What people are saying


 Johann Hayag. Aktibo Athletics

"Mike provided us a solid foundation by giving us action items to accomplish which helped us build our business plan and create valuable connections. He has a lot of general advice from his own experience working as an entrepreneur, which helped us create our own vision of what we wanted to become.  Having an experience resource that we could ask questions at any time gave us the opportunity to get where we are today," said Johann, one of the partners.  In addition to the advising piece, Mike assisted them with the Growth Wheel, financial projections, and marketing strategies. 


Cherry Valley Garden Center

John and I purchased the Cherry Valley Garden Center on Valentine's day of 2020. We have lived in the village of Cherry Valley for the past 6 years always looking for properties in the area to invest in. Our real estate agent has been by our side for years and showed us many properties. When I saw this for sale John was the one who said we should take a leap, and reluctantly, I agreed. He is very knowledgeable with technology and repair which made the decision easier. It needed a lot of upgrades and maintenance. Plus he had more faith in me than I had in myself, pushing me way outside of my comfort zone. Our banker mentioned the SBDC and we met with them to help us write a business plan and dig through the P&L’s. By doing our due diligence with the SBDC It was definite plus knowing that we could be profitable and run a self-sustaining business.

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Kathy Crandall. Crandall Stats & Sensors Inc.

CS&S is so very fortunate to be working with an outstanding local organization, the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Rockford Chamber of Commerce. Edward Caceres, a consultant at SBDC, has graciously worked with us to improve our social media and You Tube presence. This will help to get the word out that Crandall Stats and Sensors can help area businesses with wire sets, tool design and production, thru-hole circuit boards, and other high mix/low volume manufacturing. We also are the manufacturers of some legacy Barber Colman HVAC products.
The Rockford Area is so very blessed to have Edward Caceres and the SBDC! Thank you, Edward!


Keayonia Starks. Kellie Cheree Candles

I am the Owner and maker of Kellie Cheree Candles. I have been in busy for 2 almost 3 years. I absolutely love what I do. Last April I had the privilege to do my first presentation at 1 million cups Rockford. One of the best experiences of my life. Soon after I met with Edward and he has helped me tremendously with my business. Since working with Edward I am more confident than ever and business is becoming everything that I’ve imagined. He’s always there when I need him for help or any questions I may have. I am so blessed that he is apart of my journey! Thank you Edward. 

SBDC rocks! 


Eduardo Cobos. ESCO Properties LLC

Around December 2017, I got assistance from Edward at the SBDC to create a business plan. We registered our business and received coaching to secure financing.

Shortly after completing our business plan, Edward referred us to a local lender and my business partner, and I have successfully closed on our business loan with Rockford Bank and Trust.  Jorge Herrera our Commercial Lender is a very pleasant and professional person to work with. Thank you SBDC for all the help you provide to Small Businesses in the Area.

Spotlight on Success


Vanessa Burton. The Pain Relief Clinic

I absolutely LOVE the services that SBDC has to offer! They helped me develop my business plan, build a website, and now they are assisting me with marketing my business. I am so happy that I found them!! They guide you on how to develop yourself into a business person, and that combined with your talent equals continued success and true entrepreneurship!!! Thank you so much SBDC!! 

Cherry Valley Garden. John & Amy Randolph

SeaBreeze NEMT. Brisa Berumen

Wooly Bee Farm. Sue Ziller

Crandall Stats & Sensors. Schscha Lofquist

Wooly Bee Farm. Sue Ziller

East State Antique Mall. Dennis Luinstra

Evendor & Evolution. Jalen Ponder