Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) Program
The NBDC Program consists of over sixty (60) BACP delegate agencies that provide no-cost hyper-local business development assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the city. NBDCs provide general business licensing and public way use permitting guidance as well as specialized support services based on their program type (i.e., Place-Based Generalist, Business Stage, Capital, Cultural, Industry, and Innovation), which includes confidential counseling, technical assistance, professional development workshops, access to capital, B2B networking, employment and workforce development assistance and more.
For start-up entrepreneurs and current business owners interested in contacting a Neighborhood Business Development Center.
For BSOs interested in becoming Neighborhood Business Development Centers.
Information for Entrepreneurs and Current Business Owners
NBDCs have a strong neighborhood network and coordinate efforts with local aldermen, the City, and other community partners. Our NBDCs have specialized program types dedicated to assisting start-up entrepreneurs and current business owners during every phase of their journey.
They can help start-up entrepreneurs, and existing business owners, with:
- Information about a particular neighborhood
- Getting a new small business started
- Troubleshooting City-related issues for small businesses
- Connecting businesses to financial resources
- Business-to-business networking opportunities
- Employment and workforce development assistance
- Consumer marketing assistance
- Connecting your business to the local community
Find the Nearest Neighborhood Business Development Center(NBDC):
NBDC delegate agencies in the list and maps provided below.
- NBDC Program 2023 Grantees List (PDF)
- NBDC Program 2023 Grantees Map List by Community Area (PDF)
- NBDC Program 2023 Grantees Map List by Ward Precinct (PDF)
Entrepreneur / Business Owner Resources
- Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) Program (Flyer)
- How to Start a Chamber (Flyer)
- Resources to Start, Run and Grow Your Business (Workshop Presentation)
Information for Business Service Organizations (BSOs)
The City of Chicago, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) provides funding to nonprofit (i.e., 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)) business service organizations (BSOs) to deliver no-cost business development assistance to start-up entrepreneurs and business owners in Chicago, and/or professional/program development for their fellow BSOs, through its Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) program. Participants of the NBDC program, also known as NBDC grantees, deliver highly specialized business programs/services that help entrepreneurs start, and business owners grow or sustain their small businesses, as well as assist their NBDC Program peers to build their respective capacities.
Our application period has now closed. Next tentative application period is November 2024.
- Please send inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- RFP # 9099 PDF Copy (for reference use only)
Our Neighborhood Business Development Centers offer several program types to deliver highly specialized business programs and services that help entrepreneurs start, business owners grow or sustain their small businesses, as well as assist their NBDC Program peers to build their respective capacities.
Provide NBDC standard business development assistance, which include but not limited to helping business owners and entrepreneurs apply for business license(s) and public way use permit(s), helping navigate City government, developing a business plan, marketing assistance, contract assistance, product/service/workforce development, access to training and resources, assistance with COVID-related business supports as well as reopening guidelines, at a hyper-local level.
Provide targeted support for one, or more, of the following business stages: (1) Pre-start-up and start-up; (2) Growth and establishment; (3) Maturity and exit/conversion. Identify barriers to growth and utilizing the organization's networks and relationships to introduce clients to new markets. Provide support in the development of general business acumen and assistance with (i.e. directly or via a referral partner) fundamental operational activities.
Provide support, counseling and coaching assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners requiring access to capital; especially start-up businesses looking to scale, and businesses owned by women and people of color with limited access to funding networks. Provide relevant services to business owners who are ready to apply for funding (i.e. debt or non-debt). Assist Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, and women entrepreneurs/business owners, identify needs and connect them to relevant supports.
Provide tailored support to meet the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs who often face cultural and language barriers to accessing mainstream business services and support. Provide culturally-specific mentorship and assistance, as well as serve as a conduit, and a hub, for resources and opportunities by utilizing the cultural network of the organization. Provide NBDC standard business development assistance in the language of the specific community being served.
Provide industry-specific support for start-up and mature businesses in key foundational and growth industries: (1) Arts, Entertainment and Media Production; (2) Construction, Building Trades and Engineering Design; (3) Food & Beverage (Manufacturing and Retail); (4) Transportation and Logistics. Provide expert guidance on how to start or scale, and overcome hurdles unique to the industry/ies. Assist in identifying barriers, and introduce clients to new markets.
Provide support for (1) the pilot, or expansion, of new business models, micro businesses, and businesses in new economies, (2) new and existing worker cooperatives, and/or (3) business incubator services. Support the development of general business acumen and assistance with (i.e. directly or via a referral partner) fundamental operational activities. Provide work spaces, and business services, to business owners and entrepreneurs enrolled in the program.
Provide training, professional development, and/or technical assistance to fellow NBDCs. Provide a platform for connection and collaboration to share best practices with the entire NBDC grantee ecosystem.