Representative Lauren Underwood Visits Joliet Junior College to Celebrate Federal Funding for Entrepreneur and Business Center

Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) visited Joliet Junior College to celebrate over $350,000 in federal funding she secured for the college’s Entrepreneur and Business Center (EBC).  

This funding will expand the EBC’s capacity to provide no-cost services to new and existing entrepreneurs through education and training to help them build their companies. 

"JJC is extremely grateful for the partnership of Congresswoman Underwood and her work on behalf of several deserving organizations within the 14th District," remarked JJC President Dr. Clyne G. H. Namuo. “This funding will allow the Entrepreneur and Business Center to serve more of our population than ever before and make a significant, positive impact on the district’s business community.”

During the visit on Jan. 19, Underwood had the opportunity to meet Nicole Grajek (PT Grajek Corp.), Iyeisha Ellis (Zoe Apparel-concept in progress), Jasmine Allen (J. Alexandra’s) and LeAnn Drake (Fusion Hair Salon & Fusion Academy), all recent clients of the EBC who are in various stages of business operations. Each had the opportunity to share their personal experience with the EBC and its services.  

The EBC offers consultations, resources, and seminars to assist entrepreneurs with the start-up or expansion of their business. Services are provided at no cost to those within the district and include workshops and classes on small business financing acquisition, marketing strategies, technical assistance and one-on-one business advising and more. The EBC also partners with local business organizations, including chambers of commerce, centers for economic development, workforce investment boards and other educational services. 

This funding was submitted by Underwood through the Community Project Funding initiative, through which Members can help direct federal funding to projects that address the most pressing needs throughout northern Illinois. In 2022, Underwood selected 14 other projects that will directly benefit the 14th district. A list of all of the projects selected within the 14th District is available on the Congresswoman’s website. 

 “From my first day in Congress, I have been focused on bringing federal resources home to northern Illinois,” said Underwood. “I was thrilled to secure more than $20 million in federal funding for the 14th district in this year’s federal funding package, which includes $350,000 in federal funding for Joliet Junior College’s Entrepreneur and Business Center. These resources are a massive boost for local entrepreneurs as they build their companies, reinvigorate local economies, and continue to serve our community.” 

Business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in becoming a client of the Entrepreneur and Business Center should contact the EBC directly to set up a consultation.   

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