pay. The IRS encourages everyone to use the Tax Withholding Estimator to help them make sure they have the right amount of tax withheld from their paycheck. The estimator automatically links to Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, which they can then fill out and submit to their employer.

More information:
EFPTS Helps Small Business Employers Keep an Eye on Tax Responsibilities
The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System has features that can help small business employers meet their tax obligations. Treasury regulations require employment tax deposits be made electronically. Whether employers prepare and submit payroll taxes themselves or hire a payroll service provider, payments should be made using EFTPS.   

This system is secure, accurate, easy to use and provides immediate confirmation of each transaction. Anyone can use EFTPS. The service is free of charge and allows employers to make and verify federal tax payments electronically 24 hours a day, seven days a week online or by phone.

Employers who use a payroll service provider can verify that payments are made by using EFTPS online. Visit the EFTPS webpage to learn more. Employers can enroll at, or by calling the EFTPS Customer Service at 800-555-4477 for an enrollment form.

The IRS recommends that employers do not change their address of record to that of their payroll service provider because it may limit the their ability to be informed about tax matters concerning their business.
Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program 
EPA, U.S. Army Repeal 2015 Rule Defining "Waters of the United States" Ending Regulatory Patchwork
At an event in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Department of the Army Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James announced that the agencies are repealing a 2015 rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. The agencies are also recodifying the longstanding and familiar regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule-ending a regulatory patchwork that required implementing two competing Clean Water Act regulations, which has created regulatory uncertainty across the United States.
Today's rule is the first step-Step 1-in a two-step rulemaking process to define the scope of "waters of the United States" that are regulated under the Clean Water Act. Step 1 provides regulatory certainty as to the definition of "waters of the United States" following years of litigation surrounding the 2015 Rule. The two federal district courts that have reviewed the merits of the 2015 Rule found that the rule suffered from certain errors and issued orders remanding the 2015 Rule back to the agencies. Multiple other federal district courts have preliminarily enjoined the 2015 Rule pending a decision on the merits of the rule. In this action, EPA and the Army jointly conclude that multiple substantive and procedural errors warrant a repeal of the 2015 Rule. For example, the 2015 Rule:
  • Did not implement the legal limits on the scope of the agencies' authority under the Clean Water Act as intended by Congress and reflected in Supreme Court cases.
  • Failed to adequately recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of states to manage their own land and water resources.
  • Approached the limits of the agencies' constitutional and statutory authority absent a clear statement from Congress.
  • Suffered from certain procedural errors and a lack of adequate record support as it relates to the 2015 Rule's distance-based limitations.
With this final repeal, the agencies will implement the pre-2015 regulations, which are currently in place in more than half of the states, informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice. The final rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
In December 2018, EPA and the Army proposed a new definition-Step 2-that would clearly define where federal jurisdiction begins and ends in accordance with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court precedent. In the proposal, the agencies provide a clear definition of the difference between federally regulated waterways and those waters that rightfully remain solely under state authority.  Additional information is available at:
The final Step 1 rule follows President Trump's Executive Order 13778, "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." Section 1 of the Executive Order states that "[i]t is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution." The Executive Order also directs the EPA and the Department of the Army to review the 2015 Rule for consistency with the policy outlined in Section 1 of the order and to issue a proposed rule rescinding or revising the 2015 Rule as appropriate and consistent with law.
For more information visit the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program website at:
Upcoming Events
SBIR Workshop for Illinois Entrepreneurs and Researchers
The Illinois Small Business Development Center Network in partnership with the Illinois PTAC at Western Illinois University, the University of Illinois Research Park and Southern Illinois University Carbondale Research Park are teaming up to provide an SBIR workshop/webinar for Illinois entrepreneurs and researchers. The workshop will be held at SIUC's Dunn Richmond Economic Development Center, Monday, November 18th from 8:30 to noon.
A live stream and moderation of the SBIR workshop will be offered at the following 4 locations:
  • Illinois PTAC at the Joseph Center, Forest Park, IL
  • Illinois SBDC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL
  • Illinois SBDC at Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
  • Illinois PTAC at the Women's Business Development Center, Chicago IL
This workshop will cover who is eligible for SBIR funding and the basics for a good application. Participants will also learn about SBIR's funding phases and grant application tips. For more information on SBIR eligibility please visit
Workshop on-site location
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
Webinar Satelite Location(s)
Joseph Business School - Forest Park
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Western Illinois University - Macomb
* Participants who attend the on-site location will have an opportunity for a brief one-on-one session to discuss their specific proposal ideas. This WILL NOT be offered for the on-line participants.
Design Build Contractors Forum 
Design Build Vendors Forum - Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy November 4
Join the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) in PARTNERING FOR PROGRESS. The CDB is planning their largest construction project to date with this exciting design-build opportunity. Vendors are invited to come learn about the transformation of the campus at the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy as well as how to prepare for the upcoming issuance of the design-build Request for Proposal. At the event vendors will obtain information on the prequalification and registration requirements to do business with the CDB. A networking expo will follow the formal presentation. This will be a great opportunity for contractors, architects, engineers, subcontractors, consultants and for firms owned by minorities, women, and veterans.
  • Learn about the Quincy campus transformation project including:
    • Site plan
    • Demolition
    • Renovation
    • New Construction
    • Utilities
    • Design-Build Process
  • Contractors and architect/engineers interested in leading a team are encouraged to host a booth to meet potential teaming partners
  • Obtain information on the prequalification and registration requirements to do business with the CDB
This event will be held on Monday, November 4th from 1:00PM - 3:00 PM at Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy, Lippincott Hall, 1707 North 12th Street, Quincy, IL 62301. 

For more information, contact Janet Henderson at
Spotlight on Success
Spotlight on Success- Chenoa Fitness Center
With a long-running enjoyment of working out and a commitment to fitness as a way of life, the Cerda family dreamt about owning a gym. They had no doubt that it could be a success in their hometown of Chenoa. After years of garage and basement gyms, they noticed a "for sale" sign at the Antique Mall in Chenoa, perfectly located at the junction of Route 24, Route 66, and Interstate 55. Three months of renovations were necessary to make the building suitable for a fitness center. During this process, Dylan Cerda finished up his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and then opened the Chenoa Fitness Center just days later!

Owner John Cerda and his family knew that a solid business plan was necessary to acquire funding for a huge fitness center. They reached out to the Illinois Wesleyan University SBDC for assistance, revision, and finalization of their bank financing application - and the bank approved funding! The Cerda's have truly coined the term "fitness mall." The Chenoa Fitness Center is a fitness paradise with a pristine gym, nutrition shop, café, tanning beds, sauna, hair salon, gymnastics club, fitness classes, and more in a friendly atmosphere. There is something for everyone, including classes for 2-year-old children and nursing home residents, with everything in between. The café offers WIFI, coffee, smoothies, and protein drink's all day. For people who have never been to a gym or are clueless as how to start, there are personal trainers and a nutritionist to help.

The Cerda's say, "Since we opened, the SBDC has continued to push us with exciting marketing strategies for social media, websites, and radio advertising. We look forward to continued growth with a little helpful guidance from the SBDC!"
November 2019
Helpful Links
Start a Business - Illinois Small Business Development Center (Illinois SBDC)
Illinois First Stop Business Information Center
Illinois Angel Investment Tax Credit Program
Illinois Secretary of State Business Services
Comment on Any State of Illinois Proposed Rule
How Can We Help You?

Illinois Small Business Development Centers are located throughout the state and provide information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources and services for start-up and existing small businesses.

Whether your company employs two people or 102, you need a strong network behind you to succeed. And that's where the Illinois Small Business Development Center comes in. SBDC partners with well-respected business development organizations and educational institutions to assist you in maximizing your potential to grow and attract investors. SBDC connects you to the experts, tools and opportunities that translate into endless possibilities!
The Illinois SBDC program is located within the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. For more information please click here.

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