Small Business Resources

Federal Resources

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. There programs include business guidance, funding programs, federal contracting, learning centers and local assistance.

Contact Your Local Office

Contact Illinois District Office


SCORE Business Mentor

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

Visit Your Local SCORE Location

Find Local Assistance


Women’s Business Center

Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of over 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

Find Local Assistance


Veteran’s Business Outreach Center

The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program isprogram is a one-stop-shop for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business. Located nationwide, VBOCs provide transition assistance programs, including Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot, as well as business development assistance such as training, counseling and mentoring, and resource referrals.

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State Resources

First Stop Business Information Center

A single statewide resource for entrepreneurs and businesses to obtain comprehensive regulatory and permitting information.  Center staff provide professional guidance to entrepreneurs by linking them to state and local resources.

More information or the Illinois Handbook online here


Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.

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Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)

Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers are a portal for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. The centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies.

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Illinois DCEO Loan & Financing Options

 The Illinois Department of Commerce can work with your business to identify and secure financing opportunities and build a network of financial support that will meet your present needs and prepare you for future growth. There are a number of loan and financing options including: Advancing the Development of Minority Entpreneurship (ADME), Advantage Illinois, Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) and the Illinois State Treasurers Office.

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City of Chicago Resources

The Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)

BACP ensures a fair and vibrant market place for both businesses and consumers. BACP licenses businesses and public vehicles, provides business education and access to resources, enforces the Municipal Code, and protects consumers from fraud.

Free Business Education Workshops

Neighborhood Development Centers

One-on-One Business Consulting

Special Service Area (SSA)


Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF)

The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund receives funds from that downtown development in order to support commercial corridors in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. Business and property owners may apply for grant funding that will pay for the development or rehabilitation of real estate and projects that support new or expanding businesses or cultural assets.

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