Who Are Our Clients

by Roger Luman, Managing Director &
Bernard Gointein, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research
Winter 2003


“Who are our clients?” was the question raised at last semester’s advisory board meeting. To answer that question we turned to Dr. Bernard Goitein, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, who is responsible for Turner Center Research. Working with graduate assistant Camden Bucey, they extracted 3520 records from our client databases and developed this analysis of client characteristics for clients served by the Turner Center outreach programs from 1991 through June of 2003.

While these percentages remained relatively constant through 2000, the percentage of retail and service businesses increased substantially in the past two years. These percentages remained relatively constant from 1991 to 2003. Male ownership varied from 47.7% to 61.3%; female owned varied from 25.7% to 34.3% and jointly owned male & female varied from 9.5% to 23.2% (a one year significant variance).

Eighty-three (83%) of the clients came from the 10 counties (DeWitt, Fulton, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell & Woodford) that now comprise the new North Central Region. The remaining 17% were either NAFTA clients (the NAFTA Opportunity Center service area includes most of the State of Illinois) or referrals for specialized services such as eBusiness from business assistance providers located in other regions.

From 1991 to 2003 the number of clients served annually by the Turner Center programs increased nearly 500% from 149 clients in 1991 to 731clients for the year just ended.

In 2003, the SBDC, ITC and NOC provided 16,108 hours of counseling and research to 731 clients. Also, for 2003, clients of these centers reported that the assistance they received helped them achieve the following results:

  • 31 New Businesses
  • 49 Business Expansions
  • 309 New Jobs Created
  • 2,131 Jobs Retained
  • $5,982,700 Additional Funding
  • $27,050,000 Export Sales