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SBDC for Metro East Assists Business Through 'Shear Madness'
Illinois Ag Connection - 10/29/2020

LaTonia Bornnard, owner of Shear Madness, LLC, a beauty salon and barber shop, as well as event space located in East St. Louis, began working with the Illinois Small Business Development Center for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville amid the COVID-19 pandemic to secure a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Bornnard was struggling with the countless challenges small businesses have faced during the pandemic and reached out to the SBDC for guidance. SBDC Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May and her staff began assisting Bornnard, specifically with an application for the Small Business Administration (SBA) PPP loan.

The PPP loan helps small businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, through the CARES Act, the SBDC was able to add Devon Moody-Graham as minority outreach advisor for East St. Louis and St. Clair County. Graham has a range of networking connections and valuable advising experience. She took over Bornnard's case, assisted through the application process and helped to successfully receive a PPP loan.

"The SBDC has been a great resource for me," Bornnard shared. "Devon was there to walk me through every step of the process. It was difficult and time consuming, but she was always there to help me through it."

"As an area native and business strategist, I absolutely love working within the Greater East St. Louis area and seeing our business owners prepared to receive capital in order to grow," Moody-Graham said. "Lack of capital is a huge challenge in urban areas like this, but thankfully the Illinois SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE is committed to seeing minority businesses succeed. Through their partnership with my company, CEOMom Empire LLC, we are making sure that minority business owners are prepared and set up to succeed."

Thanks to Moody-Graham's assistance and the SBDC, Bornnard plans to use the PPP loan to get her business back on its feet, with hopes to reopen in the near future.

Shear Madness, LLC is located at 110 N Main St. in East St. Louis, and can be contacted at 618-741-3644.

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE helps Illinois businesses find solutions to the present challenges, as well as ways to survive and thrive in these challenging times. If any business is in need of similar assistance, or assistance of any kind, contact the SBDC at 618-650-2929 or

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up and existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region's economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

To learn more, contact the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at 618-650-2929.

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