Grow Your Business
In Champaign, we want our businesses to thrive. That means helping you to find additional programs and services that can help to lower your operating costs and grow.
We encourage you to look into these services.
The City offers a number of incentives targeted at both building renovations and infill of vacant sites. We also offer incentives to aid small businesses to step off on the right foot. Visit our Incentives page to learn all about the City of Champaign’s programs.
One great way to expand your business is to look for contract opportunities with the City of Champaign. The City regularly needs services from local businesses. Being able to meet the City procurement processes is an important step to bidding on City work.
The City of Champaign posts all Bids and Requests for Proposal on our website and publishes notices in the News-Gazette.
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Ameren Illinois is the primary power provider in the City of Champaign. Their Act on Energy program is a terrific resource for businesses looking to lower their monthly utility costs. The program can assist with offsetting the cost of improvements from lighting to HVAC. Businesses are encouraged to reach out to their local Ameren Representative found on the Act on Energy website to schedule an appointment.
The Illinois Green Business Association is a local not-for-profit and a wonderful resource to understand all that can be gained by “going green”. Visit their website to learn more about their programs and activities.
The Small Business Development Center is housed with the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation on South Neil Street. The SBDC offers free counseling for all businesses as well as courses to assist young entrepreneurs in their journey to open their own business. The SBDC is a close partner of the City of Champaign and we highly encourage all prospective businesses to begin their journey with a visit to the SBDC.
Parkland College is our local Community College, and has been educating our community for over 50 years. Their Business Training Program offers a wealth of educational opportunities for those looking to expand their knowledge within their business area or looking for needed certifications to further their career and business goals. Visit their website to learn more about these programs.
ECI SCORE provides free business counseling to help you start up and grow your small business. You will receive free confidential one-on-one counseling with former and current executives of some of the leading businesses in the region. Their counseling focuses on business basics, marketing, business planning, and financing your business. Hands-on workshops are offered regularly on topics including Starting a Small Business, Writing a Business Plan, and Financing a Small Business.
SCORE is a national volunteer organization supported by the US Small Business Administration. The East Central Illinois Chapter (ECI-SCORE) is headquartered at the Chamber of Commerce, 303 West Kirby Avenue in Champaign.
The United States Small Business Administration offers outstanding online education through their SBA Learning Center. This portal features an entire library of free online courses to assist businesses of all sizes. Visit the Learning Center to start your training now.
The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is member-oriented and driven by the evolving business community within the county. It is the Chamber’s responsibility to not only offer programs and resources to members, but to provide true benefit; connecting members with new customers or vendors and developing programs that help increase their bottom line. The Chamber is actively working to create an environment that is welcoming and encouraging to business, and ultimately facilitates the growth of member businesses.
The CCBCC aims to look at building black business, expanding black business, and promoting black business. It is a proven fact that when African-American communities are doing well, all communities are doing well. They hope to build a sustainable chapter that has enough substance and structure to address some our community’s toughest issues.
The Champaign Center Partnership is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organization founded in 2010 through a merger of the Champaign Downtown Association and the Campustown Business Group. This partnership between the two historic commercial centers of the community opened a new chapter in joint marketing and cooperation between the areas.
Included in this partnership are the districts of Downtown, Campustown and the central commercial area along University Avenue and First Street known as Midtown. The districts are collectively known as Center City. The Champaign Center Partnership is a member based business organization providing marketing and promotion opportunities for members, as well as advocacy and assistance.