- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Officials at Southern Illinois University say its Small Business Development Center will have to close next month because the state doesn’t have a budget.

The center uses grant money from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help about 600 southern Illinois small businesses a year. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (http://bit.ly/1TfpvdO ) that the grant money hasn’t been available since January and the university has been funding it.

Greg Bouhl is the center’s director. He says the closing will be “a big loss to the region.” The center has six full-time staffers and several student workers. They will lose their jobs when the center closes March 31.

GOP Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats in the state Legislature have been at a state budget stalemate since last summer.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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