Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

How Quinn Plans to Support Small Business

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The network's goal is to encourage innovation and, most importantly, create more jobs.

    Gov. Pat Quinn isn't just interested in paying big bucks to keep large corporations in Illinois, he also wants to foster new business.

    Quinn announced Friday the launch of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a program aimed at offering discounted resources to local entrepreneurs. It's the first initiative of the Illinois Innovation Council, created in February and chaired by Groupon Co-Founder Brad Keywell.

    The goal is to provide startups with a network of support and to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. But it's also meant to create more jobs.

    "We have a long way to go to be back where we want to be, which is to have jobs for everyone who wants to work," Quinn said Friday.

    After 15 months of declining unemployment, 100,000 jobs were created in the past year, Quinn said. But more work needs to be done.

    The governor also said he wants to promote "high-tech entrepreneurship" by linking IIN with Startup Illinois, part of the Startup America Partnership announced by President Obama earlier this year.

    “Given our commitment to fostering innovation and helping businesses grow, it is only fitting that Startup America chose Illinois as its first Startup region."