Business Resources

Data (by County) – 2017-2022

Workforce Resources

Business Employment Skills Team, Inc. (BEST, Inc.) is a non-profit agency that administers federally-funded programs such as Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) in Bureau, Carroll, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Putnam and Whiteside Counties. With offices in Oglesby, Ottawa, Dixon, Princeton, Sterling, Oregon, Galena and Mt. Carroll its focus is assisting adults and youth gain meaningful employment through training, job search assistance and work experience.
Reach them at BEST, Inc (

Small Business Resources

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Sauk Valley Community College supports hundreds of businesses, through providing free counseling services and valued assistance to launch dreams, secure financing, and increase profitability. 

The Illinois Department of Commerce Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology – ‘Starting a Business in Illinois" Spanish-language guide.

NWILED Business Guide

English-language version

Spanish-language version

Genz Memorial Investment Fund

Entrepreneurs and businesses based in Carroll and Jo Daviess Counties in Illinois have a source of financing thanks to the generosity of the late John “Jack” Genz of Galena. Administered by Illinois Bank & Trust, the Genz Memorial Investment Fund was formalized in 2020 to assist individuals who have been turned down for a traditional bank loan. The fund, which totals over $400,000, is intended to serve as gap financing, to aid with pilot projects, or fill in gaps not filled by equity and traditional capital.

Eligible applicants include retailers, small manufacturers, wholesalers, those in the hospitality industry, along with farmers and food processors. NWILED intends to fund three awards per year beginning in 2021 that range from $4,000.00 to $8,000 each. Awardees can use the money for capital purchases, to purchase an existing business, or for startup and pilot projects. The fund does have requirements.

Genz Application - English language
Genz Application - Spanish language

NWILED Business Financing Programs Guide

NWILED's Business Financing Programs Guide details local, state, and federal programs.