Studio: 618-457-3691 • Office: 618-529-5900 • 224 N. Washington St. Carbondale IL 62901


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Date(s) - 01/17/2024 - 01/30/2024
12:00 am


CARBONDALE – The City of Carbondale, in collaboration with the Illinois Small Business Development
Center (SBDC) at SIU, proudly introduces a first-of-its-kind 10-week small business Accelerator Program. This
unique initiative is set to revolutionize small business support in Carbondale by offering seed funding to
empower startups and foster entrepreneurship in an underdeveloped area.
The City of Carbondale is the recipient of an $80,707 grant under the Energy Transition Community Grant
(ETCG) program, a component of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). This strategic initiative is
designed to mitigate the impact of fossil fuel plant or coal mine closures by providing funding for vital projects,
including workforce development, financial assistance for residents, and public infrastructure investment.
The allocation of these funds is dedicated to supporting local small businesses through the Carbondale
Accelerator Program. This program is aimed at fostering increased business opportunities, with a specific
emphasis on empowering women, minorities, and historically disadvantaged populations. The recognition of the
unique challenges faced by these groups in the entrepreneurial landscape underscores our commitment to
inclusive economic development.
“Access to capital is one of the biggest barriers to starting a new business, especially for those members of
historically disadvantaged populations”, said Steven Mitchell, the City of Carbondale’s Economic Development
Director. “Using start-up capital from grant funds provided by the State of Illinois, combined with first-class
entrepreneurship training from the SBDC at SIU, is a rare opportunity that will make a lasting impact for many
aspiring entrepreneurs and their families.”
The Illinois SBDC at SIU plays a pivotal role in supporting small businesses by offering invaluable resources,
mentorship, and education. Through the Carbondale Accelerator Program, the SBDC has created an educational
curriculum that empowers entrepreneurs with practical insights, tools, and one-on-one mentorship to navigate
the complexities of starting and growing their ventures successfully.
About Carbondale Accelerator Program
The program, conducted both in-person and virtually, is tailored to offer valuable insights, practical steps, and
one-on-one mentorships. Open to individuals aged 18 and above, participants must either reside or operate their
business in Carbondale, IL, and have a startup or an existing business operational for less than two years.

Successful completion of the program grants participants $1,250 in startup funding, with the potential to pitch
for additional funding of up to $5,000 before a panel of judges. The financial support aims to fuel the growth
and development of the participants’ ventures.
“It’s a great joy to be a part, even a small part, in assisting entrepreneurs in their journey. Witnessing their
success is a humbling reminder that our resources can significantly impact their growth,” said Yemisi Anderson,
Small Business Advisor at the Illinois SBDC at SIU.
In line with the City of Carbondale’s commitment to fostering economic development, this collaboration with
SBDC underscores the significance of community support in nurturing local businesses. As we strive to
enhance the entrepreneurial landscape, we encourage eligible candidates to apply today at
To apply for this transformative opportunity, interested individuals must submit their applications by January
30th, 2024. The program is set to commence on February 15, 2024.
How to apply
Apply online at For more information call 618-536-2424 or email
The Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with
the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and
Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
For further information or media inquiries, please contact the Illinois SBDC at SIU at (618)536-2424.
Sidebar: Learn more about Carbondale Accelerator Program
Media Contact:
City of Carbondale’s Public Relations Officer at 618-457-3262
Yemisi Anderson, program coordinator at Il SBDC at SIU, 618-536-2424 or email

For more information, contact the City of Carbondale’s Public Relations Officer at 618-457-3262
“Carbondale prides itself on providing its visitors, students, businesses and residents with a unique mix of edge
and ease. It’s a cultural town, yet free of pretense, embracing the great outdoors as readily as urban
sophistication. Here, we are open to new ideas, experiences and cultures, so you are encouraged to both
express yourself and be yourself, in all ways. That’s Carbondale…All Ways Open… forfamily, fun, business,
new ideas and a bright tomorrow.”


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