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Evans Public Library in Vandalia is one of about 60 Illinois public libraries selected to receive a “Business and Libraries Working Together” grant to assist local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“We are pleased to have been chosen as a recipient of the grant,” said Jessica Blain, director of the local library. “We hope the contents will be beneficial to the community.”
The grants came from the office of Jesse White, secretary of state and state librarian.
“Public libraries, like Evans Public Library, are cornerstones of our communities. Partnerships such as this between libraries, small businesses and aspiring employers can hopefully spur economic development and job creation in communities like Vandalia,” White said. “Highly skilled librarians and library staff are extremely valuable and reliable sources of information for small businesses and entrepreneurs. These business packages represent new tools that public libraries like Evans Public Library can utilize to promote business development and entrepreneurship.”
Funding for the business packages was obtained by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) through a $300,000 appropriation to the Small Business Administration. The criteria for awarding the package included local unemployment rate, proximity to and cooperation with a Small Business Development Center, Service Corps of Retired Employees (SCORE) office or chamber of commerce.
“Small businesses are key to our economic recovery,” Durbin said. “This funding will allow public libraries like Evans Public Library to offer information and assistance to small business owners in communities across Illinois. With these new resources and continued support from local public libraries, businesses throughout Illinois will grow and local economies will improve.”
Local business owners and entrepreneurs interested in working with the library on the initiative should contact Blain at 283-2824 or email@example.com.