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Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center


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Join BizHub now to be a part of the Lake County business community!


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

Surely Signs President Randy Rice with employee at their shopSurely Signs President Randy Rice came to the Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center at College of Lake County after he decided to purchase a franchise from Signworld. The SBDC/ITC helped to answer questions about things like forming a legal entity, the best approaches to marketing, financial management and more.

After Coronavirus hit, Randy applied for and received disaster funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which helped him to stay open and work on growing his business. Most importantly, Randy says, were the consistent check-ins from the SBDC/ITC to see how things were going, to offer encouragement and pass along additional opportunities to grow the business.

Randy Rice, Surely Signs

Read more about Surely Signs

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

Export: Ready, Rebound, Recover

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 virtual 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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