1. DCEO
  2. Small Business Assistance
  3. Financing Options


Accessing capital and locating funding can be the most difficult task of any company seeking to develop their product.  IEN specialists can work with your business to identify and secure financing opportunities and build a network of financial support that will meet your present needs and prepare you for future growth.

  • Advantage Illinois - The Advantage Illinois program is designed to provide Illinois businesses and entrepreneurs with access to the capital they need to start new companies and expand existing business. The program is comprised of multiple programs to spur institutional lending, including Capital Access Program, Participation Loan Program-which includes a component for  Minority/Women/Disabled/Veteran-Owned businesses, and Collateral Support Program; and the Invest Illinois Venture Fund, which leverages private investments in start-ups and high-growth businesses. 

  • The Department of Commerce CEO's Community Development Fund - Part of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, starting in November and available until funds are depleted.  The Department of Commerce is partnering with financial institutions with strong small business lending backgrounds to distribute $5 million in micro loans to start-ups and existing small businesses through the Community Development Fund. More than 300 loans will likely be made to start-up and existing small businesses, which will lead to more than 800 jobs being created or retained over the next two years. 

  • Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Loan Program - The CSBG Loan Program is administered jointly by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, statewide Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and Illinois Ventures for Community Action (IVCA).  The Program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to new or expanding small businesses in exchange for job creation and employment for low-income individuals. CSBG funds usually make up between 20-49% of the entire loan project and have a low interest rate of 5% to 7.5%. 

  • Enterprise Zone Participation Loan Program (EZ/PLP) - The EZ/PLP is a variation of the conventional PLP Program, in that the Department of Commerce subordinates the loans through participating lending institutions, but  the EZ/PLP may be able to provide small businesses located in an enterprise zone a more attractive loan rate than a conventional PLP.

  • The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) - The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) is a self-financed, state authority principally engaged in issuing taxable and tax-exempt bonds, making loans, and investing capital for businesses, non-profit corporations, agriculture and local government units statewide. IFA finances about $3 billion each year, helping generate economic growth and job creation.  

  • The Illinois State Treasurers Office - The Illinois State Treasurer's Office offers programs that are designed to assist the Illinois business community by providing access to capital and financing at affordable rates in order to promote economic development activities that create and retain jobs within the state.  

  • Manufacturing Modernization Loan Program - The Manufacturing Modernization Loan Program is designed to provide manufacturers with access to adequate and affordable financing for upgrading and modernizing their manufacturing equipment and operations.