Our Story

The Cook County Small Business Source strives to support, grow and elevate small businesses, the backbone of Cook County’s economy. This program directly connects small business owners with expert guidance and support to take businesses to the next level. Cook County established the award-winning program to ensure that businesses emerge from COVID-19 intact and positioned for growth.

In 2020, government, foundation and community partners joined together to serve Cook County’s small business community in response to the pandemic. This partnership provided the basis for the establishment of The Small Business Assistance Program, which is now part of The Source.

The Chicago Community Trust and the Fund for Equitable Business Growth, with funding provided by Polk Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, McCormick Foundation and JPMorgan Chase, Cook County and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity were Founding Funders and Partners of the Cook County Small Business Source, providing support for recovery grants to small business owners and entrepreneurs facing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services Offered




Business Support

The Cook County Small Business Source’s Business Support Organizations (BSOs) provide small business owners with the expert advice and assistance they need to succeed through free one-on-one expert business advising.

Referral Partners

The Cook County Small Business Source’s Referral Partners serve as program ambassadors connecting small businesses to business advising and support through the Cook County Small Business Source.

  • Alsip Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development
  • Arab American Business Association
  • Arts Alliance Illinois
  • Asian American Chamber of Illinois
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Blue Island Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Chamber57
  • Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation
  • Chinese Mutual Aid Association
  • Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce
  • Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Evanston Chamber of Commerce
  • Far South Community Development Corporation
  • Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation
  • Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce
  • IL Action for Children
  • Illinois Business Immigration Coalition
  • Lansing Chamber of Commerce
  • Melrose Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association
  • Native American Chamber of Commerce
  • New Covenant CDC
  • Next Level Northwest
  • Northbrook Chamber of Commerce
  • Northwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Northwest Side Community Development Corporation
  • Polish American Chamber of Commerce
  • Puerto Rican Cultural Center
  • Rogers Park Business Alliance
  • Schaumburg Business Association
  • SomerCor
  • South East Chicago Commission
  • South Shore Chamber of Commerce
  • Southland Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Southwest Collective
  • The Joseph Center
  • U.S. Pan-Asian Chamber of Commerce Midwest Region
  • West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Westside United
  • Winnetka-Northfield-Glencoe Chamber of Commerce

Current Funders

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