Business Essentials

A Business Advantage

No matter what point you're at in business ownership, this page was designed to give you a leg up. From starting your first business to opening up your fiftieth location, you'll find the resource you're looking for listed on this page.

Develop Your Business Plan & Get Educated

Don’t do it alone, let an expert help you in solving common business problems at no cost to you. 


Find Your Space


Present Your Plan to the Community

Once you’ve drafted your business or development plans, it is suggested that you present your plans to the Chamber of Commerce, Alderman and Community Organizations for support. For more information about this, please contact our office at (773) 384-2672.


Obtain Your City of Chicago Permits & Licenses

Don’t let the business permitting and licensing process get you down. Get the info you need at the start. The Chamber is here to assist you, so give us a call or check out the resources below.


Receive Financial Support


Become a Chamber Member

Sustain & Grow Your Business


Business Resources A-Z

ACCION Chicago
1436 W. Randolph Street, Suite 300Chicago, IL 60607
P: (312) 275-3000
F: (312) 275-3010
Offers small business development loans, workshops and business resources

Center for Neighborhood Technology
2125 W North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
P: (773) 269-4037
F: (773) 278-3840
Provides grants for small businesses to help pay electric bills, advises on green construction and design and offers other eco-oriented programs for property and business owners

CFL Workers Assistance Committee
130 East Randolph Street, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60601
P: (312) 565-9431
F: (312) 565-6537
We make it easier for employers to recruit and hire the right workers.

Chicago Better Business Bureau
330 N Wabash Ave., Suite 2006
Chicago, IL 60611
P: (312) 832-0500
F: (312) 832-9985
Awards accreditation to businesses that meet accreditation standards which includes a committment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaint

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development and Resource Center
Aon Center, 200 E. Randolph St., Ste 2200
Chicago, IL 60601
P: (312) 494-6700
F: (312) 861-0660
Offers business advisory services to small businesses at no cost in the areas of:

  • Business Plan Development/Business Model Iteration
  • Mentoring/Networking
  • Customer/Client Acquisition
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Operational Best Practices
  • Human Capital Development
  • Financing

City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection 
City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 800
Chicago, IL 60602
P: (312) 744-6249
F: (312) 0744-0254
Issues business licenses in the City of Chicago, regulates industries including the sale of liquor and handles General Grants of Privilege for the use of the public way (signs, canopies, awnings, benches, sidewalk cafes, or anything that extends over, under, or is on the public way)

Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago 
320 N. Damen Avenue, First Floor
Chicago, IL 60612
P: (312) 421-3941
F: (312) 421-1871
Provides small business development assistance, advocacy and consulting services to companies in and around the Kinzie Corridor

Local First Chicago
1946 W. Potomac Avenue, 2W
Chicago, IL 60622
P: (773) 988-2006
Educates the community, through media and Buy Local campaigns, about the importance of choosing locally owned, independent businesses

SCORE Chicago
Citigroup Center
500 W. Madison St., Suite 1150
Chicago, IL 60661-2511
P: (312) 353-7724
SCORE matches volunteeer business counselors with clients in need of expert advice in every area of business management

SomerCor 504 Inc.
601 S. LaSalle, Suite 510
Chicago, IL 60605
P: (312) 360-3300
F: (312) 360-3333
The Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) helps make improvements to small business properties in selected Chicago neighborhoods.

United States Small Business Administration
500 W. Madison St., Ste 1150
Chicago, IL 60661
P: (312) 353-4528
F: (312) 886-5688
Offers various programs and support services to help small businesses navigate the initial application process and resources for after one opens for business

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce
1414 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
P: (773) 384-2672
F: (773) 384-7525

  • As a City recognized Delegate Agency, the Chamber is your voice at City Hall
  • The Chamber is a Member of the National Concierge Association, increasing Wicker Park Bucktown’s exposure to Chicago’s tourism economy
  • Discounted health insurance programs are available for Chamber Members
  • Preferred partnership programs offer a variety of goods and services at a discounted rate to Chamber Members (sign into your account to view these Members-only discounts)
  • Advertising and promotional campaigns are conducted throughout the year to attract customers to our member businesses and events.

1414 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
P: (773) 384-2672
F: (773) 384-7525
The Graffiti Abatement Program offers funding to assist with the repair and replacement of glass and graffiti prevention measures. The Façade Rebate Program provides funding to business and property owners for improvements of the overall physical appearance of storefronts.