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Financing Assistance for Businesses: The Advantage Illinois Program

Financing Assistance for Businesses: The Advantage Illinois Program
September 6, 2023 Billy George

Last week, the Partnership hosted Robert Owen, business development specialist with the Department of Commerce & Economic to present the Advantage Illinois program to local Stephenson County lenders. The Advantage Illinois program is a loan participation program that can assist businesses to secure financing.

The program participates in the loan by purchasing a portion of the loan lowering the risk for the lenders. The program goal is to help businesses grow, expand, and create new jobs in Illinois at a faster rate by enabling businesses who might not qualify for traditional financing because they lack collateral or have equity shortfalls, lack start-up cash flow, have a low credit score, or have a negative net worth. Loans can be used to purchase real estate, inventory, working capital, equipment, leasehold improvements and accounts receivable.

Businesses eligible for the program need to have less than 750 employees, operate in Illinois, be in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State, clear of any back taxes and have no bankruptcies, judgements, or liens in the past five years. Businesses not eligible for the program: cannabis-related, investment real estate, tobacco, adult entertainment, and gambling.

If your business needs financing and you feel you could benefit from this program, please contact your local lender. You can find out more about the program by visiting the Advantage Illinois website or contacting the Partnership office.

Andrea Schultz Winter is the Interim Executive Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. She can be reached at or 815-233-1354.


Source: DCEO website.