2020 SUCCESS STORIES
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Illinois Hemp Grower's Association
Rachel Berry is the Founder and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association (IHGA). She's a first-generation farmer, a community organizer and educator, and an advocate for women in agriculture. Her work is dedicated to building the resources and relationships necessary to grow with sustainable and Equitable Illinois hemp industry. Rachel is a frequent statewide speaker at various hemp and agricultural education forums and events. She has also appeared on Chicago Today representing the IHGA and been featured in multiple press reports and blogs.
Rachel came to the SBDC with a dream of owning her own consulting business. Rachel met numerous times with both Stacy McCaskill, Executive Director as well as Justin Bergman, Advisor at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College to make that dream possible.
At each advising meeting, we tackled many different goals and challenges such as: selecting a form of ownership, taxation, operations, establishing a website, creating a comprehensive business and marketing plan, filing a trademark, and establishing connections to local farm bureaus and other contacts at the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The Illinois Hemp Growers Association, through the advising received in part by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College, is now expanding and accepting new membership to educate producers and consumers while representing the industry's best interests in Springfield and throughout the state of Illinois. The IHGA's goal is building the resources and relationships necessary to grow a sustainable and equitable hemp industry. The IHGA achieves its goal through preparation and distribution of education material, consultation, working with legislators and statewide media on the issues, and volunteerism.
After receiving advising with the SBDC, Rachael shared the following: “Stacy McCaskill and Justin Bergman are both very knowledgeable! They have been a real pleasure to work with and I would recommend them both to anyone looking for assistance through a SBDC.”
Phone: (815) 348-2211
Sarah Snow is a Licensed Massage Therapist with over 10 years of experience, along with a background in medical coding. Sarah is a resident of Rochelle and wants to support the community by starting her own business. So, Sarah did a search on Google and found the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College as a local resource to make her business a reality!
Sarah came to the SBDC with a dream of starting her own massage therapy business in Rochelle, Illinois. Sarah and her Advisor, Justin Bergman, at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College began the start-up planning process of discussing form of ownership, pricing, billing, finding a suitable location, discuss cash flow and operational costs, as well as referrals to the local Chambers of Commerce in our region. After formally discussing these topics, Sarah incorporated as a Limited Liability Company in Illinois as Hub Therapeutics LLC as well as getting all her tax accounts and location ready for the first day of business operations. We also reviewed the grant preparation process in hope of applying for small business grants in the future.
Hub Therapeutics LLC had their official ribbon cutting on March 10th and is now located at 951 South 7th Street, Suite D in Rochelle, Illinois. To learn more about Hub Therapeutics, visit them in person, call them at 815-608-8777, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Sarah reflected on her experience of working with the Illinois SBDC at Sauk Valley Community College and her Advisor, Justin Bergman, she had this to say: “The SBDC and my Advisor gave me advice, confidence, and continuous support when starting my business. I would recommend the SBDC to anyone working on a small business to schedule an appointment with them.”