Illinois Back to Business New Business (B2B NewBiz) Grant

November 28, 2023
The State of Illinois has launched the Illinois Back to Business New Business Grant Program (B2B NewBiz), a grant program that will provide financial relief to businesses in the industries most impacted by the pandemic. The state has allocated $25…
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Check Your Certificate of Good Standing Status Today!

October 23, 2023
Make sure your business is in good standing with the State of Illinois. Your business may need to get a copy of your certificate to: Open a business bank account Apply for a business loan Seek investments from investors Purchase…
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From “Corrections to Confections”: How One Small Business Owner Utilized the Source to Pursue Her Passion

October 2, 2023
When Lisa Marsh (second to left) retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, she decided it was time to further pursue her personal passion of creating allergen free foods. Named in honor of her mother, Lisa launched MsPsGFree, a gluten…
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The 2023 Source Grant Launch

July 31, 2023
The launch of The 2023 Source Grant brought together many of our community partners and small businesses. The press event on July 19 featured President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison, grant administrators Women’s Business Development Center and Allies…
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The Source Honored with a National Association of Counties Award

July 7, 2023
Did you know that The Source’s work in assisting 10,000 businesses has led to its recognition as a national model for small business assistance? Since its inception, The Source has assisted small businesses by providing no cost business advising, a…
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Become a Referral Partner for The Source

June 28, 2023
The Cook County Small Business Source is seeking non-profit organizations to join its partner network as a Referral Partner.  We seek organizations that: Have a footprint or presence in Suburban Cook County Serve historically excluded populations  Have the staffing and…
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The Source e-Newsletter: June Edition

June 13, 2023
A new edition of The Source e-Newsletter just dropped! June’s newsletter highlights tools available on The Source’s new Resources page, an inspiring small business impact story, free upcoming events and financing opportunities. Click here to view the June e-Newsletter. Don’t…
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Partner with The Source: Become a Business Support Organization

April 12, 2023
The Women’s Business Development Center on behalf of the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development seeks 2-4 non-profit Business Support Organizations (BSOs) to provide business advising services for The Cook County Small Business Source. We seek organizations that: Have demonstrated…
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Applications Now Closed: DCEO Back To Business (B2B) Grants for Creative Arts, Hotels & Restaurants

April 3, 2023
As of 12am, May 11th, the application window for the DCEO Back To Business (B2B) Grants is closed. The State of Illinois has launched a new round of the Back to Business (B2B) program. Eligible restaurants, hotels and creative arts…
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Check Your Certificate of Good Standing Status Today!

December 2, 2022
Make sure your business is in good standing with the State of Illinois. Your business may need to get a copy of your certificate to:Open a business bank accountApply for a business loanSeek investments from investorsPurchase small business insuranceRegister to…
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Make your final preparations for Small Business Saturday!

November 18, 2022
Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday, is a day designed to promote the importance of small businesses for the local economy on one of the biggest shopping days of the year! Take action now to prepare yourself and your…
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Important Grow Grant Update

October 10, 2022
March 1, 2023 Thank you to all the businesses who applied for a Grow Grant. We appreciate your interest, your participation, and your patience in moving this program forward. Please find below important updates in our effort to bring more…
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Cook County: Manufacturing Reinvented

August 18, 2022
Ready to take your business to the next level? On August 11, 2022, Cook County launched Manufacturing Reinvented, a $5 million grant program to support suburban Cook County manufacturers. This program reimburses manufacturers for implementation of projects designed to improve productivity, develop future leaders, train…
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The Berwyn Shops Launch

June 15, 2022
Congratulations to our partners at the Berwyn Development Corporation for launching Berwyn Shops, a new business incubator supported by the Cook County Small Business Source. The Berwyn Shops, features 12 women-owned (11 Latina-owned) 12’x15’ cottage-style shops and provides vendors with the…
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Allies for Community Business Loan Opportunity

May 18, 2022
Take advantage of our discounted 3% interest rate by applying for a small business loan today! This special offer will apply to all applications received by June 30, 2022. Applications received on July 1, 2022 or after will be subject…
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Cook County Small Business Source Launch

May 17, 2022
The Cook County small business community thanks President Toni Preckwinkle along with Cook County Commissioners Frank Aguilar, Alma Anaya, Kevin Morrison, and Xochitl Flores, Chief of the Bureau of Economic Development, for their efforts in establishing the Cook County Small…
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Webinar Series: State of Illinois’ Child Care Grant

May 12, 2022
Join our webinar series to learn more about the State of Illinois’ Strengthen and Grow Childcare Grants Provided by the State of Illinois, these new grants give licensed and eligible childcare centers access to quarterly funding to help maintain and grow…
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Update to EIDL

September 16, 2021
Major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program  have been announced! EIDLE is a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support our small business communities still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such…
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Small Business Employees Can Get Money to Reduce Their Payroll Taxes

August 27, 2021
Small Business Employees Can Get Money to Reduce Payroll Taxes Through the American Rescue Plan, a number of critical tax benefits are being offered to small businesses to help with employee retention and paid leave credits. Available to small businesses…
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Illinois Celebrating Black Business Month in August

August 5, 2021
BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS MONTH To honor the contributions of Black-owned businesses across the state, the State of Illinois, with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the celebration of Black Business Month by highlighting a series of events…
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PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal: Open Wednesday, August 4, 2021

August 2, 2021
Forgiveness Portal: Opens Wednesday, August 4, 2021 The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching an application portal on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less to apply for forgiveness directly…
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Optimize the Benefits of Your Social Media

June 14, 2021
Tips on keeping your post organic• Aim to use 3-5 hashtags per post• Consider the time and day you post Tips for growing your followers• Find people who share your companies values/interests• Comment, like, and share their posts• Follow them…
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Critical Financial Tips to Maintain Your Business

Categorize expenses as best as possible for budgeting and tax purposesMeet with your accountant at least quarterly to know your numbersUse billing systems to automate and organize your receivablesProactively negotiate terms with vendors to increase cash flowsReview your financial statement…
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Non-Profits: Apply & Help Support Small Business Recovery

May 10, 2021
***Application for eligibility is now closed. 5/24/21. As part of Cook County's Community Recovery Initiative, Cook County established the Small Business Assistance program in 2020 to help address the impacts of COIVD-19.  Through the program and its 35+ partners, thousands…
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Paycheck Protection Program – Extended Through May 31, 2021

May 3, 2021
Paycheck Protection Program ***Closed as of 5/31/21. PPP is working for you.  PPP has been extended through May 31, 2021.  Lenders are open and accepting applications. PPP’s funding formula has been revised for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals…
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WBDC: Start Planning Your Business for Recovery in 2021

April 20, 2021
***Application for eligibility is now closed.  Looking to Pivot Your Business into Recovery for 2021? Most businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic, especially small businesses. If you are a Solopreneur or a small business (< 2 years), and…
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EIDL Overview: What you need to know

April 8, 2021
Economic Injury Disaster Loan EIDL Advance funds were originally calculated based on the number of employees on an applicant's COVID-19 EIDL application: $1,000/employee, up to a maximum of $10,000. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses in low-income communities with additional…
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Be a Small Business Vaccine Leader: Join Us 4/6/21

April 1, 2021
On Tuesday, April 6th at 2:00 PM EDT, Reimagine Main Street will host a launch event regarding the important role small business owners can play in promoting vaccine access, confidence, and equity. As part of the event, we will: Release results of…
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Restaurant Revitalization Fund FAQs

March 29, 2021
***Application for eligibility is now closed. 5/24/21.   UPDATE (5/21): Final Call! SBA announced that businesses have until Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET, to submit applications to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund The SBA still has potential set-aside funding available for…
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Guidance on Grant Funds & Taxes

March 4, 2021
As a recipient of Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Grant Recipient/Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) through the county, you should have received a 1099-MISC Form from the WBDC. If you have not received your form please email Please include the name of your business,…
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PPP Updates: Feb 22, 2021

February 24, 2021
Delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses is a top priority. On February 22, some critical reform was announced to build on the success of PPP. These changes are designed to improve equity and access to the smallest business owners,…
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Small Business Owners: PPP Eligibility

January 21, 2021
In 2020 small businesses around the world were stunned by the economic impact of COVID-19. The paycheck protection program (PPP) was created to offer financial relief to small businesses owners, specifically to cover monthly payroll costs, rent, interest and utilities.…
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What You Need to Apply for PPP, Forms & Documents

Small businesses are often passion projects that started to turn a profit. There are endless tales of small businesses owners who can’t manage the books. If this resonates with you, you aren’t alone. During the first round of PPP many…
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Inductor of Healing

July 5, 2022
Shortly after beginning his business, Inductor of Healing, Malike Ayouba signed up to receive business advising. He was able to gain invaluable guidance in how to best develop and market his business. He accredits his successful journey to the skills…
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The Escape Factor

Dexter Cura, co-owner of The Escape Factor in Forest Park, IL, shares his best advice for business owners: Don't be afraid to ask for help. You can find mentors, support and connections in many places, including the Cook County Small…
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Moreno’s Shoe Repair

Ernesto Moreno signed up for business advising from Cook County Small Business Source to help grow his family business, Moreno's Shoe Repair in Berwyn. Through the program, he also learned about available grants and received assistance with marketing. Best of…
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UP CLOSE | Small Business Spotlight

March 8, 2022
UP CLOSE | Small Business Spotlight  Meet Aida Flores and Eduardo Duarte of Total Nutrition Belmont LLC 5550 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60641 (773) 757-4420 How long have you been in business? I started in 2008 learning about wellness…
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Meet the Business Support Organization — Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tell me about the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and your participation in the Small Business Source We were one of the first organizations to happily join this program…
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Small Business Profile: Oak Lawn-based Juicy Luzy Sangria

January 21, 2021
The thought of the uncertainty and fear the COVID-19 pandemic introduced to Luz Cavazos’ life and livelihood still brings tears to her eyes. The owner of Juicy Luzy Sangria poured her savings, heart and soul into her business when she…
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