From the city of Rockford:
Donated Building to House Minority- and Women-Owned Business Accelerator
ROCKFORD, Ill. – Today, Peter and Heather Provenzano donated a 20,000 square feet, vacant building at 1311 N. Main Street to the City of Rockford. The City will make improvements, renovations and remediation before leasing the space at no cost to Think Big, a local non-profit, to open a Minority- and Women-Owned Business Accelerator.
“Our donation and support are more than just a building,” says Peter Provenzano, President & CEO of Joseph James Partners and SupplyCore Inc. “Heather and I are committed to ongoing support of this new partnership between the City of Rockford and Think Big that improves access to education and mentoring and ultimately accelerates opportunities for local minority and women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Think Big was established in 2018 to provide small business development programing to entrepreneurs who have historically had additional challenges in accessing traditional business development resources. In addition to one-on-one consulting services for individual entrepreneurs, the non-profit has hosted a business resource fair and graduated 29 entrepreneurs through its business development boot camp. In the new Business Accelerator, Think Big will provide a small business incubator, technical assistance and training, and other similar business development services to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the community.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the City of Rockford to make our dream of a Business Development Center a reality,” says Sheila Hill, co-founder of Think Big.
“We know all too well how difficult it is for minorities and women to start and expand their businesses, and we look forward to helping our local entrepreneurs eliminate those barriers,” says Duntai Mathews, co-founder of Think Big.
The City will also provide $250,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) annually to help support the center.
“We know small businesses and entrepreneurs were tremendously impacted by COVID-19,” says Mayor Tom McNamara.
“We also know that women and minorities are the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs. This facility will help ensure that those who want to open a business in Rockford will do so successfully!”
The agreements for this project will be up for approval at Committees tonight and at Council in the coming weeks.
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