Entrepreneur Chooses Mason City

S.J.B. Promotions is a distributorship specializing in personalized products and apparel to promote businesses, organizations, and fund-raising events. The company was founded in 1993 in Paxton, Illinois. In 1999 the business was purchased by Jill Douglas of Mason City, and her husband, Jay.

In December 2014, S.J.B. Promotions relocated to Mason City, fulfilling a long-time goal of Ms. Douglas.

“I was driving two hours to work every day,” says Jill, who operates the business while her husband farms. “With two young kids, that was very inconvenient.”

The new home of S.J.B. is at 162 E. Chestnut. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to move to this building when I saw it,” Douglas says. “It wasn’t in great shape. But in collaboration with Ron Knollenburg, who is a fabulous landlord, and Mahan Construction, we turned this into a beautiful building. It’s got Venetian plaster, oak flooring, and the original tin ceiling. The historical society found me some lovely pictures of early Mason City.”

While working close to home is a great convenience, the move also made sense from a business point of view. S.J.B. Promotions is certified ISB (Illinois Small Business) and FBE (Female Business Enterprise). This means they are eligible for state contracts.

In addition, Douglas is working toward HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) certification, which would allow her company to bid for Federal Contracts.

While S.J.B. Promotions is a “business to business” enterprise without a retail store, they strive to be of benefit to the local community. Local customers include IGA, the Arlee Theater, State Farm, Farmers Grain and Coal, several area churches, and the MCANH. In the past, they have gotten beach towels for the park district, and T-shirts for the FFA. They donated 400 “Cougars” wristbands to Illini Central.

In regards to the move, Douglas wants to thank Maria Bradshaw, Randy Brownfield, among others for help on the building, as well as her “Million dollar” secretary, Liz Leamon.

S.J.B. Promotions is online at www.sjbpromotions.com, phone: 217-482-9000.