Busey Partners with Community Leaders

Backed by our long-standing commitment of supporting local business owners and entrepreneurs, Busey is pleased to join Champaign County, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) and Justine PETERSEN, a financial asset-building non-profit organization, in the establishment of the COVID-19 Recovery: Champaign County Small Business Microloan Fund. The fund aims to help disadvantaged entrepreneurs in Champaign County gain access to affordable financial services.

“Small businesses drive progress in thriving communities, so we’re proud to be a partner in this exciting investment initiative to support entrepreneurs and business owners,” said Mark Wisniewski, Executive Vice President - Market President with Busey Bank. “Founded in Champaign County 155 years ago, we understand the unique challenges facing local small business owners. This fund creates vital opportunities for those who may not otherwise have access to essential financing—fulfilling their dreams, helping their business and growing our community.”

The loan fund, available to new and existing businesses, seeks to assist a minimum of 100 Champaign County entrepreneurs, focusing on those who do not qualify for traditional lending. A total of $2,000,000 is available in the fund, and eligible businesses located in Champaign County can access small business loans up to $50,000.

“As part of our strategic plan, we’ve been working to develop more opportunities for area small businesses to access capital,” said Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director of the CCEDC. “It has been a priority for our organization to partner with local and regional financial institutions and governmental agencies to increase these opportunities and to collaboratively address barriers minority businesses experience in accessing the capital needed to start and grow their businesses.”

Individuals and businesses interested in learning more about the COVID-19 Recovery: Champaign County Small Business Microloan Fund are encouraged to contact Tristan Brown, Justine PETERSEN’s Illinois Operations Manager, at tbrown@justinepetersen.org or 217.494.0884. Interested parties can also stop by the CCEDC office for open office hours on March 15 from 10-11 a.m., or on March 30 from 2-3 p.m. The CCEDC office is located at 1817 S. Neil St., Suite 100, in Champaign, IL.

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