Targeted, industry-specific, technical, and financial assistance to Southland businesses

The SDA, with its Small Business Development Center (Illinois SBDC @SSEGI), has launched the Equitable Recovery Stimulus Program (“Stimulus Program”) – which provides targeted, industry-specific, technical, and financial assistance to Southland businesses. A business’ progression through the Stimulus Program is outlined below, to assist mentors/specialists in gaining familiarity with the program structure. 



The SDA outreach team – in conjunction with industry partners – identifies firms in the Southland in need of assistance, directing them to complete the intake form: 



The SDA connects firms to Relationship Managers, who screen businesses, confirm their eligibility for the Stimulus Program, and fill out a 1-page writeup outlining their needs. A Management Committee reviews the writeup and identifies a mentor for the business. 



One of the three Relationship Managers (listed below) introduce the mentor to the business: 



Mentors have a 1-hour deeper diagnostic call with the business owner to identify a scope of services that the mentor will deliver, in conjunction with specialists. The Relationship Manager is available to address questions and help put this together. The mentor proposes a simple workplan and budget (e.g., workplan template), which is approved by the Management Committee and executed through the Stimulus Program’s Professional Services Agreement (and business-specific Assignment Addendum). While the scope will vary, on average: 

  • Mentors receive $5,000 per business 
  • Specialists receive $2,000 per business 



Deliver the agreed-upon business technical and financial assistance. Check-in with the business’ Relationship Manager to report on progress or discuss successes/challenges. 



Complete a close-out form, which links directly into the Stimulus Program’s tracking software. At a high level, this will include (1) hours of advising provided and (2) outcomes realized by the business. More specifically the form will include: 

  • Duration: Date connected with business; date mentorship is completed 
  • Hours: Total # of hours of service provided 
  • Service provided: # of new initiatives implemented (e.g., strategic initiatives, organizational improvements, operational improvements, financial improvements) 
  • Support services utilized: specialists or partner programs you have connected to the business