Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are part of a nationwide network of support for the business community. They receive grant funds at the federal level through the Small Business Administration (SBA), at the state level through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and by their host institutions.
SBDCs act as advisors, coaches, and trainers for both new and existing enterprises in the small business community. The SBDCs concentrate on the administrative and domestic sides of the business including assistance in financials, marketing, sales, business plans, strategy, growth, and more.
There are also specialty centers in government contracting and international trade. The SDBC-International Trade Centers (SBDC-ITC) assist businesses with exporting. A company can be new-to-export (never exported products globally) or new-to-market (currently export to one market and are looking to expand further).
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) help companies looking to expand into government contracting at the federal, state, and local municipality levels. They also assist businesses with certifications such as women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned.
Small Business Development Centers in Northern Illinois
View a complete list of Small Business Development Centers, International Trade Centers and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers located throughout the State of Illinois.
U.S. Commercial Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, provides assistance throughout the United States to companies who are exporting internationally. USCS has a presence in approximately 78 markets worldwide. These services are normally located in the U.S. embassies. They are involved in numerous international trade shows, Gold Key partner searches, and more. To work with USCS, a company’s products need to have 51% USA content.
The Illinois Office of Trade & Investment (OTI) is funded through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). They provide exporting services to Illinois companies through their main office in Chicago and 10 offices worldwide. They are involved in several international trade shows and have funding available through the STEP program. To work with OTI, a company needs to have products made in Illinois.
SCORE is another federally funded program through the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides support to the business community. They help new and existing businesses. SCORE has an extensive website with information for business owners.