The federally-funded Advantage Illinois program launched less than two years ago has helped scores of companies create nearly 2,000 jobs by providing Illinois entrepreneurs with the access to capital necessary to expand their businesses. “Small businesses are putting people to work, but they need the access to bank loans and lines of credit. Advantage Illinois is an important tool in helping bright, innovative entrepreneurs invest in their local communities and create jobs across our state. Illinois is home to the best workers in the world, and programs like this put more people to work – earning a paycheck and growing our economy,” stated Governor Quinn. Since Advantage Illinois debuted in October 2011, the state has committed $45 million in federal funds to leverage more than $336 million in private investment for 131 projects, creating 1,956 jobs in Illinois. The program, which has a total of $78 million in federal funds, is comprised of programs to encourage institutional lending and leverage private venture capital in start-ups. Content supplied by Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.