SBIF Partners

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) partners with several outside groups to administer, market, promote and perform technical assistance and project work for the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) program.


SomerCor is a nonprofit small business lender that has administered the SBIF program on DPD’s behalf for more than a decade. Many supporting materials for the SBIF program, including the application itself, can be found on the SomerCor website.

Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDCs)

Through the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), the City has established relationships with dozens of NBDCs throughout Chicago. Most often, these are neighborhood chambers of commerce, funded by local business dues and the Special Service Area (SSA) program

NBDCs assist DPD in promoting the SBIF program. More importantly to applicants, they can assist with the application process itself.

To find the NBDC in your neighborhood, search your business address on the Eligibility page or review the map on BACP’s website.

Local Industrial Retention Initiative (LIRI)

There are 10 LIRI (pronounced “leer-ee”) partners throughout Chicago that assist DPD with retaining industrial businesses and supporting the Industrial Corridor system. LIRI groups also help the City promote the SBIF program within their neighborhoods and can assist industrial businesses with their SBIF application.

To find the LIRI in your neighborhood, search your business address on the Eligibility page or review the map on DPD’s website.

Technical Assistance Providers

SomerCor maintains a list of technical assistance providers that can be utilized by SBIF grant awardees. The list is available for review on SomerCor’s website.