Chenoa Fitness Center


The Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan University (SBDC) can help entrepreneurs take their “babies” to the next level with things like financing or innovative marketing ideas. Here’s a recent example:


With a long-running enjoyment of working out and a commitment to fitness as a way of life, the Cerda family dreamt about owning a gym. They had no doubt that it could be a success in their hometown of Chenoa. After years of garage and basement gyms, they noticed a “for sale” sign at the Antique Mall in Chenoa, perfectly located at the junction of Route 24, Route 66, and Interstate 55. Three months of

renovations were necessary to make the building suitable for a fitness center. During this

process, Dylan Cerda finished up his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and then opened the Chenoa Fitness Center just days later!


Owner John Cerda and his family knew that a solid business plan was necessary to acquire funding for a huge fitness center. They reached out to the SBDC for assistance, revision, and finalization of their bank financing application – and the bank approved funding!


The Cerdas have truly coined the term “fitness mall.” The Chenoa Fitness Center is a fitness paradise with a pristine gym, nutrition shop, café, tanning beds, sauna, hair salon, gymnastics club, fitness classes, and more in a friendly atmosphere. There is something for everyone, including classes for 2-year-old children and nursing home residents, with everything in between. The café offers WIFI, coffee, smoothies, and protein drinks all day. For people who have never been to a gym or are clueless as how to start, there are personal trainers and a nutritionist to help.


The Cerdas say, “Since we opened, the SBDC has continued to push us with exciting marketing strategies for social media, websites, and radio advertising. We look forward to continued growth with a little helpful guidance from the SBDC!”


For some assistance at any point in the business life cycle, give us a call at SBDC and set-up an appointment.

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economc Opportunity
City of Bloomington, IL
Town of Normal, IL

Our SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Wesleyan University, the City of Bloomington, and the Town of Normal.