Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and nowhere is this more evident than in Chicago. The city is home to a vibrant and diverse small business community that has been thriving in recent years, thanks in part to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) loan program.
According to data from the SBA’s 7(a) loan database, Chicago small businesses have received over 6,000 7(a) loans since 2017, with a total loan volume of more than $1.4 billion. This represents a significant injection of capital into the city’s small business ecosystem, enabling entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses, hire new employees, and invest in their communities.
One of the key benefits of the 7(a) loan program is its flexibility. Unlike other types of small business loans, 7(a) loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, including working capital, equipment purchases, and real estate acquisitions. This makes them an attractive option for small business owners who need financing but may not have the collateral or credit history to qualify for traditional bank loans.
In Chicago, the impact of the 7(a) program can be seen in the growth of small businesses across a variety of industries. From food and beverage to technology and professional services, small businesses in Chicago are thriving, and many attribute their success to the support they’ve received from the SBA.
Beyond the individual impact on small businesses, the 7(a) program has also had a significant impact on the overall economic growth of Chicago. Small businesses are responsible for creating two out of every three new jobs in the United States, and the infusion of capital provided by the 7(a) program has helped to spur job creation and economic development in the city.
However, it’s worth noting that the impact of the 7(a) program has not been evenly distributed across Chicago’s small business community. As in many cities, small businesses in underserved communities and minority-owned businesses have historically faced greater barriers to accessing capital and financing. While the 7(a) program has helped to address some of these disparities, more work needs to be done to ensure that all small businesses in Chicago have equal access to the resources and support they need to thrive.
Overall, the SBA’s 7(a) loan program has had a significant impact on the growth and success of small businesses in Chicago. From startups to established businesses, entrepreneurs in Chicago have turned to the 7(a) program for the capital they need to grow, hire, and invest in their communities. As the city continues to evolve and grow, the 7(a) program will undoubtedly continue to play a critical role in supporting the small business ecosystem and driving economic growth in Chicago.
Whether you need a Chicago small business loan for acquiring real estate, purchasing equipment and machinery or even meeting working capital needs, these top Chicago SBA lenders will get you sorted:
Chicago SBA Lenders
|Rank||Chicago Lender||Headquarters||# Loans||Avg Loan||Avg Interest|
|1||Huntington Bank||Columbus, OH||88||$178,695||5.5%|
|2||First American Bank||Elk Grove Village, IL||44||$904,227||4.5%|
|3||U.S. Bank||Cincinnati, OH||26||$200,265||6.0%|
|4||Byline Bank||Chicago, IL||17||$888,118||5.9%|
|5||Village Bank||Arlington Heights, IL||11||$680,818||4.8%|
|6||Harvest Small Business Finance||Laguna Hills, CA||10||$1,124,400||5.8%|
|7||Newtek Small Business Finance||Lake Success, NY||10||$727,400||6.0%|
|8||Millennium Bank||Des Plaines, IL||9||$794,233||5.0%|
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Chicago Small Business Loan Resources
There are many organizations in Chicago that provide consultation and support to small businesses looking for financing and assistance with growing their businesses. Some of these organizations include:
- SCORE Chicago: SCORE is a national organization that provides free business advice and mentoring to entrepreneurs. The Chicago chapter offers workshops, webinars, and one-on-one mentoring to small business owners in the Chicago area.
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC): The SBDC is a national network of centers that provide consulting and training to small businesses. The Illinois SBDC has several offices throughout the state, including several in the Chicago area, and offers a range of services, including help with financing and business planning.
- Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF): CCLF is a non-profit organization that provides financing and technical assistance to small businesses and non-profits in the Chicago area. They offer loans, lines of credit, and other financing options, as well as assistance with business planning and financial management.
- Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC): The WBDC is a non-profit organization that provides resources and support to women entrepreneurs. They offer training and counseling on a variety of topics, including business planning, access to capital, and government contracting.
- Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC): The CMSDC is a non-profit organization that connects minority-owned businesses with corporate members who are looking for suppliers. They offer certification, training, and networking opportunities to minority-owned businesses in the Chicago area.
These are just a few of the organizations that small businesses in Chicago can turn to for assistance with financing and growing their businesses. Each organization offers a unique set of services and resources, so it is important for small business owners to research and find the organization that best fits their needs.
If you are interested in learning more about these organizations, please visit their websites:
- SCORE Chicago – https://chicago.score.org/
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/SBDC.aspx
- Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) – https://cclfchicago.org/
- Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) – https://www.wbdc.org/
- Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC) – https://www.cmsdc.org/