Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC)


The City of Chicago, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), provides hyper-local support to business owners and start-up entrepreneurs through the Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) grant program, which funds Chicago-based nonprofit business service organizations, located throughout the City, to provide FREE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE.

Find the nearest, or most appropriate, NBDC delegate agency in the list and maps provided.

NBDC 2021 Grantees Service Areas Map     NBDC 2021 Grantees Service Areas Map with Wards     NBDC 2021 Grantees Service Areas Map with Community Areas


When to Contact Your Neighborhood Business Development Centers
NBDCs have a strong neighborhood network and coordinate efforts with local aldermen, the City, and other community partners. 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



Place-Based Generalists


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.

Business Stage Specialists


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.

Capital Specialists


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.

Cultural Specialists


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.

Industry Specialists


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.

Innovation Specialists


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.

Peer-to-Peer Trainers


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.


 Entrepreneur / Business Owner Resources


Supporting Information Facts

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