Peoria County is happy to announce that 13 local entrepreneurs were recently awarded grants of $5000 each through the Start A Business Greater Peoria initiative. The Peoria County Board has allocated American Rescue Plan Act funds to support this program.
Lawrence HardinMt. Olympus Training, LLC
Khary HollisTrujoy Beauty Supply, LLC
Patrese JacksonThe Perfect Venue, LLC
Yevette JemisonFamily Mini-Mart & Grocery, LLC
Victoria LarsonBlack Sheep Coffee
Holly MosackMoxie Fitness Apparel Corp
Sheree PannellTranzme, LLC
Stephanie RossA New View Cleaning Service, LLC
Michelle SandersImpressive Diva Solutions, LLC
Steven SnookJesus Speaks
Treveon ThompsonThompson's Carpet King LLC\
Holly WalkerRiver Kitty Café
“I am ecstatic to have received this award to help my small business!” stated Stephanie Ross, owner of A New View Cleaning Service. “I would especially like to give thanks to the program mentors for guiding me, being patient, and providing me with all the information needed to help my business thrive.”
“This is the second round of grants the committee has given this year, for a total of $95,000 given to support local startups,” said Dr. Eden S. Blair, chairperson of Peoria County’s Advisory Committee for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. “Our goal in creating this platform was to make sure that everyone, no matter their networks, could access resources and mentorship to help take their venture from idea to reality. Each of the 13 founders in this round are from a group underrepresented in Peoria County’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Start A Business Greater Peoria, available at www.StartABusinessGP.org, is a free online resource for those looking to start a business or who are in the early stages of development. The goal of the program is to connect community members to the right resources, at the right time, on their startup journey. The program was launched in October 2022.
Each of the recipients completed the Start A Business Greater Peoria program, making them well-positioned to be successful entrepreneurs. Their ideas and work have been vetted by at least two mentors in the Greater Peoria entrepreneurial ecosystem, and each worked through the following four steps:
1. Customer Development – test the idea and determine customer base
2. Nuts and Bolts – dig into the logistical details of starting a business and legal necessities
3. Financials – plan for all the financial obligations of the business
4. Getting Out There – craft the brand and message to reach target customers
The free program is open to anyone in the Central Illinois area to use. Entrepreneurs who have completed the program and have their business located in Peoria County, or residence in Peoria County for home-based businesses, are eligible to apply for the grant portion of the program. Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
The idea for Start A Business Greater Peoria came out of the Peoria County Board’s Advisory Committee for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. The committee includes representatives from the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Minority Business Resource Center, Small Business Development Center, SCORE, and Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The advisory committee members also serve as the grant selection team.