September 16, 2020

--CARES Act provides $160,000 in supplemental funding to WISBDC--

The Workforce and Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Illinois College is able to expand opportunities to area small businesses through an expansion of funds provided to the program through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

The WISBDC is expected to receive $160,000 in supplemental funding. Program Director Lori Cox said this funding will provide critical assistance to business owners who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small businesses in Southeastern Illinois have been impacted by the pandemic immensely,” said Cox. “We (the WISBDC) have worked to support and assist our clients, small-business owners and entrepreneurs, by assisting with financing, understanding mandates and guidelines, and so much more. This additional funding will give our clients new opportunities for growth and sustainability and will give our center the ability to provide a greater impact in our region.”

Cox encourages business owners to take advantage of these new services and learn more about the services offered by Illinois’ SBDCs by visiting our social media pages, our website (,) or visiting the state network site:

The WISBDC at Southeastern Illinois College is a part of the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network which serves as a dynamic, integrated, small business assistance delivery system.  The Network's mission is to increase the competitiveness, profitability and growth of Illinois businesses in a global economy.  The WISBDC has been developed through a partnership involving the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the college as a service to Illinois small businesses in Gallatin, Hardin, Pope, Saline and White counties and portions of Hamilton, Johnson and Williamson counties.

The $160,000 in supplemental funding for the WISBDC will be used to provide additional assistance in the areas of disaster planning, workplace health and safety measures, cybersecurity, and online sales and web integration. This additional assistance for small-business owners will be provided through consultants specialized in those areas.

In cooperation with the Egyptian Health Department, Kari Lane will assist WISBDC clients in the areas of disaster planning and workplace safety. Kari Lane has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health and a master's degree in Public Service Administration. She has been working at Egyptian Health Department as an Environmental Health Practitioner for over nine years. As part of Environmental Health, Kari performs routine food establishment inspections, private sewage installation inspections, water well installation inspections, and monitoring for West Nile Virus.
Kari also works in Emergency Preparedness providing education about how to prepare for hazards and also participating in training exercises to help Egyptian Health and the local area be ready in case an emergency occurs.

Mike Shelton, Information Technology Specialist, will provide clients with training and assistance in cybersecurity and information technology. Shelton currently works as a network administrator for a local financial institution, has also worked in information technology in various capacities and is a veteran with the U.S. Army Reserves.

Southeastern Illinois College President Dr. Jonah Rice said the additional funding for the WISBDC is an incredible opportunity for business owners in our region.

“SIC is very pleased by receiving these additional funds in order to help provide vital services to our local small businesses,” said Rice. “We are proud to serve and support our local economy.” 

Lane and Shelton are now available to meet with clients. To become a client or to learn more about these additional programs, please contact Arla Murphy, Business Development Specialist at the WISBDC at or 618-252-5400 ext. 2312.