Chicago Business Center (CBC) at North River Commission

We are here to help you grow your business, from an idea to a second or third location!

The Chicago Business Center (CBC) program is an initiative of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) to provide business licensing assistance and other resources to small businesses at a local level. North River Commission is one of eight business centers in the City of Chicago that help fill the current gap of local business resources, particularly for entrepreneurs in historically underserved locations and populations.

CBC services include assistance with:

  • Licensing & permitting
  • Financing
  • Professional and Specialized Services
  • Support for new economies
  • Assistance recruiting skilled and qualified labor

¡Te ayudamos a emprender y hacer crecer tu negocio en tu propio idioma!

Licensing & Permitting

We serve as the bridge between business owners and BACP for all types of licenses from beginning to end. We have the right information about business licenses and permits, including which license is appropriate for each business type and activity.

Supporting New Economies

Our business relationships extend to home-based businesses. Successful home-based businesses have a high likelihood of seeking office space or a storefront as they grow. We support their growth and provide guidance on unique zoning and licensing requirements, introduce tenants to local property owners, and offer free marketing through ribbon cuttings and other events.

Professional and Specialized Services

We use our network of business advisors, chambers, institutions, business development organizations and incubators to make referrals and hold trainings to provide specialized, sector-specific resources to entrepreneurs in ENGLISH and SPANISH. We also deliver one-on-one services to help small businesses improve their technological capacity, whether growing their online and media presence or improving their security systems by sharing data and analysis on market trends, land-use, business formation and demographics.

Marketing & Promotion

We help promote our businesses through our email newsletters, website promotions, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especial holiday and events newsletter (Valentine's Day, Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, December Holidays, etc.).


We connect businesses at all development stages to traditional and non-traditional funding sources, such as community and national banks, Community Development Financial Institutions, and when appropriate, we encourage businesses to consider crowdsourcing and KIVA for 0% interest loans.

Assistance with Recruiting Skilled and Qualified Labor

NRC works with workforce development agencies such as HANA Center, Latino Union’s Albany Park Workers Center, and Jane Addams Resource Corp. and we continue to grow strong partnerships in the Departments of Human Resources at local institutions like area hospitals, schools, and universities in order to help small businesses hire qualified workers.

Who does the Chicago Business Center serve?

EVERYONE! We are focused on the Northwest Side of Chicago and we work with other CBCs, Chambers of Commerce, and organizations around the city. Call us and we will help you or get you in contact with the right organization.


En North River Commission también hablamos español y ayudamos a personas de cualquier lugar de la ciudad que necesiten ayuda en su idioma.


How do I get help from the Chicago Business Center?

Contact Vanessa Valdovinos with any questions or to set up an appointment. Or select a date and time on the calendar below to automatically schedule an appointment!

Mobile: (312) 860-9294


Other Chicago Business Centers

Allies for Community Business

  • 135 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

Austin African-American Business Network Association

  • 5820 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60651

Calumet Area Industrial Commission

  • 1000 E. 111th St, Chicago, IL 60628

Greater Southwest Development Corporation

  • 2601 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60629

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

  • 2546 W. Division St, Chicago, IL 60641

Quad Communities Development Corporation

  • 4210 S. Berkeley Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

Uptown United

  • 4619 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640


Aldermanic Wards served

33rd Ward - Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez

3001 W Irving Park Rd, 773-840-7880

35th Ward - Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa

2934 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-887-3772

38th Ward - Alderman Nicholas Sposato

3821 N Harlem Ave, 773-283-3838

39th Ward - Alderwoman Samantha Nugent

4200 W Lawrence Ave, 773-736-5594

40th Ward - Alderman Andre Vasquez

5620 N Western Ave, 773-654-1867

41st Ward - Alderman Napolitano

7442 N Harlem Ave, 773-631-2241

45th Ward - Alderman James Gardiner

5425 W Lawrence Ave, 773-853-0799

50th Ward - Alderwoman Debra Silverstein

2949 W Devon Ave, 773-262-1050