Guide to Opening a New or Expanding an Existing Business
The Office of Economic Development and Community Development Department have partnered with various City Departments to develop the Guide to Opening a New or Expanding an Existing Business in the City of Bloomington (0.4 MB PDF).
There are a variety of resources available both in the City of Bloomington and in McLean County to assist new and existing businesses. Below is a listing of additional organizations that are ready to assist you in your endeavor to open a new or expand an existing business in the City of Bloomington:
BN Economic Development Council
The Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council grows the local economy by assisting with local business expansion, recruiting new businesses and companies to the area, and encouraging the next wave of entrepreneurs to establish their business here. Contact the BNEDC before you start or expand your business to find out more information on how they can assist you.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at IWU
The Small Business Development Center of McLean County is housed at State Farm Hall at Illinois Wesleyan University. The SBDC offers free counseling for businesses as well as seminars to assist entrepreneurs in their journey to open their own business. The SBDC is a close partner of the City of Bloomington and we highly encourage all prospective businesses to begin their journey with a visit to the SBDC.
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
The United States Small Business Administration offers outstanding online education through its SBA Learning Center. This portal features an entire library of free online courses to assist businesses of all sizes.
Central Illinois SCORE
The counselors of Central Illinois SCORE are experienced business owners and managers who volunteer their experience and knowledge to help potential and existing small business owners achieve success. SCORE counselors abide by a strict code of ethics to ensure the confidential discussion of the issues facing your small business. SCORE counselors can provide you with in-depth, industry-specific business assistance to help evaluate a business idea or plan, stimulate business growth and ensure long-term stability.
McLean County Chamber of Commerce
The McLean 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.
McLean County Health Department
The McLean County Health Department is located 200 W Front Street in Downtown Bloomington. The County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division handles the County’s Food Protection Program. If you are considering food service at your new business, you will be subject to code requirements and will need to obtain the appropriate permits for food establishments.
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
The IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity offers a wide array of helpful information for entrepreneurs on its website, including financial programs and regulatory and permitting information.
City of Bloomington Façade Grants & Programs and Incentives
A variety of grants and incentive programs are offered by and administered by the City of Bloomington. For a complete listing, please see the City’s programs and incentives page.