27 W. Stephenson Street Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-233-1356 Fax: 815-235-4038

Community Profiles ButtonInteractive Maps ButtonRequest More Information ButtonCVB ButtonCity of Freeport Button
Stephenson County is ranked third among IL livestock producing counties with $94.13 million in total output.

Small Business Assistance

NIDA can be a resource for entrepreneurial start-ups or small businesses — a gateway to value-added partners and information sources.

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

The Illinois DCEO Office of Business Development administers a wide array of programs and services designed to help Illinois businesses thrive in today's economy. They offer expansion incentives, technology support services, access to capital, global marketing expertise, and job training and education for workers. Their trained staff is committed to forging partnerships with the private sector in an effort to build upon Illinois' reputation as a world class center for business and industry. This includes a strong emphasis on programs designed to provide small businesses -- particularly minority and female entrepreneurs -- with the resources they need to succeed and grow their business opportunities.

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
Business Development
500 E. Monroe
Springfield, IL. 62701-1643
Phone: 877-221-4403

Source: Illinois DCEO Business Assistance, 2012

Sauk Valley College Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Training has long been recognized for increasing productivity and employee retention, but in today's fast-paced and changing climate, training has become the key to company success. According to ZeroMission.com, "The quality of employees and their development through training and education are major factors in determining long-term profitability…" Four benefits are increased productivity, reduced employee turnover, increased efficiency resulting from financial gains, and decreased need for supervision. Training must be treated as an investment. "Organizations understand that training and development is an essential part of talent management, employee engagement and retention, and they are increasing efforts in this area," states Kathleen Fujawa, Vice President, Human Assets Business Partners, Teach for America and co-chair, Northeast Human Resources Association Training and Development Special Interest Group.

Employers are now expected to devote greater resources to job-specific training programs in response to the increasing complexity of many jobs, the aging of the workforce, and technological advances that can leave employees with obsolete skills. Increased efforts have focused on recruiting and retaining quality employees. In fact, occupations generally requiring an associate degree are projected to grow 31 percent, faster than all other educational categories over a 10-year span of 1998-2008, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Sauk Valley SBDC trainers can tailor training content specific to your requirements with training conducted on-site or or-campus. Training programs are designed to improve your company's performance, help meet your goals and positively impact the bottom line. They coordinate training according to your schedule, for college credit, non-credit, anytime, anyplace, which means flexibility in meeting the needs of your company and your employees.

Corporate Training now has the capability to test prospective new hires with the WorkKeys® on-line testing system. Sauk Valley SBDC will test your applicants on-campus and send you the results. The detailed information on this pre-screening testing is listed in their catalog.

Sauk Valley College Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Jeanne DePuy ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or 815-835-6212, to discuss your needs and a training delivery system designed to meet your goals.

Source: Sauk Valley Community College Small Business Development Center, 2012

Rockford U.S. Export Assistance Center

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and provides export assistance to U.S. exporters. Trade Specialists work with your company to help increase your sales to new global markets. They operate in 108 U.S. cities and nearly 80 countries. Support for U.S. exporters includes:

Introductions to qualified buyers and distributors Counseling and advocacy through every step of the export process World class market research Trade events that promote your product or service to qualified buyers and distributors For every $1 in federal funding our agency receives, we help create $215 in exports

Export assistance in Rockford, Illinois: The Rockford, Illinois office is committed to assisting Illinois firms in realizing their export potential. They provide export counseling and advice, information on markets abroad, international partner contacts and advocacy services. During 2010-2011, this assistance resulted in 1,162 export successes for small and medium businesses, generating nearly 491 million dollars in export sales for the Illinois economy.

Source: U.S. Commercial Service in Illinois, 2012


EIGERlab ties together INNOVATION-COLLABORATION-ENTREPRENEURSHIP into a centrally located, state of the art mixed-use incubator, serving the region with leading edge business and engineering support services.

The facility and programs assist in developing a robust and diverse entrepreneurial culture through the collaboration of education, business and government.

Focused to assist start up, early stage growth and expanding existing businesses, EIGERlab serves as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs and innovators to lease space at reasonable rates, participate in peer groups, access business services, utilize design engineering and art-to-part rapid prototyping services, learn new skills, meet with dedicated mentors, link to qualified investors and receive assistance in selling to the government or executing global market expansions.

EIGERlab's new accelerator program combines virtual and onsite services and programming specifically targeted at advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and alternative energy commercialization.

Using National Business Incubator Association's (NBIA) programming, EIGERlab combines policies, procedures and programming with the necessary service infrastructure to accelerate innovation.

You are welcome to come explore and join them to advance your business idea into a growing enterprise. They look forward to meeting you!

605 Fulton Ave
Rockford, IL 61103
Dan Cataldi, Director ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
(815) 921-2054

Source: EIGERlab, 2012

Northern Illinois SCORE

Located within EIGERlab, SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. They have been doing this for nearly fifty years.

Because their work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to a network of 13,000+ volunteers, they are able to deliver services at no charge or a very low cost. Serving the counties of Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Jo Davies, Carroll, and Ogle, their mission is to provide expert business counseling and relevant resources thereby enabling you to start and grow your business.

Northern Illinois SCORE
605 Fulton Ave.
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: (815) 962-0122
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: Northern Illinois SCORE, 2012

Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Rock Valley College

Need help finding information on how to do business with federal, state, and local government? Rock Valley College's Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) can help.

They utilize a wide variety of resources to provide information and assistance to program clients. In the federal system alone, there are nearly 100,000 procurement officials across the U.S. Cooperation from these and other resources, such as the Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration, and General Services Administration enables us to provide valuable technical assistance to participating firms.

The PTAC also has linkages with the federal, state, and local levels through the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network. They work closely with other business assistance programs to provide such services as trade/export assistance through international trade centers, access to financial and energy management assistance, and job training help.

Illinois PTAC
605 Fulton Avenue
Rockford, IL 61103
Ann Johns, Program Director ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
(815) 921-2091

Source: Rock Valley College Illinois PTAC, 2012

Highland Community College

Affordable, Quality, Business Solutions
Customized Training: The Business Institute provides customized training and business solutions for companies.
Partnering for Solutions: Our staff and instructors work closely with your company to identify, evaluate, and prioritize specific workforce challenges and needs.
One-Stop Shop: Business Institute designs and provides solutions for your company through consultations, assessments, coaching, training, and more.
Increased Production: Targeted services bring greater efficiency and productivity to your organization, while satisfying company goals.
Convenience Plus: Employers may choose to conduct training at their workplace, Highland Community College, or at any other site when it is convenient for them.

815-291-6981 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on how they can help meet your training needs.

Highland Community College
Business Institute
2998 W. Pearl City Rd
Freeport, IL 61032
Scott Anderson, Dean of Business & Technology ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Phone: 815-599-3604

Source: Highland Community College Business Institute, 2012


Contact Us

27 W. Stephenson Street
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-233-1356
Fax: 815-235-4038
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

sponsor bar