Small Business Advising Program

What assistance is available through the small business

The business advising program provides one-on-one assistance to help businesses address their unique needs, including acquiring new capital and customers, understanding financing, change and risk management, adjusting business models, and operating under new safety regulations.

Who is eligible for small business advising?

  • Businesses located in municipalities Cook County, including Chicago
  • Businesses with 20 or fewer employees

Who is the primary point of contact for questions regarding the program?

This webpage is the central point of contact for all questions related to the program. If business owners are interested in applying, they should submit the Get Matched form here to be connected to a Business Support Organization (BSO) to apply.

Can nonprofits apply?

No, our programs are exclusively intended to support for-profit businesses.

How can I apply?

Click here to apply for the business advising program.

When will I receive business advising support?

  • If you need urgent support related to the PPP program, apply here and a business advisor will reach out to you within a week.
  • Due to high demand, non-PPP related one-on-one Business Advising consultations may take several weeks to process.

I’m having technical issues with my business advising application. Who should I contact for support?

If you have any questions and/or are encountering technical difficulties, please review information to troubleshoot your situation at the following link. For more specific technical questions please reach out to Submittable’s Customer Support team at

2020 Grant Program

What assistance is available through the small businessAre small business grants through the Cook County Recovery Grants program still available?

At this time, all businesses receiving grants have been notified. No grants through this program are available at this time.

What was the Cook County Recovery Grants program?

The Cook County Recovery Grants was a program offered in the Fall of 2020 that provided $10,000 grants to eligible Suburban Cook County small businesses. Grant recipients were required to work with our network of providers to receive strategic guidance and business advising to enhance operations.

How did the grant selection process work?

Applications that met eligibility criteria and provided necessary application materials were scored on various factors. To be selected to receive a grant, businesses must have met a minimum score threshold. Factors considered were:

– Area need: priority will be based on the equitable distribution model for Cook County CARES Act Funding, which prioritizes factors such as population of area, median income, COVID-19 deaths per 100K, percent of populations in disinvested areas and tax base per capita

– Size of business: smaller businesses will be prioritized by this program, given the smallest businesses may not qualify for other existing pools of funding

– Current operational status: businesses that are open or have a path to reopening are more likely to remain open will be prioritized