SECC partners with bank to help small businesses

Contributing Writer

The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) and The PrivateBank have partnered to develop a small business owners training program.

The Small Business Capital Infusion Retail Credit & Loans for Entrepreneurs (CIRCLE) program is a 15-week training program that offers classes covering a variety of topics including Business Concept and Feasibility Reviews; Business Entity Structure, Professional Services; Financing Your Business; and Developing a Business Outline and Timeline.

Eric Reaves, program manager for the Hyde Park-based SECC, said another goal for the program is to provide capital to business owners and entrepreneurs to promote economic development throughout neighborhoods.

“Thanks to The PrivateBank, loans will be available for up to $25,000 for two of the three programs being offered, and up to $10,000 for third program,” Reaves said.

Reaves said the program is quickly filling up and those interested should register online immediately. As of May 2, Reaves said, 10 people signed up for the training program, which can accommodate up to 50. The program runs from June 5 to Sept. 25 and classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every Monday in the Community Room at the Preservation of Affordable Housing Inc., 6129 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Early registration for the Small Business program began May 2 and ends May 15 and costs $150. Afterwards, registration will run from May 16 to June 5, but the fee increases to $300, Reaves said. To register online, go to

Another training class will begin January 2018 for those unable to attend the first class, said Reaves, who will be one of the program instructors.

“This is an ongoing program that will continue into the future,” Reaves said. “Owning your own business allows you to build a legacy that can be passed on to second and third generations.”