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Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Resources

Find your path to success with our small business expertise. Whether you're starting a new business, positioning your company for growth or seeking to expand globally, we can help. Schedule a one-on-one advising session with one of our small business advisors.

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Ready to assist you

  • No-cost, confidential, one-on-one business advising in English or Spanish with noted experts. Note: All advising sessions are conducted virtually until further notice.
  • Assistance developing business, marketing and financial plans
  • Information about federal, state and local loan programs
  • Support in securing commercial loans with local providers
  • One-on-one strategic export advising
  • Access to vital business resources
  • Interactive, low-cost workshops Note: Workshops have moved to an alternative learning model until further notice.


SBDC Success Story

Joe Olsen started tinting automotive windows in his garage in 2011. What started as a part-time job quickly became a full-time business offering professional window film installation. In 2014, Joe established Fire Guys Tinting located in Antioch, Illinois. His customer base quickly grew and moved into a larger space. Employee at Five Guys Tinting putting tint on a car windowThe demand continued for Joe’s services and in 2016 Joe decided to build a facility to accommodate his business. That is when he met with an advisor at the Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center for assistance on securing a loan to help him expand his business and build a new facility.

“We have built and moved into our new building which has now allowed us to increase our installation staff and front office staff. We have also been able to increase our space so that we can accommodate multiple customers at one time thus increasing our productivity/profit while appeasing the customers by not having a long lead time. Our new building has been quite the talk since a lot of people watched it being built and were excited for the new modern addition to the Antioch corridor. The new building has also given us a more marketable presence because we are now a permanent facility which gives customer's comfort in knowing that we will always be here for their needs and won't be disappearing overnight.”

Ann Olsen, Fire Guys Tinting

Read more about Fire Guys Tinting

Starting Your Business in Illinois

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Learn the basic elements of starting a successful business. Register for Starting Your Business in Illinois. This workshop is offered multiple times throughout the year.

International Trade Advising Services

Stay local. Sell Global.

Did you know 95 percent of consumers live outside of the United States?

If you are seeking new markets, our International Trade Specialist will help you successfully navigate the exciting business opportunities global trade has to offer.

Export services

  • No-cost, confidential one-on-one export advising. Note: All advising sessions are conducted virtually until further notice.
  • Export business planning
  • Customized global market research
  • Export financial and technical resources
  • Trade training and workshops Note: Workshops have moved to an alternative learning model until further notice.
  • Grants available

Schedule a one-on-one export advising session - at no cost - with our International Trade Specialist. Call (847) 543-2306.

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