With these free resources learn how to start and grow your small business.​

1/12: Entrepreneurship and Small Business


See what the Business Hub has to offer for Entrepreneurship and Small Business resources

  • Regulatory Flexibility Program
  • Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information for Small Business
  • COVID-19: Emergency Resources for Businesses
  • Illinois Dept of Commerce: Search for Answers
  • Starting Your Business in Illinois Handbook
  • Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program
  • First Stop Business Information Center
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
  • Illinois Innovation Network Services and Resources Directory
  • Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)
  • Illinois Environmental Services Directory

2/12: Regulatory Flexibility Program


The Illinois Program is housed in the Business Information Center and serves as an ombudsman for small businesses.  Staff reviews every rule that state agencies propose and distributes information about these rules to the small business community.  Feedback from the community is then sent for consideration to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a bi-partisan legislative oversight committee that is authorized to conduct systematic reviews of administrative rules promulgated by state agencies.

3/12: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information for Small Business


The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is working diligently to secure access to helpful resources for small businesses throughout the State of Illinois and has compiled these helpful links regarding COVID 19 resources for small businesses.

4/12: COVID-19: Emergency Resources for Businesses


Refer to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's COVID-19 Emergency Resources for Businesses resources.

5/12: Search for Answers in Illinois


Searching for guidance on how to start your business? Looking for license or permitting requirements? Explore the First Stop Knowledge base by typing your query in the search bar below!

6/12: Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program


What is the Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program and how do I apply?

The program attracts and encourages investment dollars into early-stage, innovative companies throughout Illinois. Investments support job growth, expand capital investment in Illinois, and provide companies with much needed access to working capital to further their growth and success. Tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

7/12: First Stop Business Information Center


A single statewide resource for Illinois entrepreneurs and businesses to obtain comprehensive regulatory and permitting information.  Center staff provide professional guidance to entrepreneurs by linking them to state and local resources. 

  • Toll free helpline 1.800.252.2923
  • Business startup kit & business specialists
  • Starting Your Business In Illinois Handbook

8/12: Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)


Government Contracting Assistance: Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers provide free one-on-one advising, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses that are interested in selling their products and/or services to local, state, or federal government agencies.

Click Here to Find Your Nearest Center.

9/12: Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)


Illinois SBDC Centers partner with business development organizations and educational institutions to assist you in maximizing your potential to grow and attract investors.

​Illinois International Trade Centers provide assistance with international trade and exporting. The centers offer information, counseling and training to existing and new-to-export companies interested in pursuing international trade opportunities.

Let SBDCs and ITCs connect you to the experts, tools and opportunities at no cost to you.

Click Here to Find Your Nearest Center.

10/12: Illinois Innovation Network Services and Resources Directory


Whether you are an entrepreneur, innovator, or corporate entity, find the services and resources you need with the Illinois Innovation Network Services & Resources Directory. You can search by filters such as:

  • Funding,
  • Physical Space,
  • Professional Services,
  • Research, Development, & Commercialization,
  • Industry Sector and much more.

Click here to get started on your search.

11/12: Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)


Located at the Illinois Department of Commerce, a non-regulatory agency, SBEAP provides free confidential information and services to help small businesses understand their environmental obligations.  Click here for our SBEAP palm card.

12/12: Illinois Environmental Services Directory


Environmental service providers list themselves with the SBEAP indicating their areas of expertise or services provided.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity makes no attempt to qualify providers in the directory and inclusion in the directory does not in any way serve as an endorsement or guarantee of any company or service.  The Environmental Services Directory is not a comprehensive listing and only contains those companies who have voluntarily listed themselves with the program.