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 Commission
The Business and Economic Development Commission consists of seven 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 Commission (BEDC) promotes and fosters business and development in the City of Highland Park in an advisory capacity to the City Council. BEDC 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 Commission, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.score.org.
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
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 us.accion.org/about-us/.
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO)
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's mission is to raise Illinois’ profile as a premier global business destination; and to provide a foundation for the economic prosperity of all Illinoisans, through coordination of business recruitment and retention, provision of essential capital to small businesses, investment in infrastructure and job training for a 21st century economy, and administration of state and federal grant programs.
In July 2014, the IDCEO issued a five-year economic development plan for Illinois, a proposal that sets out the state’s priorities for encouraging private-sector job growth and business vitality, especially in regions with the highest poverty and unemployment.
The plan, developed and administered by DCEO, identifies seven high-growth business sectors in which the state can concentrate its efforts. It also increases accountability by requiring close cooperation with local economic development officials and by specifying five-year growth targets in measures such as job creation and business launches.
The 80-page plan sets a goal of 360,000 business launches in Illinois through 2019. In addition, DCEO is aiming for 75,000 new jobs drawn from outside the state, 10,000 new jobs in areas with the highest unemployment, a 25 percent expansion in the number of people participating in workforce training and a reduction in poverty rates.
Specific policies recommended in the report include:
- Increase small business access to the state’s job-creation tax credit and direct more of its benefits to communities in economic hardship, while also reducing the use of the legislatively directed EDGE tax credits by large corporations.
- Pursue a low-cost, sustainable energy and natural resource economy.
- Establish a revenue-neutral job-training tax credit and expand job training generally.
- Double the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit and increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour.
- Reduce the filing fee for limited liability companies.
- Expand Illinois’ marketing efforts to enhance business retention and expansion.
- Establish regional business plan competitions.
- Establish a technology transfer fund.
- Secure full funding for the CREATE program to ease rail congestion in the Chicago area.
- Expand the Illinois Clean Water Initiative.
- Modernize Illinois’ aging locks and dams.
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