Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government

Local Assistance

SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses.

Small Business Development Centers

The SCORE Association, supported by SBA, is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories.

SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some of the ways you can connect with SCORE and get free business advice:

  • Email a mentor: Choose a mentor online and get answers to your business questions virtually
  • Visit Your Local SCORE Office: Make an appointment with a mentor for in-person advice or attend a business workshop
  • Online Workshops: Participate in free, online workshops or register for small business webinars
  • E-Newsletters: Subscribe to SCORE’s e-Newsletters and get free business tips and read interviews with small business experts


More about SCORE

  • There are hundreds of SCORE chapters in urban, suburban and rural communities
  • SCORE was formed in 1964 and millions of Americans have used SCORE services
  • SCORE can help if you are trying to start a business or if you need help with your existing business


Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.

SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.

With dozens of host networks branching out with hundreds of service delivery points throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere.

Women's Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of nearly 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) oversees the WBC network, which provides entrepreneurs (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in several languages.

Doing business with the government is a big step to growing your business. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) provide local, in-person counseling and training services for you, the small business owner. They are designed to provide technical assistance to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, and/or local governments. PTAC services are available either free of charge, or at a nominal cost. PTACs are part of the Procurement Technical Assistance Program, which is administered by the Defense Logistics Agency.

What can a PTAC do for you?

Determine if your business is ready for government contracting Pursuing government contracts is a challenge, and can be burden for your company if you do not have the resources to handle a contract. A PTAC representative can sit with you one-on-one and determine if your business is ready, and help position you for success.

Help you register in the proper places There are numerous databases to register with to get involved with the government marketplace, including the Department of Defense’s System for Award Management (SAM), GSA Schedules, and other government vendor sites. A PTAC representative can help you determine where and how to register.

See if you are eligible in any small business certifications Some government contracts are set aside for certain businesses with special certifications, such as woman-owned, small disadvantaged businesses and HUBZone. A PTAC representative can help you obtain these certifications.

Research past contract opportunities A PTAC representative can look into past contracts to see what types of contracts have been awarded to businesses like yours.

In addition, a PTAC can help you identify and bid on a contract, and if you are awarded the contract, measure your performance and help with contract audits.

The Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training; counseling and mentoring; and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. SBA has 16 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

Services Provided by the Centers

Pre-Business Plan Workshops VBOCs conduct entrepreneurial development workshops dealing specifically with the major issues of self-employment, which include using the Internet to develop and expand businesses. Each client has the opportunity to work directly with a business counselor.

Concept Assessments VBOCs assist clients in assessing their entrepreneurial needs and requirements.

Business Plan Preparations VBOCs assist clients in developing and maintaining a business plan. The business plan includes such elements as the legal and organizational structure of the business; equipment requirements and costs; strategic and financial plans; and market research.

Comprehensive Feasibility Analysis VBOCs help identify and analyze strengths and weaknesses of the business plan to increase the probability of success. Analysis results are used to revise the strategic planning portion of the business plan.

Entrepreneurial Training and Counseling VBOCs, working with other SBA resource partners, conduct entrepreneurial training and counseling sessions specifically for service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs.

Mentorship When needed, VBOCs conduct on-site visits with clients to ensure they are following their business plans. Additionally, VBOCs review monthly financial statements to determine if the business plan needs to be changed to achieve targeted goals.

Other Business Developmental Related Services VBOCs also provide assistance and training in topics such as exporting, franchising, marketing, accounting and more.

VBOC Locations and Areas of Coverage

Region I Northeast Veterans Business Resource Center

Region II The Research Foundation of the State University of
New York SUNY @ Farmingdale SBDC
The New Jersey Veterans Business Outreach Center - Rutgers Business School

Region III Hampton Roads Veterans Business Outreach Center/Old Dominion University

Region IV The University of West Florida in Pensacola The Veterans Business Outreach Center
@Fayetteville State University

Region V VetBiz Central, Inc

Region VI The University of Texas - Pan American Veterans Enterprise Training Program Louisiana Veterans Business Outreach Center

Region VII Veterans Advocacy Foundation, Inc.

Region VIII Rocky Boys Veteran’s Association

Region IX Vietnam Veterans of California – VBOC Guam Veterans Business Outreach Center

Region X Seattle Business Assistance Center


Exporting can enable small businesses to increase sales and profit, reduce dependence on the domestic market and stabilize seasonal fluctuations. If you're ready to explore exporting, Export Assistance Centers, located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, can help.

Each U.S. Export Assistance Center is staffed by professionals from SBA, Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank and other public and private organizations. Together, their mission is to help small and medium sized businesses compete in today's global marketplace by providing export assistance.

These U.S. Export Assistance Centers have SBA representatives who are available to help you with all of your SBA export financing needs: Atlanta, GA; Arlington, VA; Boston, MA; Irvine, CA; Sacramento, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO

Certified Development Companies (CDCs) are nonprofit corporations certified and regulated by the SBA, that work with participating lenders to provide financing to small businesses. There are 270 CDCs nationwide, each covering a specific geographic area.

To find your nearest CDC, enter your zip code in our Local Asssistance tool and select "Certified Development Company" in the "Refine by Partner" section on the left.

Refine by State*


1817 South Neil Street Suite 201
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-378-8535
Fax: 815-288-5958


200 E. Randolph Street Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-494-6742
Fax: 773-955-8028


8 South Michigan, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-853-3477
Fax: 312-853-0145


216 West Jackson Blvd. Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-673-3429
Fax: 312-553-5544


815 West Van Buren Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-996-4057
Fax: 312-355-3604


855 West Adams Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-492-9960
Fax: 312-229-1918


320 N. Damen Avenue Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: 312-433-2373
Fax: 312-421-1871


3333 W. Arthington Street Suite 232
Chicago, IL 60624
Phone: 773-265-1301


9501 South King Drive, BHS 601
Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: 773-995-3938
Fax: 773-821-2841


8430 West Bryn Mawr Avenue Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60631
Phone: 773-594-9292
Fax: 773-594-9416


2917 N. Vermilion Street
Danville, IL 61832
Phone: 217-442-7232
Fax: 217-442-6228


601 James R. Thompson Blvd Bldg D, Room 2009
East St. Louis, IL 62201
Phone: 618-482-8330
Fax: 618-482-8341


Alumni Hall 2126 Campus Box 1107
Edwardsville, IL 62026
Phone: 618-650-2929
Fax: 618-650-2647


1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 847-214-7488
Fax: 847-931-3911


7600 West Roosevelt Road
Forest Park, IL 60130
Phone: 708-697-6200
Fax: 708-488-2290


19351 West Washington Street
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: 847-543-2033
Fax: 847-223-9371


2 East Locust Street Suite 200
Harrisburg, IL 62946
Phone: 618-252-5001
Fax: 618-252-0210


1215 Houbolt Road
Joliet, IL 60431
Phone: 815-280-1400
Fax: 815-722-1895


100 College Drive
Kankakee, IL 60901
Phone: 815-802-8222
Fax: 815-933-0217


2525 Cabot Drive Suite 201
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: 630-942-2771
Fax: 217-557-2853


510 North Pearl Street Room 1400
Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309-836-2640
Fax: 309-298-2520


4100 West Shamrock Lane
McHenry, IL 60050
Phone: 815-455-6098
Fax: 815-578-9684


4703 - 16th Street, Suite G
Moline, IL 61265
Phone: 309-764-2213
Fax: 309-797-9344


327 Potomac Blvd Suite A
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
Phone: 618-242-5813
Fax: 618-242-8220


214 College of Business Mail Code 5580
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-438-3610
Fax: 309-438-2114


815 North Orlando Smith Avenue, Building 11
Oglesby, IL 61348
Phone: 815-224-0212
Fax: 815-223-1780


218 East Main Street
Olney, IL 62450
Phone: 618-395-3011
Fax: 618-395-1922


141 Jobst Hall 1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
Phone: 309-677-2992
Fax: 309-677-3386


605 Fulton Eiger Lab, Room E109
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-921-2082
Fax: 815-921-2089


650 East Higgins Road Suite 106
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847-925-6520
Fax: 847-925-6109