Uptown Business Center

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Connect with the Uptown Business Center’s Free Business Services for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses!

The Uptown Business Center (UBC) is managed by Uptown United, and supports new and existing business owners and entrepreneurs within the East-West boundaries of Lake Shore Drive to the Chicago River, and North-South boundaries of Lincoln Park to Rogers Park. Whether you’re in the idea stage of your business or a long-standing business owner, the UBC provides a suite of free business services!  

Sign up for a free UBC Business Consultation today for a wide range of free services including:  

  • Licensing Assistance: choosing and applying for the best license for your business, meeting zoning requirements, securing a liquor license, and more. 
  • Permitting Assistance: applying for and renewing sidewalk cafes, sign permits etc.  
  • Funding Resources: locating traditional and non-traditional financial resources including webinars, connections to local institutions, and the latest local and federal grant/loan information. 
  • Sector-Specific Support: industry events, trainings, webinars, networking opportunities. 
  • Connecting with your local Chamber of Commerce for additional support in marketing, neighborhood events, networking, and more.   

Consultations are provided virtually, by phone, or in person based on your preference. Learn more about how the UBC can support you by signing up for a free UBC Business Consultation, emailing ubc@nullexploreuptown.org, or calling 773-878-1064.

August 3 Newsletter: Funding Opportunity! Cook County Source Grant and SBIF
August 21 Newsletter: Source Grant EXTENDED, Free August Events, AAPISTRONG Grant Opportunity
September 18th Newsletter: Accessing Capital for Your Small Business

Upcoming Business Resource Events

Money Smart with Wintrust Bank: Financial Management
Thursday, September 28th| 1-2PM | Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health, 1051 W Belmont
Join the Uptown Business Center and Wintrust Bank Uptown at Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health at 1051 W Belmont for a free training as part of the Money Smart Program on Financial Management. This training will cover budgeting, bookkeeping, and financial statements to help with financing your small business. The training will also provide tools and best practices for financial management for your small business.

Register for this FREE Event

Access to Capital Workshop with Women’s Business Development Center
Tuesday, October 10th| 2:30-3:30PM | Haitian American Museum of Chicago, 4410 N Clark St
Join the Uptown Business Center and the Women’s Business Development Center for a free Access to Capital workshop! Learn how to get your business capital ready and how to expand capital access through alternative lending. The presentation will also cover funding opportunities for your small business and community-based lending with Kiva’s 0% interest microloans.

Register for this FREE Event 

UBC Resources

These presentations and resource packets cover small business resources and information presented at UBC events. Sign up for a free UBC Business Consultation today to learn about other resources for your businesses and to receive personalized support!



Small Business Insurance Policy Workshop 8.8.2023


Maximizing Social Media & Digital for Your Small Business Workshop 8.29.23


Summer Funding Opportunities!

Learn more in our recent newsletter – August 3 Newsletter: Funding Opportunity! Cook County Source Grant and SBIF


SBIF provides grant funding for permanent building improvements and repairs across the city. SBIF applications are submitted during monthly rollout periods for individual TIF districts and participants can receive grants to cover between 30-90% of the cost of remodeling work with a maximum of $150,000 for commercial properties.

Learn more about eligible expenses and business eligibility here.

Opens: 9am Friday, September 1
Closes: 5pm Monday, October 2
Register for an informational webinar on Wednesday, September 6th.

See the full SBIF rollout calendar here.

The SBIF application must be submitted to DPD’s program administrator, SomerCor. For additional program information or application assistance, visit the SomerCor website at www.somercor.com/sbif.

Uptown Business Center Partners

In total, there are 8 community Chicago Business Centers located throughout the city. Services are free. Visit chicago.gov/cbc or click here for more information. The UBC provides assistance with licensing, permitting, and additional specialized business services in collaboration with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), local Chambers, and community partners.

Within the map of Lake Shore Drive to the Chicago River, and North-South boundaries of Lincoln Park to Rogers Park, the Uptown Business Center works collaboratively with the following partners:

Chicago Business Centers Partner Chambers of Commerce and Business Support Organizations Aldermanic Offices
Calumet Area Industrial Commission  Uptown Chamber of Commerce Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce 2nd Ward – Ald. Brian Hopkins 49th Ward – Alderwoman Maria Hadden
Allies for Community Business Rogers Park Business Alliance Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce 32nd Ward – Ald.  Scott Waguespack 50th Ward – Alderwoman Debra Silverstein
Puerto Rican Cultural Center Edgewater Chamber of Commerce North Center Chamber of Commerce 40th Ward – Ald. Andre Vasquez
Greater Southwest Development Corporation Andersonville Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Center at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association 43rd Ward – Ald. Timmy Knudsen
North River Commission Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce Northalsted Business Alliance 44th Ward – Ald. Bennett Lawson
Austin African American Business Networking Association West Ridge Chamber of Commerce 46th Ward – Ald. Angela Clay
Quad Cities Development Corporation Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce 47th Ward – Ald. Matt Martin
Uptown Business Center (managed by Uptown United) Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce 48th Ward – Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth