There is a wealth of information available online for small business owners. Browse through some of these sites to learn about everything from finding a business mentor, to important Illinois business regulations. Click on the healines listed below to go directly to that section.
My Own Business
Free online educational business course to help anyone interested in starting a business. Course includes topics ranging from Deciding on a Business to Writing a Business Plan to e-Commerce.
Business Plans (SBA)
This link will take you to over 60 sample business plans on the SBA website.
Grow Think, a business consultation firm, offers a free copy of their business plan guide.
Turnaround Management Association
Is your business in financial distress? Professional turnaround advice is available from the Turnaround Management Association. There is NO CHARGE if your business or nonprofit has less than three million in revenue or at least four jobs.
Credit Counseling Network
The Credit Counseling Network offers in-depth and personalized sessions online or by phone 24 hours a day. These sessions will help you assess and prioritize your debts, establish a pay-off plan, and develop financial goals.
Annual Credit Report
The purpose of this site is to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Monitoring and periodically reviewing your credit report is an effective tool in fighting identity theft.
Accion East offers small business loans to entrepreneurs outside of Illinois and NW Indiana. Visit their web site to learn more about their loan programs, or to apply on-line.
Association for Enterprise Opportunity
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is a national association of organizations committed to microenterprise development. Visit their website for a listing of microenterprise organizations nationwide.
Local Employment & Economic Development (LEED) Council
The LEED Council provides services to businesses to solve problems related to retention and growth in the North River Industrial Corridor. LEED also provides access to low-interest loans offered exclusively to tenants at the Green Exchange, the country's
largest sustainable business community, offering 272,000 square feet of
convenient one-stop shopping options where the public can engage
directly with the country's leading green businesses, eco-speakers,
events and ideas.
U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration, established in 1953, provides financial, technical and management assistance to help Americans start, run, and grow their businesses.
IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Lean about Illinois resources for small business owners, including information about government contracts, regulatory compliance assistance for the state.
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.
The IRS through irs.gov offers resources for small businesses on starting, operating & closing your business. Specifically you will find an online small business tax workshop and the most current information on small business credits & provisions. You can find credit information in English and Spanish.
Circle Lending acts as a neutral third party that helps you to formally approach family, friends and business associates for business start-up capital.
BUZGate helps individuals to start, grow and succeed in business by connecting them to free and low-cost resources in areas such as business planning, funding, marketing, technology, one-on-one counseling expertise, and much more.
Micro Mentor helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through mentoring relationships with experienced business professionals. Visit their site to find or be a mentor.
StartupNation is the destination where you can learn the important nuts and bolts of business, such as how to patent your idea, build a business plan, or increase sales. StartupNation is also a resource for you to learn from peers through their pod casts and blog.
Local First Chicago
A network for locally owned, independent businesses and community organizations.
New Equity Daily
Small business source for financing, news, and information. Check out their blog for current small business news!
Put Illinois to Work
Through Put Illinois to Work, unemployed and underemployed Illinois residents can be placed into subsidized employment positions for up to six months.