Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
The mission of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity is to provide economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, and residents to improve the quality of life for Illinoisans.
We are laser-focused on improving transparency and accountability, enhancing customer service, increasing Illinois’ competitiveness, advancing minority empowerment, modernizing Illinois’ workforce, and elevating our state’s promotional efforts.
The Illinois Department of Commerce delivers impactful and efficient programs and services through the Offices of Business Development; Community Development; Employment & Training; Energy & Recycling; Energy Assistance; Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology; Film; Tourism; Trade & Investment; and Urban Assistance.
Illinois Office of Business Development
The Office of Business Development provides free and confidential services to companies seeking to locate or expand in Illinois. Our main focus is to retain and create jobs in Illinois by marketing to existing businesses - encouraging them to reinvest and create more jobs for Illinois citizens - and new businesses - inviting them to relocate, invest, and create new jobs.
Our statewide and regional teams provide one-stop support for clients, including collaboration at state, regional, and municipal levels and with private and nonprofit sectors, educational institutions, utilities, and transportation partners.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers a portfolio of tax incentives, grants, and programs to help companies develop, redevelop, expand, locate, and relocate in Illinois. Illinois offers a highly competitive suite of incentives that may be available, including tax credits based on job creation; Enterprise Zone and High Impact Business (HIB) designations; Tax Increment Financing (TIF); workforce recruitment and training resources; nontraditional loans; and roadway, rail, and infrastructure support.
CLICK HERE to visit our online Programs & Services Guide.
Illinois Office of Community Development
The Office of Community Development supports economic development, community development, and infrastructure improvements in Illinois communities with substantial low-to-moderate-income populations.
The Office administers the federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program that assists low-income populations. In addition, federal aid is provided for disaster recovery and housing rehabilitation in these communities.
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Illinois Office of Employment & Training
The Illinois Office of Employment & Training leads our statewide workforce training system and oversees the work of 22 local Workforce Investment Areas, coordinating and promoting initiatives to bridge the skills gap. We provide comprehensive resources for employers and help connect targeted populations - such as dislocated workers, veterans, low-skill adults, immigrants, and out-of-school youth - to employment and training programs that lead to self-sustaining wages. We also engage other state agencies, educators, businesses, local governments, and economic development partners to ensure a coordinated cradle to career approach to education and workforce development, preparing Illinois residents for successful careers.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers federally funded programs, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that provides on-the-job training to hire and train employees, customized classroom training to help train and retain employees, and incumbent worker training to upgrade skills of existing employees. Additional programs and services include Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing (ATIM), disabilityworks®, and Illinois workNet® Centers.
CLICK HERE to visit us online.
Illinois Office of Energy & Recycling
The Office of Energy & Recycling promotes investment in Illinois’ green economy. Our priorities include energy efficiency, clean technology development, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, energy storage/grid integration, and recycling.
We offer a variety of clean energy programs and services that help save energy, generate clean and reliable electricity, and promote sustainable transportation. These programs demonstrate that cost-effective investments in clean energy can save taxpayer dollars, create a cleaner environment, and provide a more secure energy future, all while supporting economic development and job creation. Our programs serve Illinois businesses, residents, public sector entities, and nonprofit organizations.
Under the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard Fund, the Illinois Department of Commerce administers the Illinois Energy Now program, which provides tens of millions of dollars to help public entities and low-income residents reduce their energy costs by improving the efficiency of their facilities and homes. Public-sector programs include standard and custom rebates, direct install, and specific programs focused on new construction, retro-commissioning, boiler tune-ups, combined heat and power (CHP), and waste water treatment (WWT) facilities. Low Income programs include new construction, single- and multi-family retrofit, and Public Housing Authorities. Market Transformation programs include assessments, design assistance, energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) technical assistance, building energy code training, Building Operator Certification, Illinois Home Performance, and a trade ally network.
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Illinois Office of Energy Assistance
The Office of Energy Assistance helps low-income households in Illinois maintain utility services and reduce energy costs through improved energy efficiency, and we help individuals and families move toward stabilization.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps eligible low-income households pay for winter energy services; the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP), which helps low-income households reduce heating and cooling costs by making energy efficiency upgrades to homes; and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program, which assists low-income individuals and families with job preparedness, education, income management, emergency services, nutrition, family stabilization, and health/ medical assistance in local communities. The CSBG program is federally funded and is operated locally through a network of Community Action Agencies.
Click on each program below for more information:
Illinois Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology
The Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology supports entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businesses in Illinois by providing concierge services, information, and technical support. Our First Stop Business Information Center offers a toll-free helpline and free online resources. Through our Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), we provide individual business advice and management assistance, business planning and financial analysis consulting, access to business capital, market research assistance, development of business growth strategies, and assistance with expanding into new markets at no cost to the clients. Through our SBDC International Trade Centers, we provide advice and resources for existing and new-to-export companies, access to foreign market information, documentation assistance, automated trade leads, and linkages with trade representatives. Through our Procurement Technical assistance Centers (PTACs), we provide individual assistance and advice about doing business with government.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers several programs to support entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businesses, including Advantage Illinois, which encourages institutional lending to small businesses; the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit, which incentivizes the creation of new jobs; Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME), which is a pilot program to grow Illinois’ minority entrepreneurs and small business communities; and the Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program, which offers tax credits to interested firms or individuals who make an investment in one of Illinois' innovative, qualified new business ventures.
CLICK HERE to learn more information about our programs and services.
Illinois Office of Film (A.K.A. Illinois Film Office)
The Illinois Film Office supports the growth and economic development of film, television and commercial productions. Our main focus is to recruit new business and create jobs through the administration of the film tax credit program.
We lead the marketing and promotion of Illinois’ diverse and iconic locations, celebrated talent, highly skilled labor force, and a comprehensive supply chain of industry vendors.
CLICK HERE to visit us online and search our Illinois Production Guide HERE.
Illinois Office of Tourism
The Illinois Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for all Illinois residents. Our office promotes Illinois as a premier travel destination for leisure travelers and for meetings, conventions, and special events, attracting domestic and international visitors. We partner with 40 certified Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) throughout the state to advertise Illinois’ assets and to promote our strengths at tradeshows and events. As a result, our tourism industry welcomes more than 110 million visitors per year, who spend billions of dollars annually.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers grant programs to support local, national, and international marketing and advertising efforts led by certified CVBs.
CLICK HERE to visit our website.
Illinois Office of Trade & Investment
The Office of Trade & Investment promotes Illinois worldwide - marketing to attract Foreign Direct Investment - and connects Illinois companies to global opportunities - providing export assistance. Our ten well-established overseas offices provide business and lead generation support; assist with expansion of foreign entities; and connect companies to international governments, chambers of commerce, and trade commissioners. Our expert team also leads trade missions, curated overseas tradeshows, and outreach events and seminars.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers the Illinois State Trade & Export Program (ISTEP), which provides financial and technical assistance to eligible small businesses, including market research, distributor searches, business-to-business matchmaking, international marketing support, product compliance certifications, and the opportunity to participate in Group Trade Missions or Individual Foreign Market Sales Missions.
Through our Small Business Development Center International Trade Centers, we provide advice and resources for existing and new-to-export companies, access to foreign market information, documentation assistance, automated trade leads, and linkages with trade representatives.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Illinois Office of Urban Assistance
The Office of Urban Assistance implements programs designed to address the pressing economic needs of residents, businesses, and stakeholders in Illinois’ urban areas. The Urban Weatherization Initiative helps weatherize homes in disadvantaged communities and trains home energy technicians and participants in the construction trade industry.
The Illinois Department of Commerce administers the Employment Opportunities Grant Program for the purpose of increasing the number of individuals in historically underrepresented populations who enter and complete building trades apprenticeship programs and achieve journey-level status within building trades unions.
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