[Editor’s note: We’re pleased to welcome this first post from, Biz2Credit, written by Liz Jacob, a writer and editor living in New York. Biz2Credit Business Loans is an online credit resource for small business loans, business loans for women, equipment financing, working capital and other funding options. They’ve secured $800 million in funding for small business owners in the U.S. since 2007. You can follow @biz2credit on Twitter for company and industry updates. Enjoy the post!]
Chicago may already be home to deep-dish pizza, the Sears Tower, and the Bulls, but here’s yet another reason to visit one of America’s 50 best cities: it’s great for small business. According to its most recent study, Biz2Credit, a company that connects small businesses with credit solutions, found that Chicago ranked within the top 25 fastest growing small business cities in America. It performed particularly strongly in two fields, recording the sixth highest average credit score and the eighth highest average number of employees.
Since small businesses traditionally face challenges when trying to secure funding, cities can play an important role in fostering small business growth. When seeking startup loans, small business entrepreneurs often struggle to navigate the complexities of commercial business loans, as they lack the formal structures and credit advising afforded to larger companies. But because small businesses are important drivers of job creation, cities can take important measures to promote small business expansion.
In Chicago, for example, the Office of the City Treasurer sponsors the Small Business Development Loan Fund (SBDLF) Program, which offers microloans of $2,000-$50,000 to small businesses looking to expand. In partnership with the Illinois Small Business Development Center and SCORE Chicago, the SBDF helps entrepreneurs to prepare business plans and secure the funding that they need.
Given Chicago’s clear interest in small business, it should come as now surprise that it’s the next stop on Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s Access to Capital Conference on May 22. First held on October 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, Access to Capital connects small business owners with hundreds of lenders interested in helping to build their businesses
Through panel discussions on startup loans, alternative funding, traditional lending, and crowdfunding, Access to Capital’s goal is to help small business entrepreneurs find the loans and advice that they need. In an event held at Chicago’s Navy Pier, Access to Capital will not only facilitate meetings between business owners and lenders in its “Town Square,” but will also host expert discussions on funding in its “Town Hall.” In a small business-friendly city like Chicago, attendees are bound to make some great connections.