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Business Resources

City of Highland Park Office of Business Development 
The City of Highland Park is committed to assisting entrepreneurs and established business owners interested in opening a business in Highland Park. To help business owners or their brokers find an available commercial location and to assist them through the regulatory and permit process, as well as to eliminate costly delays during the new business start-up period, the Office of Business Development staff serves as the primary local government contact and resource for businesses. Business Development professional staff can also provide knowledge of the City's zoning regulations and Highland Park's existing business mix. 

For more information or assistance with establishing your business in Highland Park, please contact the Office of Business Development at 847.926.1027.

City of Highland Park Business & Economic Development Advisory Group
The Business and Economic Development Advisory Group consists of twelve voting members: Residents with business expertise, one non-voting ex officio member of the City Council, and one representative of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Business & Economic Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) promotes and fosters business and development in the City of Highland Park in an advisory capacity to the City Council.  BEDAG prepares and recommends development programs designed to achieve the City’s Master Plan goals in the community’s commercial, industrial, residential and office zoning districts. 

For more information, please contact Carolyn Hersch, staff liaison to the Business and Economic Development Advisory Group, at 847.926.1027 or by email.

Highland Park Chamber of Commerce 

“Our purpose is to help all member businesses prosper by providing programs and services designed to encourage business development and promotion, networking, education/training and advocacy.” - Chamber

The Highland Park Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit business association whose membership includes businesses, service organizations and individuals. Their mission is to promote, support and assist the local business community through effective communication, ongoing education, and quality programs and services. They serve as the "Voice of Business" at the federal, state and local levels of government. For more information, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 847.432.0284 or via email at

Downtown Highland Park Alliance 
Downtown Highland Park is managed and promoted by the Downtown Highland Park Alliance. The Alliance was founded in 2008 to enhance the economic vitality of the central business district of Highland Park. The operations and promotions of the Alliance are funded by a Special Service Area commercial property tax within Downtown Highland Park. For more information, please contact the Downtown Highland Park Alliance at 847.780.4293.

Illinois Small Business Development Center 
The College of Lake County's Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) assists in assessing the viability of and developing business ventures within the Lake County. Our services include: 

  • Access to our small business resource library
  • Assistance in developing business plans
  • Interactive workshops
  • One-on-one consulting by noted experts
  • Referrals to small business service providers
  • Support in securing loans

For more information, please call the College of Lake County Small Business Development Center at 847.543.2033.

SCORE - Counselors to America’s Small Businesses
Counselors to America's Small Business (SCORE) is a non-profit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses in the U.S. SCORE provides free business counseling, workshops, and low cost management consulting. They also provide templates for business plans, advice on how to develop a business plan and obtain a business loan. SCORE counselors can help the entrepreneur start a business or a small business owner grow their business and prosper. 

With expanded hours (two hours on Tuesday afternoons and three hours on Thursday evenings), SCORE mentoring at the Highland Park Public Library increased by over 8% in 2017.

For more information, please call 312.353.7724, or visit

Click HERE for information one on one social media assistance offered by SCORE.
Click HERE for infomation on upcoming SCORE Workshops at the Highland Park Public Library

Visit Lake County - Lake County, Illinois Tourism Bureau

Visit Lake County provides numerous resources, collaborative partnerships and advertising opportunities for communities and their businesses to reach new and broader audiences.

CommerceConnect supports U.S. businesses by cataloging government and non-profit enterprise assistance resources by matching them to specific business needs and streamlining access to the programs and services needed most. The goal of CommerceConnect is simple – to help emerging entrepreneurs and established companies around the country overcome challenges, exploit opportunities and connect to the right resources to advance their objectives. For more information about CommerceConnect contact 1.888.728.4190.

Accion is the largest nationwide nonprofit lending network in the United States. They provide fair and flexible loans, connections to business experts, and access to resources and opportunities specifically tailored to each business owner’s unique needs and goals. Who they lend to: Women Owned Businesses; Start Ups; Restaurant & Food Industry, and more. For more information, please call (312) 275-3000 or visit their website at

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO)
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's mission is to provide economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, and residents that improve the quality of life for all Illinoisans. The IDCEO is focused on improving transparency and accountability, enhancing customer service, increasing Illinois’ competitiveness, advancing minority empowerment, modernizing Illinois’ workforce, and elevating our state’s promotional efforts.

The Illinois Department of Commerce delivers impactful and efficient programs and services through the following offices. Click below to learn more:

Additional Resources for Starting a Small Business

Green Funding Opportunities 
Governments across Illinois are adopting a green way of thinking and operating. The Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council helps state agencies, units of local government, and educational institutions improve the sustainability of their operations and policies.  A list of green funding opportunities has been compiled and is available on the State of Illinois website

Energy Efficiency Incentives and Grants 
All Illinois public facilities located within Ameren Illinois and ComEd electrical service areas or Illinois, Nicor, North Shore or Peoples natural gas areas are eligible for Energy Efficiency Incentives and Grants.   

Highland Park Central Business District Property Owners Association
“To plan, improve, enhance and maintain a strong, successful pedestrian oriented downtown that attracts and encourages a vibrant cultural and business district.” - Association

Briergate Business Association District 
“The mission of BBAD is to continuously improve the desirability and economic vitality of the Briergate Business District.” 
- Association Bylaws