Small Business

Small Business Assistance

The Greater Freeport Partnership is a resource for small businesses – we provide a gateway to value-added partners and information sources.

Recent Webinar Recording Information

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Title-by_Title Summary of American Rescue Plan

Economic Aid Act SBA

Lunch & Learn Webinar Series Archives

Pros & Cons of Different Business Structures (Recording)
Presented by Christina Willman, Elliott & Trainor, PC

March 25
Hiring in a Digital Age
Presented by Hughes Resources

April 22
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Recording
Presented by Healther Kelley, Rockford SBDC; Sarah Flashing, Sarah Flashing Creative + Consulting; Nicole Haas, Greater Freeport Partnership

Upcoming Small Business Webinars

Covid Tax Relief for Employers and the Economic Impact Payments and Recovery Rebate Credit
Slides available here
More information

Applying for Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants – What Operators Need to Know
Date: Monday, April 26, 2021
Time: 10 am CST
Register Here
Applications for the $28.6B Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) will soon be made available. Join the Illinois Restaurant Association for a webinar with a guest speaker from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois District Office, to review the RRF program, documents needed for applications, and how to apply for this critical federal assistance.

Restaurant Relief Fund and American Rescue Plan with SBA
Speaker: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos & SBA
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Time: 10 am CST
Register Here


SBA Extends COVID-19 EIDL Program Through December 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration is extended to Dec. 31, 2021.
Source: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/


Starting a Business Resource Guide

This Resource Guide is designed to provide access to information needed to start or grow a business in Freeport and Stephenson County. It includes many links to documents and websites that will assist in answering questions for someone to open their business. The Starting a Business Resource Guide is designed to provide you with access to information and resources to make your entrepreneurial journey more successful!

To review the complete guide, please click here.

SBDC – Small Business Development Center

Illinois Small Business Development Centers are located throughout the state and provide information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources to start-up and existing small businesses.

Rockford Chamber of Commerce – Illinois Small Business Development Center
8500 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Mike Mastroianni
Email:  sbdc@rockfordchamber.com
Phone: 815-316-4301

Highland Community College

Affordable, Quality, Business Solutions

Highland Community College (HCC) offers a number of business classes including introduction to business, accounting, personal finance, computer skills, lifelong learning classes and more. The HCC Business Institute provides relevant content and practical results-oriented training and consulting solutions including:

Customized Training: The Business Institute provides customized training and business solutions for companies.

Partnering for Solutions: Their staff and instructors work closely with your company to identify, evaluate, and prioritize specific workforce challenges and needs.

One-Stop Shop: Business Institute designs and provides solutions for your company through consultations, assessments, coaching, training, and more.

Increased Production: Targeted services bring greater efficiency and productivity to your organization, while satisfying company goals.

Convenience Plus: Employers may choose to conduct training at their workplace, Highland Community College, or at any other site when it is convenient for them.

Contact: 815-291-6981 or e-mail:  businessinstitute@highland.edu for more information on how they can help meet your training needs.

Highland Community College
Business Institute
2998 W. Pearl City Rd
Freeport, IL 61032
Scott Anderson, Dean of Business & Technology
Email:  scott.anderson@highland.edu
Phone: 815-599-3604
Source: Highland Community College Business Institute, 2017

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

The Illinois DCEO Office of Business Development administers a wide array of programs and services designed to help Illinois businesses thrive in today’s economy. They offer expansion incentives, technology support services, access to capital, global marketing expertise, and job training and education for workers. Their trained staff is committed to forging partnerships with the private sector in an effort to build upon Illinois’ reputation as a world class center for business and industry. This includes a strong emphasis on programs designed to provide small businesses — particularly minority and female entrepreneurs — with the resources they need to succeed and grow their business opportunities.

First Stop Business Information Center
Illinois Department of Commerce
500 E. Monroe
Springfield, IL. 62701-1643
Phone: 800-252-2923
Email: ienconnect@mailmw.custhelp.com
Source: Illinois DCEO Business Assistance, 2017


EIGERlab ties together INNOVATION-COLLABORATION-ENTREPRENEURSHIP into a centrally located, state of the art mixed-use incubator, serving the region with leading edge business and engineering support services.

The facility and programs assist in developing a robust and diverse entrepreneurial culture through the collaboration of education, business and government.

Focused to assist start up, early stage growth and expanding existing businesses, EIGERlab serves as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs and innovators to lease space at reasonable rates, participate in peer groups, access business services, utilize design engineering and art-to-part rapid prototyping services, learn new skills, meet with dedicated mentors, link to qualified investors and receive assistance in selling to the government or executing global market expansions.

EIGERlab’s new accelerator program combines virtual and onsite services and programming specifically targeted at advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and alternative energy commercialization.

Using National Business Incubator Association’s (NBIA) programming, EIGERlab combines policies, procedures and programming with the necessary service infrastructure to accelerate innovation.

You are welcome to come explore and join them to advance your business idea into a growing enterprise. They look forward to meeting you!

8500 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Tina Leombruni, Administrative Assistant
(815) 965-3522
Source: EIGERlab, 2020



SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. You can access the resources at SCORE at score.org.

Key Industries

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Construction, Plumbing, Heating, & Service

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Private Label Food Manufacturing

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Stephenson County Celebrates the “Power of Travel” for National Travel & Tourism Week May 4, 2021 Freeport – Stephenson County is participating in National Travel & Tourism Week by highlighting safe events, activities and attractions for both our local and regional audiences from May 2-8. National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is the annual celebration of the travel industry’s critical role in driving economic recovery efforts and building the path forward through the theme, “Power of […]
Pretzel Fest celebrates Freeport’s moniker as the Pretzel City April 19, 2021 The inaugural Pretzel Fest is scheduled for April 24 in Downtown Freeport to celebrate the history and comradery of the Pretzel City. Activities, food, shopping and fun for all ages between 10 am to 4 pm on Chicago Avenue. The Pretzel Fest BBQ Competition will kick off in the early hours of the morning with aromas to entice all residents […]