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November 3, 2011

Advantage Illinois Initiative Promotes Innovation

Economic innovation plays a major role in producing sustainable economic prosperity and enhancing the global competitiveness of regions like ours. Funding for commercialization is crucial, and the availability of venture capital is an important factor that can create incentives for innovation and innovation-to-market success.

Last month, the state launched Advantage Illinois, a new $78 million initiative to support small and startup businesses. The effort has four funding programs that support the GO TO 2040 recommendations related to financially supporting economic innovation. The Invest Illinois Venture Fund (IIVF) aims to support young, innovative Illinois businesses that demonstrate high growth potential. The program's three other components focus on spurring institutional lending. They include the Capital Access program (CAP), the Participation Loan program (PLP), and the Collateral Support program (CSP). Such activities offer an array of financial resources, technical assistance, and support networks necessary to encourage and fuel innovation.

Advantage Illinois is funded through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which was part of the 2010 American Small Business Jobs Act. For more information on other state programs designed to support Illinois businesses and help them thrive, visit www.ilbiz.biz.