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.

Lunch & Learn Webinar Series Archives

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

Timely Resources

Expand to New Markets with Small Business International Shipping
Register Here
When: February 25 | 1 PM ET
Where: Online / Virtual Event

Sponsored by FedEx. Find out how to speed up growth by shipping to international customers, with less paperwork and fewer obstacles than you may think.

Business Behaviors
Register Here
When: February 25, 2021, 11 am
Where: Online / Virtual Classroom
Presenter: Yvonne Decker/The Signature Image

Business behaviors and interactions are key to your reputation and the success of your business. Brush up on business and social introductions, remembering names and proper handshakes. We’ll also cover networking tips and handling cultural differences in the global business world.

Reimagining Your Marketing in a Post-COVID Landscape
Register Here
When: March 4, 2021 / 11 am
Where: Online / Virtual Classroom
Presenter: Emily Hartzog, Chartwell Agency

Learn what messages are resonating well, and what your customers need from you right now. Gain insight into customer decision-making in a recession, and how that might impact their financial priorities. Discuss strategies to develop a new marketing plan given your initial strategies may have gone out the window.

How to Write Engaging Content for your Social Media and PR Audiences
Register Here
When: March 11, 2021 / 11 am
Where: Online / Virtual Classroom
Presenter: Katryna Kirby, Social Kat Co.

Generating engaging social media content is key across social platforms. We’ll discuss how social content generation and social media content tie into your public relations activities. Plus, we will give you tips and tricks to amp up your social media efforts in 2021.

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 COVID-19 Vaccine Update February 15, 2021 February 16, 2021 NEWS Release STEPHENSON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT Craig Beintema Public Health Administrator Citizens of Stephenson County, the Health Department receives a very limited amount of COVID vaccine and this supply does not align with the amount that is needed.  The amount is allocated to each state and the vaccine is being rolled out in phases in Illinois. Currently, […]
Restaurant Bingo – Dine Local, Win Prizes! November 19, 2020 All In, Community, Freeport, Fundraising, Service, Stephenson County, Tourism Print our download your Bingo card here! The Greater Freeport Partnership and the Freeport Park District are excited to announce Restaurant Bingo to encourage local carryout and delivery dining! The game begins on November 12 and runs through December 30. Participants can download their auto-generated Bingo Card and begin collecting receipts. Each card is different, so participants will want to […]