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Illinois Ag News Headlines
Small Business Development Center Client to Celebrate First Year
Illinois Ag Connection - 01/14/2020

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will celebrate Empyre Laundry's first anniversary in East St. Louis on Jan. 19.

Empyre Laundry owner Maria Jones provides commercial-grade, self-service laundry and laundry cleaning services. Customers are able to utilize a clean, comfortable and safe setting with various sized washers and dryers. Empyre also offers a drop-off service for $1 per pound.

"I am absolutely thrilled the community has supported Empyre Laundry during the past year, giving me the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary," Jones shared.

A passionate entrepreneur, Jones first decided to open Empyre Laundry upon realizing that numerous East St. Louis area laundromats had closed. She knew this business was a necessity for the community and wanted to fill that need.

Jones is proud to provide the East St. Louis area with an accessible laundromat, and offer customers a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere while managing their laundry.

The SBDC and Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May have guided Jones in the right direction, helping her to acquire the information and assistance she needed to accomplish her goals of opening and growing the business.

"The SBDC has continued to offer ideas for business growth, including increasing advertisements and awareness, and even revamping my logo," Jones shared. "Once you open a business, you must constantly do different things to improve and promote your business to ensure that it is consistent enough to have not just one, but 10 anniversaries."

She encourages fellow entrepreneurs to find their passion and go for it -- it is not always going to be easy, but never give up on that dream.

"Maria has been working hard and is dedicated to making her business succeed," says DiMaggio May. "It has been a pleasure guiding and supporting her. I look forward to Empyre Laundry's continued growth."

Jones is extremely thankful to have had the community's support. In the future, she plans to open a second Empyre Laundry location, "Empyre 2."

Empyre Laundry is located at 3600 State St. in East St. Louis. Hours of operation are 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. For more information, call 618-857-2142.

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like Empyre Laundry, as well as 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 about the SBDC, contact the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at 618-650-2929.

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