The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has used its Small Business Chicago program as well as the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to continue supporting and encouraging small businesses to succeed.
Chicago’s Loop is the latest destination for relocating corporate headquarters, but the neighborhoods throughout Chicago are the true home of emerging small business and entrepreneurs.
Thanks to these programs and the 2015 “Speed Networking” event, small business owners have developed more connections and broader networks. These programs give business owners and neighborhood entrepreneurs high-quality education, resources, and connections to expand and grow.
“We maintain a presence in as many of Chicago’s neighborhoods as we can, because we know local small businesses are the anchors of our communities and the economic engine of our region,” Florence Hardy, director of the SBDC, said. “By way of example, I recently met with SBDC client Seth Green and his young business GrowIT! as part of our office hours at the 1871 digital incubator. Thanks to some introductions we made, Seth is now working on a contract with one of the region’s largest zoos.”
Small businesses in the area have increased from tech to retail to business services, generating approximately 50 jobs and sustaining approximately 100 jobs.
“According to our Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey, technology is a top need for small businesses,” Katie Fitzpatrick, executive director of programs for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said. “This event at Englewood Blue is especially timely given the increasing cybersecurity concerns. And each year our Chamber Member Survey shows us that networking remains a top priority for Chamber members of all sizes.”