Layoffs, business closures, and poor earnings continue to plague the stateline. But the area also has its share of economic success stories.
We often hear about the Council of 100, but many businesses and citizens don't know about the services the council provides free of charge to businesses big and small.
For more than 20 years, S&B Jig Grinding has been manufacturing parts for dozens of companies in 10 U.S. states.
But earlier this year the owner of the loves park company faced a unique opportunity and challenge, an international order from Singapore.
"I've talked to a lot of people in small shops and they say they'd never take on a shipment like that because they wouldn't know what to do,” Bradberry says.
Bradberry turned to the Rockford Area Council of 100 for help. The organization met with Bradberry and helped S&B fill out the necessary paperwork, weed through bureaucracy, and get the order to Singapore at no cost.
"We got all the paperwork filled out, the order went out and more importantly it got there. It was a piece of cake thanks to the council. Without their help don't know what would have happened,” Bradberry adds.
Just weeks ago, the council also helped Rockford’s Eclipse Incorporated collect tens of thousands of dollars in outstanding payments from a company in China.
The Council of 100 helps businesses with challenges like international business, locating properties and workers or securing financing.
Their Web site is www.rockfordmanufacturers.com
Any area business regardless of the challenge, industry, or size of the company. In fact S&B employees just a handful of workers, but council officials say every job and business is important especially now, and any chance for growth is welcome. The services are free and confidential.