Business Resources


Lockport Business Start-Up Guide – A booklet to introduce business owners to the resources available to assist them in opening, relocating or expanding a business in Lockport.

SCORE – SCORE is a nationwide, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the owners of existing or start-up businesses assure that their businesses grow and prosper. SCORE provides free mentoring, workshops and resources. For more information visit their website

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – Funded through the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of Illinois, SBDCs provide one-on-one counseling and consulting services to Illinois businesses at no or low cost. SBDCs also host free training workshops on a variety of business management topics. Through the local SBDCs, a business owner can access the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), which provides free, confidential business counseling to anyone who is operating a small business or thinking about starting one. The College of DuPage Center for Entrepeneurship SBDC in Lisle, the Joliet Junior College SBDC in Joliet, and CenterPoint at Governors State University are three nearby SBDCs

Will County Center for Economic Development (WCCED) – The CED brings the public and private sectors together creating an environment where successful businesses will prosper by providing a forum for communication, cooperation and collaboration between the public and private sectors. – The Federal government's business portal. The site includes a step-by-step guide to starting a business, complete with links to the applicable state and local agencies. It also includes links to grants and loan programs. – The State government's business portal. The site includes information on starting, running, and changing a business. The site also includes links to state agencies, grant and loan programs.


IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity – The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's (DCEO) Bureau of Business Development administers a wide array of programs and services designed to help Illinois businesses thrive in today's economy. The Department administers a variety of grant and loan programs, many of which are targeted toward small businesses.

IL State Treasurer's Office – The Illinois State Treasurer's Office invests millions of dollars annually in low-interest loans to business owners through the Employ Illinois Program. The program enables eligible lenders to offer interest rate reductions to large and small business owners, and to owners of child care facilities.

Small Business Administration (SBA) – The United States Small Business Administration provides a number of financial programs for small businesses, including equity financing through the SBA's Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program.

Advantage Illinois – Advantage Illinois consists of multiple programs to encourage institutional lending to small businesses, as well as a Venture Fund to leverage private venture capital in start-ups and high-growth sectors. Some small businesses may also receive Advantage Illinois financing as part of a business assistance package Programs include Capital Access Program (CAP), Participation Loan Program (PLP), Collateral Support Program, and Invest Illinois Venture Fund (IIVF).

Smart Energy Design Assistance – The IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Bureau of Energy and Recycling offers the Smart Energy Design Assistance Program to provide free technical assistance to businesses who are considering energy efficiency improvements at existing facilities or to businesses who wish to enhance baseline design of new facilities


Illinois Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit – A $2,500 tax credit on withholding tax for employers who create and hire new, full-time Illinois employees between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2016. Eligible employers include those having 50 or fewer full-time employees (all locations) and not-for-profit and Professional Employer Organizations. Eligible jobs include a newly created position which is filled by a 2010 "Put Illinois to Work" worker trainee, pays no less than $10/hour or equivalent with a minimum $18,200, is sustained for at least one year (not necessarily held by the same individual for the year) and withholding tax goes to Illinois. A tax credit certificate will be issued one year from the hire date.

Illinois Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE)– The EDGE program is designed to offer a special tax incentive to encourage companies to locate or expand operations in Illinois when there is active consideration of a competing location in another State. The program can provide tax credits to qualifying companies, equal to the amount of state income taxes withheld from the salaries of employees in the newly created jobs. The non-refundable credits can be used against corporate income taxes to be paid over a period not to exceed 10 years. To qualify a company must provide documentation that attests to the fact of competition among a competing state, and agree to make an investment of at least $5 million in capital improvements and create a minimum of 25 new full-time jobs in Illinois. For a company with 100 or fewer employees, the company must agree to make a capital investment of $1 million and create at least 5 new full-time jobs in Illinois.

Will County Tax Abatement Program Application – Will County and many communities offer abatement of ad valorem real estate taxes as an incentive to new or retained businesses. Each community develops their specific abatement to the project request on a case-by-case basis. Will County's tax abatement program is done on an application/weighted process. As result of the application evaluation, a project can receive 50% abatement on improvements for 3, 4, or 5 consecutive tax levy years.