Economic Development


The Economic Development team empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners to build community wealth. Through our workshops and consulting sessions, business owners can develop knowledge and skills they need to successfully start and run a business.

Economic Development offers the following programs and services in English and Spanish to small businesses and entrepreneurs free of charge:

TRP Small Business Loan Start-up businesses can obtain a loan of up to $10,000 or established businesses can get up to $25,000 through this program. Loans have a fixed rate of 7% with flexible eligibility underwriting criteria. The mission of the fund is to create jobs in the Pilsen, Little Village, and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.

Entrepreneurship Training Program – An eight-week workshop for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Participants will learn the skills and tools they need to start a business and receive assistance accessing capital to either start their business or expand it. You can read more about the program or pre-apply today here.

Financial Counseling – To start a business, you need to be financially healthy and stable. Our financial counseling services helps budding entrepreneurs build their credit and savings, while reducing their debt. By working with us, our clients have improved their credit by an average of 20 to 30 points in 6-9 months.

One-on-One Consulting – Our consulting sessions provide free on-going support and technical assistance to guide small businesses. We help business owners with challenges they face while starting their business or expanding it. Mentoring is crucial for small business owners and our team can help you build a successful business and achieve your goals.

Small Business Lending Assistance – We provide assistance in identifying appropriate financing options and assisting the business owner to submit a loan package. We have relationships with a wide variety of lenders and understand what they are looking their criteria for small business loans.

Have questions for the Economic Development Department?

Contact Mary Kuhn, Small Business Manager, at 312-763-3230 or or learn more