Whether you’re a new business owner, or are interested in growing and expanding your small business, these companies and organizations should be on your radar.

City of Chicago Economic Development

The office of Economic Development exists to enhance Chicago’s economy by encouraging business development and other activities. It offers many resources for small businesses, including incentive programs and neighborhood-based initiatives.

City of Chicago Small Business Center

A one-stop resource for all of your small business needs, the Small Business Center (SBC) can help tackle the nuances of starting and running a business. Through the website, you can apply for or renew a business license, access resources and track events. The SBC also offers a newsletter with helpful information.

JVS Chicago Duvan Entrepreneurship Center

Founded in 2001, the JVS Duvan Entrepreneurship Center helps business owners with many aspects of entrepreneurship, including financing and mentorship opportunities.

Chicago Small Business Resource Guide

Part of the Office of the City Treasurer, the Chicago Small Business Resource Guide can help guide you in all aspects of financing your business. It includes links to traditional and alternative funding sources and regularly hosts events at which entrepreneurs can network.

Business Law Center Clinic

If you have questions about legal matters, but don’t want to hire an expensive legal consultant, you can make an appointment at the Business Law Clinic at Loyola University Chicago Center of Law. It allows law students to hone their skills under the supervision of a professional, and is a cost effective resource for minor legal matters.

Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO)

Another resource for many different aspects of personal and professional law is Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), a non-profit organization. It features an abundance of resources for most legal matters, along with tools to connect you with the appropriate professional for your specific issue.

The Loop Marketing

Serving as a comprehensive resource for small businesses, The Loop offers a variety of services, including website design, social media development and more. The organization also offers training webinars that allow entrepreneurs to learn these skills and implement their own marketing plans.

Score Chicago

SCORE is a non-profit organization that offers many services for startups and established small businesses. Services range from workshops to full consulting services, and this organization is perfect for brushing up on your skills or learning aspects of business ownership with which you may not be familiar.

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce is a smart move for every business. The Chicagoland Chamber provides networking events, market studies, economic outlook studies and much more.


Technology based startups should look into joining 1871. The organization offers a wealth of resources for tech startups, including networking events, seminars, office space and much more. If you want to find mentors, connect with potential clients and spread the word, check out this organization.

This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse

For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Chicago.


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