Small Business Advocacy

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) supports the small business ecosystem of Chicago, and promotes economic development, through its Small Business Advocacy division composed of three units: Economic Recovery, Chicago Supplier Development Program, and Neighborhood Strategy. Review the programs' descriptions below for the most helpful assistance.

Neighborhood Strategy

BACP is responsible for providing small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs resources to thrive in their communities. Learn more about the programs offered below.

Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC)
Provides grants to Chicago-based Chambers of Commerce and business support organizations to assist in the development of small businesses in Chicago, serve as liaison between local businesses and the City of Chicago, and provide neighborhood business development services.
Chicago Business Centers (CBC)
8 Chicago-based business service organizations located in neighborhoods to serve as regional hubs providing business licensing assistance and other resources for start-up entrepreneurs and existing business owners. 

Chicago Supplier Development Program

Creating fair, equal and equitable access to public contracts in Chicago

BACP supports and advocates for our small business ecosystem by creating robust initiatives and programs that targets small business enterprises, assisting their increased participation in economic development and government contracting.

Economic Recovery

The City of Chicago was allocated funds under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARP”). Through an extensive process of community engagement, consultation and analysis, the City developed an integrated plan designed to drive transformational change called the Chicago Recovery Plan. BACP is responsible for distributing funds through programs that support the equitable economic recovery of Chicago.

Small Business Support

Programs designed to ensure a strong recovery for the small business community. 

Non-Profit Capacity Building

Technical assistance and capacity building services for disproportionately impacted nonprofits, helping to stabilize and scale their operations.  

Food Equity

Programs focused on increasing food equity in communities with a history of disinvestment, by encouraging the development of urban agriculture sites by local growers, providing funds to entrepreneurs who are part of the food ecosystem, and funding local food incubators.