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Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is one of the largest in the nation, hosted by DCEO and administered through DCEO’s Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology.  

Our network comprises 38 centers located throughout the state which provide information and resources to start-ups and existing small businesses. The two (2) closest centers are located at Elgin Community College and at McHenry County College, see their information below. 

SBDC advisors provide one-on-one, confidential, business advising including assistance with the development of business plans, development of marketing plans, financial analysis and planning, access to market information and business financing programs, and business education and training opportunities which are provided to clients thanks to funding from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), DCEO, and local supporters across the state.

If you own a small business or are considering starting one, the Illinois SBDC can help with the following:

  • One-on-one business counseling for businesses from pre-venture through maturity;
  • Access to capital and identifying funding options;
  • In-depth financial analyses and budgeting;
  • Developing sales and marketing strategies;
  • Business plan review;
  • Low-cost training workshops, seminars, and courses; and
  • Referrals to other sources of information and industry professionals.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (Illinois SBDC) at Elgin Community College offers free counseling services to help small businesses succeed. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can obtain management, marketing, finance, and operations advice. We offer tailored, one-on-one advising and workshops to assist with business development.

Our training and advice are available for new and existing businesses. Our grant funding requires that you register your business with us. We'll help you build a comprehensive business assessment to identify critical areas needing attention and provide a follow-up action plan to address them.

Contact Ian King for more information.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at McHenry County College is your partner for no-cost, confidential business advising, timely courses and exclusive entrepreneurial resources.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DECO), and McHenry County College, provides services for for-profit businesses in located in McHenry County with fewer than 500 employees.

Contact or call 815-455-6098 for more information.

Senior Core of Retired Executives (SCORE)

SCORE is a national nonprofit organization that helps small businesses achieve their goals. SCORE calls itself the largest network of mentors for small business owners in the United States and is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

SCORE’s mission is to foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education.  We aim to give every person the support they need to thrive as a small business owner.

Visit to request a meeting with a SCORE mentor.

Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO)


The mission of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is to create equitable economic opportunities across the State of Illinois. By attracting and supporting major job creators, investing in communities, strengthening Illinois’ world-class workforce, fostering innovation, and ushering in the new clean energy economy, DCEO works to fortify Illinois’ reputation as a global economic powerhouse while ensuring Illinois is the best state to live, work and do business.

DCEO delivers impactful programs and services through the following offices:

Workforce Training

Become a leader in your workplace or build the skills of your team with MCC's Workforce Training program, offering open-enrollment professional development courses and customized workforce training options.  Learn more about the Catalyst programs in the Shah Center at McHenry County College.  Learn More

At ECC's Business Development Office, we provide a comprehensive range of resources tailored to meet your business needs, whether you're looking to tap into the region's abundant talent pool, invest in employee development, seek expert guidance for business improvements, or find a convenient venue for off-site continuing education.   Learn More

Phone Resources

There are a number of Free resources for the community accessible from your phone.

211 — Health & Human Services  |  Callers to 211 can get LIVE assistance with needs such as: food, shelter, counseling, income supports, employment, healthcare, and services for specialized populations such as the elderly and persons with disabilities and much more. All calls are free, anonymous and confidential

311 — Non-Emergency Government Services  |  You can call 311 to find out what Police and Fire District you are located within. Also calling 311 allows you easy access to non-emergency police services, from filing police reports to talking to police personnel in your district.

411 — Directory Assistance  |  411 is a paid service where you call the number and have an operator look up a business or personal number for you.

511 — Traffic & Weather Hotline  |  Simply stated, 511 is an easy-to-remember 3-digit telephone number, available nationwide, that provides current information about travel conditions, allowing travelers to make better choices - choice of time, choice of mode of transportation, choice of route.

611 — Phone Support & Repair  |  The call will reach your phone providers customer service department, who can assist with a wide range of issues related to your account, such as billing inquiries, technical support, account changes, plan upgrades, and more.

711 — TDD & Relay for the Deaf  |  Telecommunications Relay Services permit persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities. To make using TRS as simple as possible, you can simply dial 711 to be automatically connected to a TRS operator.

811 — Call Before You Dig (underground utilities)  |  By calling 811 (or 1-800-892-0123), contractors, excavators, homeowners, and others who may be digging can contact JULIE to notify all of the utilities: gas, electric and phone. It is then the responsibility of each utility to mark the location of its underground facilities at the excavation site.

911 — Emergency Services (Police, Fire, EMS)  |  When you call 911, your call is answered by an emergency call-taker whose first responsibility is to find out if this is a true emergency-is someone injured, is there a crime in progress, is there a fire, etc. If it is an emergency, the call-taker will handle your call.

988 — National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline  |  If you or a loved one is experiencing or affected by a mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis, please call or text '988' (or chat online on 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline's website) for free, confidential, and immediate help.