Illinois Tollway Brings Together Financial Planning Experts to Help Small and Diverse Firms Grow and Succeed

Illinois Tollway Brings Together Financial Planning Experts to Help Small and Diverse Firms Grow and Succeed

There is often no shortage of free financial advice available to entrepreneurs from relatives and friends. But you often get what you pay for. 

“Don’t take any wooden nickels.”

“The best way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one.” 

“One word… plastics.” 

The Illinois Tollway, recognizing the challenges that small and diverse construction and professional engineering services firms face in getting solid financial advice, recently hosted its first “Building the Road to Success: Financial Planning for Small Businesses” event. 

The November 18 event, held at Malcolm X College in Chicago, featured numerous financial experts sharing advice and resources on financial management and capital development necessary for small and minority-owned companies to succeed in the heavy highway construction industry. 

“Financial planning is critical for any successful business, but the process can be complicated,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. “Small business owners frequently need to wear many hats, often work long hours and deal with so many stressful decisions, and financial guidance from experts can help confirm that they are on the right track.”

The Building the Road to Success event provided more than 80 business owners and executives with direct access to commercial banking industry experts who specialize in business development. In addition, Tollway and area transportation officials gave an overview of upcoming construction opportunities across the region’s transportation network. 

The event included a presentation by Erin Aleman, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, on “The Changing Economy and Construction Opportunities Ahead,” as well as workshops by representatives of the Coalition of African American Leaders, U.S. Bank, BMO Harris Bank and Wells Fargo on raising capital, planning for sustainable growth, meeting with financial institutions and how to endure financial challenges. 

The Illinois Tollway is focused on promoting, assisting and ensuring diverse participation in all aspects of Tollway operations, including construction contracting and consulting, with programs and resources supported by the Illinois Tollway providing technical assistance, training, mentoring and business development opportunities for firms.

The Building the Road to Success event provided another opportunity to help guide small business owners toward sustainable growth and provide them with access to financial experts and resources.