Small Business Resource Guide

City Level

Office of the City Treasurer

121 N. LaSalle St. Room 106
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 312-742-0981

Community Outreach Programs

Small Business Loan Program

Small businesses are the greatest source of new employment in Chicago and it is important that they remain financially sound. A small loan is often enough capital to support a company through difficult times, and can help retain jobs. The Small Business Loan Program provides the incentive for Chicago banks to make loans to support businesses without directly putting taxpayer dollars at risk.

Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

121 N. LaSalle St. Room 805
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 312-744-0246

  • Business license
  • Liquor guides
  • Retail food brochure

Department of Community Development

121 N. LaSalle St. Room 1000
Chicago, IL 60602

  • Booklets
  • Environmental issues
  • Entrepreneurial outreach
  • Property for sale
  • Enterprise zones
  • Short-term loans

City of Chicago-Department of Revenue

121 N. LaSalle St. Room 107
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 312-747-8950

  • Tax information
  • On line tax payments
  • Tax forms

City of Chicago-Department of Procurement

121 N. LaSalle St. Room 403
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 312-744-0010

  • Purchasing information

City of Chicago-Public Library

400 S. State Street , Business Department 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

  • Starting a Business
  • Sample Business Plans
  • Access to Online Resources
  • One-On-One Consultation with a Librarian

State Level

State of Illinois – Office of the State Treasurer

100 W. Randolph, Suite 15-600
Chicago, IL 60601
Fax: 312-814-5930

  • Small Business loans

State of Illinois – Office of the Governor

James R. Thompson
100 W. Randolph Ste. 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601

  • Business start up information
  • Licensing information
  • Grants and loans

State of Illinois – Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – DCEO

James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, Suite 3-400
Chicago, IL 60601
Fax: 312-814-5247

  • Brochures
  • Counseling
  • Financing programs
  • Business education
  • Planning assistance

Illinois Secretary of State

Department of Business Services
69 W. Washington Suite 1240
Chicago, IL 60602

  • Centralized repository for business filings.

Illinois Department of Revenue

100 W. Randolph-7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

  • Tax information
  • Business registration

Internal Revenue Service-IRS

Chicago Office
230 S. Dearborn St. 24th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

  • Electronic filing and payment options for businesses including employment taxes, information returns, partnerships, corporations, and estates & trusts.


  • Information about starting, operating and closing a business in Illinois.
  • File taxes

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Chicago District Office
500 W. Madison St. Suite 1250
Chicago, IL 60661

  • Loans
  • Advice

Non-Profit Organizations

Score Chicago

500 W. Madison St. Suite 1250
Chicago, IL 60661
Fax: 312-886-4879

  • SCORE counselors are volunteer executives and business owners who can help you at no cost with a wide variety of business issues like financing, marketing and your business plan. Score experts include Spanish speaking  or women counselors; (312) 353-7724 or toll free 877-72SCORE(877-727-2673).


1618 W. 18th St. Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60608
Fax: 312-275-3010

  • ACCION  provides credit to small businesses that do not have access to loans from commercial sources. ACCION Chicago lends from $500 to $25,000 with terms from 2 to 60 months. Collateral filing fees and a commitment fee of 3% to 5% are added to the loan requiring no out of pocket expense at the time of closing
  • ACCION Chicago is part of a large network of Small Business Development Centers, financial institutions, credit unions and community organizations that assist small business owners. We can provide you with referrals to professional organizations in the community for networking opportunities, or assistance with legal, marketing, accounting or other business issues.

Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund

200 E. Randolph St., Suite 5100
Chicago, Il 60601
Office: 312-577-7587
Fax: 773-295-6143
More Information

  • Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund provides startups and growing businesses access to loans ranging from $50,000 to $250,000
  • The purpose of this program is to assist start-ups and entrepreneurs to build business net worth. Secured loans will be made to businesses located in the Metro Chicago area for working capital, business purchase, equipment, inventory, tenant improvements, owner occupied commercial real estate.

Legal Services

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.


Other Area Small Business Lenders

Women’s Business Development Center

8 S. Michigan Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603
Fax: 312-853-0145

  • The Women’s Business Development Center offers programs and services that help potential businesses that are exploring or beginning the start-up phase achieve optimal size and sustain growth. Established business owners are those who’ve been in business more than one year and completed a business plan. Our programs help women entrepreneurs:

Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center

Aon Center
200 E. Randolph St. Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60601
Fax: 312-861-0635

  • The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) serves as a strategic partner to its clients, offering high value advisory services and connections to entrepreneurs that help them negotiate crucial early-business decisions.
  • CEC also offers the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program, developed by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), selects experienced entrepreneurs and provides the opportunity to focus on creating new, high-impact companies in Illinois by partnering with young entrepreneurs to develop new business ideas or commercialize promising technologies from academic and industrial researchers.

Community Economic Development Law Project

100 N. LaSalle St. Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 312-630-1127

Small Business Support Program

  • Small business development offers people an opportunity to achieve economic independence. People with limited resources typically start businesses on a shoestring, choosing to forego the intangibles of legal assistance in order to pay for space, inventory and the other hard costs associated with starting a new venture. In recognition of the role small businesses play not in only in the lives of individuals but in the life of the neighborhood, the CEDLP offers pro bono legal assistance for business structuring, lease and contract review as well as intellectual property and licensing requirements.
  • Contact the small business support program attorney, Angie Hall at or 312.939.3638.

Chicago Community Loan Fund

29 East Madison Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60602
312.252.0440 phone
312.252.0419 fax

  • CCLF specializes in serving the needs of emerging organizations–who often have the most difficulty accessing capital–by providing reasonably priced, flexible loan products and free (or low-cost) technical assistance. CCLF’s equity requirements are flexible and its loan-to-value ratios are more generous than many other lenders, even other CDFIs.