Entrepreneurs in the tech field, hospitality, retail and many other industries are currently flocking to Chicago to start new business ventures. Chicago is a large, yet densely populated city, and your location could help determine whether or not your business is successful. Your business may also benefit from the skilled workforce in various industries making it advantageous to be located in Chicago. Here are factors to keep in mind when planning on starting a new business.


Top 10 in manufacturing

If your company designs goods that need manufacturing, you have come to the right place. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois currently ranks in the top 10 places in the United States for manufacturing. Having your goods manufactured locally may save your company money, and you can still offer customers a quality product.

The country is investing in small businesses

To improve its recovering economy, the state of Illinois has focused a lot of money and effort into small businesses. It is participating in the Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Initiative (STEP), which is designed to foster interstate commerce opportunities by small businesses all over the country. The Federal Government has added $850,000 in grant dollars in Illinois. According to the Small Business Administration, “The State of Illinois will use STEP award funds to support export development for ESBCs by providing export training and development through the ExporTech program. Illinois will also recruit ESBCs to exhibit at trade shows in Spain, India, Japan, China, Canada, and Nigeria.”

Tourism is on the upswing

One of the reasons Chicago is such an attractive location for businesses is that it is one of the country’s “destination cities.” According to the City of Chicago’s website, the city receives approximately 40 million visitors annually. Small businesses in Chicago have a large reach of potential customers, including tourists, creating an opportunity for word of mouth marketing that extends far beyond the metropolitan area.

There are many things you should know before you open a business in Chicago. From potential grant money to customer reach, there is much potential for startups of all types.


This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for CBS Small Business Pulse.

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