The City of Chicago is currently in Phase Four: "Gradually Resume." Many City services have adjusted hours or locations and may require health screens prior to entering their physical spaces. Please call ahead or visit any department's website to get additional details, or visit chicago.gov/covid-19.
While there are numerous resources available at the Small Business Center, please consider visiting one of these locations in your neighborhood for business support. Local business support agencies, aldermen's offices, small business development centers and libraries are just some of the places you can go for questions about City processes and other business issues.
How these organizations can support you and your business:
Neighborhood Business Development Centers
Neighborhood Business Development Centers are non-profit business organizations that are committed to business success and thriving neighborhoods. They assist with a wide range of business services such as getting new small businesses started, troubleshooting City-related issues for small businesses, connecting businesses to financial resources, offering consumer marketing assistance, and providing business-to-business networking opportunities. Businesses can also get support from specialty business organizations that are ethnic or industry based. NBDCs are part of the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and help implement the City’s Neighborhod Small Business Growth Strategy.
Additional Business Support Agencies
In addition to the various Neighborhood Business Development Centers and other government-affiliated organizations, there are many more business support agencies across the city that provide services to small business owners.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
SBDCs provide businesses with free professional management, marketing and financial guidance to help them succeed. The SBDCs assist in the development of business and marketing plans, along with improving business ownership skills, financial analysis of businesses, accessing specialized services including export and government marketing and other business management needs. SBDCs are part of the State of Illinois' Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
Special Service Areas (SSAs)
SSAs are geographic districts that fund expanded programs and services within a City-designated area through property tax levies. These services are provided in addition to those already provided by the City. Before contacting an SSA Provider, first check if your business is in an SSA district. SSA Providers can support you in the following ways: Support services including public property beautification and maintenance, safety, building rehab rebates, and district marketing, public meetings and information about SSA decision-making processes, and more information about SSA budgets.
Local Industrial Retention Initiative (LIRI) Councils
LIRI agencies are City-contracted non-profits that provide economic development services to companies located in and around industrial corridors. They can help you with:Information about a particular industrial corridor, neighborhood or business industry, getting a new small business started, troubleshooting, City-related issues for small businesses, connecting you to financial resources, business-to-business networking resources and Employment and workforce development assistance.
Aldermen and their staff provide assistance to businesses interested in doing business in their community. They guide a business through their local zoning and planning process. Aldermen also connect businesses with local resources such as available space, business and community organizations, and market opportunities in their ward.
Harold Washington Library Center has small business experts on hand to assist you. Additionally, your local branch of the Chicago Public Library is an excellent place to begin your business research. You can access our catalog of books (including specialized business titles) and online resources at any of our locations. With a Chicago Public Library card, you can also access these online resources anywhere internet access is available www.chicagopubliclibrary.org. The library also provides access to many specialized business databases including ones for business plans, industry news and company directories. The Small Business Popular Topics Page highlights these databases plus provides links for business events, selected business books, and additional business resources.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)
PTACs provide free services to help business owners effectively market their companies to federal, state and local government agencies. Services include navigating procurement processes, bid matching, identifying sub-contracting opportunities, and assistance reviewing proposals in response to solicitations and capabilities statements. PTACs are part of the State of Illinois' Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
City of Chicago Payment Center Locations
If you would like to pay your City business taxes in person, visit one of our neighborhood locations.
If your agency would like to be listed as a resource on this website, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.