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Small Business Resource Guide

Small 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!

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Table of Contents to Guide

Introduction

  1. So You want to Start A Business
  2. About the Greater Freeport Partnership
    1. Contact information
  3. The Business Resource Guide
  4. The Business Start-Up Process (graphic)

Evaluate Your Idea

  1. Where Do I Start?
    1. 30 Questions
    2. Are you ready to start your own business?

Business Plan

  1. Components of a Business Plan
  2. Small Business Development Center
  3. SBA Business Plan
  4. SCORE Business Plan

Build Your Business

  1. Business Ownership
    1. Business Ownership Options
  2. Registering Your Business in Illinois
    1. State of Illinois Registration
    2. Illinois Department of Professional Regulations
    3. Stephenson County
    4. City of Freeport and other municipalities
  3. Federal Tax Identification Number
  4. State of Illinois Tax Number
  5. Sales Tax
  6. Developing a Startup Support Team
  7. Financing Your Business
    1. Your personal credit
    2. Possible Business Financing Resources
    3. Local Business Financing Resources
    4. Possible Site-Specific Financing Resources
  8. Business Insurance
  9. Lawyers
  10. Accountants
  11. Real Estate and Leasing
    1. Utility Contact Information

Grow Your Business

  1. Assembling Your Team
  2. Hiring Employees
    1. Writing a Job Description
    2. Writing an Employee Manual
    3. State of Illinois Unemployment
    4. Workers Compensation
    5. Insurance
    6. Minimum Wage Laws
  3. Sales and Marketing
  4. Plan for Growth

Appendices and Attachments

Appendix A: Resources

Appendix B: Employment Posters

Appendix C: Feasibility Checklist

Key Industries

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Healthcare

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Construction, Plumbing, Heating, & Service

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Private Label Food Manufacturing

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New Messaging Tools Available to You February 14, 2024 greater freeport partnership You don’t have to be in marketing to understand that it is increasingly difficult to get your message out! Additional social and media channels, homogeneous algorithms, and the expense of advertising make reaching customers a challenging endeavor. The Partnership has recently upgraded our customer management software (CMS) and with it, the opportunities for our members to utilize tools within the […]
Diversity in Business February 8, 2024 diversity, greater freeport partnership Last week we had the first class of our 2024 BASE Camp program. The Business Academy for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs (BASE) Camp is an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn more about the important elements of business ownership to be successful. We had great instructors in Kim Ewoldson, executive director of the Sauk Valley Small […]
Celebrating Black History Month: Local Events in Freeport and Stephenson County February 5, 2024 Black History Month, Celebrating, Freeport, Stephenson County As we usher in the month of February, celebrating Black History Month takes center stage across the nation. In Freeport and Stephenson County, these events serve as a platform to commemorate and pay homage to the rich and diverse African American heritage in the community. From educational seminars and cultural exhibitions to artistic performances and community discussions, the local events […]
Manufacturing is Key to Stephenson County’s Economy January 31, 2024 Freeport, greater freeport partnership, Manufacturing, Stephenson County A key pillar in Illinois’ economic base is manufacturing. The manufacturing industry has a variety of subsectors with a very diverse employment base and is the state’s largest industry when ranked by contribution to GDP (gross domestic product). The total economic impact of manufacturing in Illinois is estimated to be between $580 and $611 billion annually. This figure reflects the […]