Small Business Assistance

Greater Freeport Partnership is a resource for entrepreneurial start-ups or small businesses — we provide a gateway to value-added partners and information sources.



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: 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
Phone: 815-599-3604

Source: Highland Community College Business Institute, 2017


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
Harold C “Bo” Boger
Phone: 815-316-4301

Rockford Chamber of Commerce
308 W. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Phone: 815-987-8100
Email: for a complete list if contacts visit Rockford Chamber of Commerce



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

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
Sherry Pritz, Business Development
(815) 965-3522

Source: EIGERlab, 2017


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.




About SBC

The SBC provides business consulting services to start-up and existing businesses conducting business in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois. The online resources and one-on-one services of the Small Business Collaborative (SBC) are available free of charge. The SBC represents an effort by business leaders of Stephenson County to create a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of the  small business community in the county.

SBC Business Resource Guide

This SBC Resource Guide is designed to provide access to information needed to create a business in Freeport/Stephenson County. It includes many links to documents and websites that will assist in answering questions for someone to open their business. The SBC Resource Guide is designed to be followed in the order in which it is outlined.

More information on the Small Business Resource Guide

Assembling Your Team

Your opportunity for the success of your business will improve if you assemble a team of trusted advisors to help you from the beginning.

Where Do I Start?

If you’re ready to start a business, having a plan will get you to your destination faster.

Feasibility Study

Business Plan

A business plan is one of the most important steps you will take because it serves as your road map of the early years of your business.

Business Ownership

How the business is owned will impact who can make decisions, who is liable, who shares in profits or losses, and how income is taxed by the government.

Registering your Business in Illinois

Federal Tax Identification Number

State of Illinois Tax Number

Sales Tax

Hiring Employees

Will your businesses require additional help to handle the hours and workload?

Business Insurance

Insurance coverage is available for every conceivable risk your business might face.

Financing Your Business

What is the best way to finance your business?

Real Estate and Leasing

Utilizing a professional real estate agent is an excellent way to discover available commercial properties for purchase or rent.


Starting a business requires gathering information and making many decisions.

SBC Collaborative Partner Resources

City of Freeport

City Codified Ordinances

Freeport Stephenson County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Protecting Your Invention, Product, or Logo

Opening an eBay Account

Opening a Bank Account