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Public Resources

US 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. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

Find Information on:

  •  Starting a business
  •  Getting a loan
  •  Government contracts
  •  Disaster assistance
  •  Finding local counseling, mentoring, and training near you

This document is available to view in PDF format. US SBA - IL 2014-2015 Resource Guide for Small Business

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is the lead state agency responsible for improving Illinois' competitiveness in the global economy. Guided by an innovative regional approach, DCEO administers a wide range of economic and workforce development programs, services and initiatives designed to create and retain high quality jobs and build strong communities.  DCEO leads the Illinois economic development process in partnership with businesses, local governments, workers and families.

For information about additional DCEO resources, please visit the following sites:
            Buy Illinois:
            Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC):
            Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDC):

State of Illinois Business Portal

Topics include: Starting a Business, Running a Business, Changing a Business, and Why Come to Illinois?

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

CMAP is the official regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.  By state and federal law, CMAP is responsible for developing GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago's first truly comprehensive regional plan.  To be implemented starting in fall 2010, the plan will be based on a diverse, coordinated set of strategies to address projected population growth of 2.8 million new residents by 2040, which has significant implications for transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues.

Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

The mission of the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development is to foster economic development, workforce development, and community development within Cook County through the strategic leveraging of resources and efficient professional management.
Visit their website for information on our organization, notices, applications, blog, plans, information about the Council of Economic Advisors, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), EDAC public meeting notices, and additional information pertaining to our work.
View full plan:  Partnering for Prosperity, An Economic Growth Action Agenda for Cook County, prepared by the Council of Economic Advisors.
Connect to Cook Website
Go to Connect to Cook Website (
GIS and open data access to over 5,000 variables for demographic, consumer spending, business and traffic data from the ease of your pc or laptop, geared specifically to Cook County.   The data can be analyzed in a geographic context that allows users to choose samples as granular as block groups, census tracts or ZIP Codes. Menus allow the information and datasets to be customized and displayed in a variety of ways.
Key Activities

We work closely with:
Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
Cook County Land Bank Authority
Housing Authority of Cook County
Cook County Bureau of Economic Development “Commit to Cook” Brochure (Click here to download pdf)
Bureau website and blog: 
E-mail us at:

Partner Agencies

Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing

The Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing helps Northeast Illinois manufacturers compete through:

     1. Assessment of Business Needs & Opportunities
     2. Business Analysis, Benchmarking and Strategic Planning
     3. Implementation of focused, integrated solutions that match goals for business growth with non-profit and taxpayer
         supported grants, loans, incentives and business services.

Illinois WorkNet Center


  •  Find a job or change jobs
  •  Plan for your career and job search
  •  Connect to work support services
  •  Contact career advisors for assistance
  •  Help for Laid Off Workers
  •  File for Unemployment Insurance


  •  Search for talent
  •  Find training resources
  •  Locate information and resources for managing your business
  •  Connect with business service representatives

Wheeling/Prospect Heights Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The WPH Chamber is an active, membership-based organization committed to maintaining a healthy and progressive business environment in the Wheeling and Prospect Heights, Illinois area.

Harper College’s Small Business Development Center

Our mission is to contribute to the growth and prosperity of existing business, and enhance the success rate of new business formation.

Free, One-on-One Counseling is a hallmark service of the SBDC at Harper College. We offer excellent one-on-one counseling to existing and prospective small business owners. We work with you to provide you personalized and confidential counseling at no cost. 

Areas of concentration include:

  •  Business start-up assistance
  •  Opportunity assessment
  •  Entrepreneurial aptitude
  •  Business planning
  •  Market research
  •  Management and operations
  •  Access to capital
  •  Marketing plan development
  •  Finance and accounting
  •  Regulation and taxation
  •  Production and operations
  •  Technology and e-Business basics
  •  Web site development
  •  General business management issues

Career Resource Center

A nonprofit organization that provides professional assistance to individuals in employment transition – a unique service that would otherwise be lacking in the community and one that is delivered exclusively by a cadre of 110 plus volunteers.


SCORE can give you a personal business coach to help you with every step of your business. Whether you are a longtime owner of a floral shop in your hometown or managing a new temporary employment agency–we can be a resource for you.

  •  Business start-up assistance
  •  Opportunity assessment
  •  Entrepreneurial aptitude
  •  Business planning
  •  Market research
  •  Management and operations
  •  Access to capital
  •  Marketing plan development
  •  Finance and accounting
  •  Regulation and taxation
  •  Production and operations
  •  Technology and e-Business basics
  •  Web site development
  •  General business management issues

Here are just a few ways SCORE can help you:

  • Receive online mentoring and business advice. ASKSCORE is an online resource that connects you with a personal advisor who can advise you based on specific questions you may have concerning your business. They are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Find a mentor in your local community. Visit your local SCORE office or set up an appointment with a SCORE mentor.
    Find your chapter now.
  • Participate in a workshop. SCORE offers both online and onsite workshops for business owners beginning their businesses
    to marketing your business and managing the financial aspects of it.
  • Connect you with other SCORE volunteers. With a membership of over 12,000 volunteers, we can refer you to someone
    who offers a wide range of expertise–from finance to branding and marketing.





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