Business Training Resources
The Greater Chicagoland area is filled with development organizations, credit unions, and city groups dedicated to supporting sustainable business development. Browse through the links below to access some of these local resources. If you click on the heading that you are interested in, you will go directly to that section.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC's) assist new and existing small businesses through one-on-one counseling, assistance with management, business plans and marketing, financial services and various training opportunities. Click here to find the SBDC closest to you.
Asian American Alliance-SBDC
Beloved Community - SBDC
Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at UIC - SBDC
Chicago State University - SBDC
College of DuPage - SBDC
College of Lake County - SBDC
Elgin Community College - SBDC
Evanston Technology Innovation Center - SBDC
Governors State University, CenterPoint - SBDC
Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - SBDC
Kankakee Community College - SBDC
Joliet Jr. College - SBDC
Joseph Center - SBDC
Latin American Chamber of Commerce-SBDC
McHenry County College - SBDC
Moraine Valley Community College - SBDC
Jane Adams Uptown and Parkway Center Hull House - SBDC
Waubonsee Community College - SBDC
Women's Business Development Center - SBDC
Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC's) are SBDCs that also provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses that are interested in selling their products and/or services to local, state, or federal government agencies. Click here to find the PTAC closest to you.
South Suburban College - PTAC
Women's Business Development Center - PTAC
Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center
CEC is a no-profit affiliate of the Chicagoland Area Chamber of commerce. They assist clients through one-on-one advisory services in financing and securing clients; capacity-building programs; peer-to-peer exchanges through virtually every service and educational opportunity offered by the center; educational workshops; and grants.
Coleman E-Center at DePaul University
The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is an entrepreneurship support organization at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. The Center offers specialized consulting services, educational programs, and helpful resources to entrepreneurs at different stages your business.
FranNet is the world's largest network of franchise consultants. They provide a broad array of services that include help in turning a company into a franchise, and helping a prospective franchisee learn about the many choices that franchising offers.
Industrial Council of NW Chicago
The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) is an association of light to medium manufacturers: most of which employ between 10-15-workers. As a not-for-profit corporation, the Industrial Council's purpose is to promote the development, establishment, and expansion of industry on Chicago's near west side by addressing those issues affecting the industrial community.
Specifically for manufacturing companies, NORBIC is an economic development organization that promotes job growth and community advancement through the provision of professional and technical services to manufacturers located in the State of Illinois' Northeast Economic Development Region.
SCORE is a national non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Get free individual counseling from experienced business advisors on specific small business issues and attend educational low-cost workshops on important topics to improve your business skills.
SBIF Chicago Grant
Read more about SBIF Grants for small business real estate financing through Somercor. This program uses TIF revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties and/or tenants within specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities.
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Chicago
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Chicago offers seven convenient branches locations throughout the greater Chicago area where you can benefit from a confidential, one-on-one counseling session with a certified credit counselor. These sessions are designed to provide you with the tools and resources you need to get your finances back on track. They also offer counseling on-line or over the phone.
The two organizations listed below are low-cost public interest legal organizations that provide legal services that relate to starting and operating a small business, including assistance with business organization; licenses and permits; agreements and leases; regulatory and zoning compliance; copyright and trademark protection; and commercial landlord, supplier, and lender negotiation.
Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship
Community Economic Development Law Project
Department of Business Affairs
The Chicago DBA site offers information on a wealth of city resources including free small business classes, information on city regulations, and access to other city services.
Office of the City Treasurer, City of Chicago
The City Treasurer office offers many resources for small businesses including small business loans up to $250,000, mentorship programs for business owners, and free Wealth Fitness classes.
Greater Northwest Chicago Development Corporation-SBDC
Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) of Cook County
Chicago Community Loan Fund
Jewish Vocational Services