The Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) supports the growth of Chicago's small businesses by hosting events and providing resources to help entrepreneurs respond to the needs of a changing world. Our programs include free business workshops, small business expos, and connecting businesses with important business resources.
Small Business Center on the Road
The City of Chicago's Office of New Americans and BACP invite small business owners and entrepreneurs to a series of free expos offering business resources on financing, licensing process, tax laws and business networking. More information can be found at the Expo Page.
Business Education Workshops
BACP offers free Business Education Workshops every Wednesday and Friday. The classes are open to the public and hosted at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. in Room 805. Class topics focus on start-up operations, financing, marketing, social media and more. Classes are taught by industry professionals, not for profit agencies, and city employees.
If you plan on opening a business that requires a business license inspection, plan on attending the Licensing, Permits and Inspections 101 Workshop, offered every month. Another workshop offered each month that may help entrepreneurs learn the process on How to Do Business with the City of Chicago.
The Business Start-up Certificate Program
The Business Start-Up Certificate Program is free and designed to teach business owners the essential elements of starting and growing a business. Entrepreneurs can earn a Business Start-Up Certificate when they complete a curriculum of BACP Business Education Workshops.
One-on-One Business Counseling at the Small Business Solution Station
The Small Business Solution Station offers free one-on-one business counseling for entrepreneurs. This is where you can talk to an expert about planning, legal issues, small business loans, tax matters or just get expert advice.
Counseling is offered at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. in Room 800. The Solution Station is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the last Friday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Counseling is provided by our partner organizations, SCORE, The Law Project, the Women's Development Center and ACCION Chicago.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is at the Small Business Solution Station from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the last Friday of every month. They have a bilingual (Spanish/English) staff on hand for free one-on-one consultation for small business owners on tax-related matters.
An appointment to visit the Solution Station is not necessary, but can be scheduled by calling 312.744.2086 or emailing BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org.