Business Services

As a City of Chicago Small Business Navigator, we’re here to support small businesses in the community, sharing available resources and helping to prepare for application processes for loans + grants (plus a lot more!), particularly during these challenging times.

GSDC focuses on attracting newly opened or new-to-the area businesses, as well as retaining and expanding existing commercial or manufacturing businesses on Chicago’s southwest side. The area is home to small businesses as well as major employers, such as Meade Electric and Dart, all of which support household income and form a solid foundation for economic growth.

GSDC has engaged in business support and development since our inception in 1974. Our commercial work has attracted and maintained more than $500 million in commercial enterprises in the Greater Marquette Park area. GSDC’s industrial work engages more than 120 companies in the Greater Southwest and Harlem Industrial Corridors to identify and respond to business needs and opportunities.

GSDC strives to assist business across industry, revenue or employee size. Greater Southwest Development Corporation’s Commercial Division is a small staff ready to assist you in finding the solution that best fits your need. From one-on-one consultations, to quality referrals , to webinars or workshops, GSDC is posed to assist you.

GSDC’s internal resources range from Special Service Area based resources on 63rd Street and 59th Street; to staff experience; to technology support; to City of Chicago liaisons in the Department of Planning & Development as well as Business Affairs & Consumer Protection. GSDC’s external resources are other non-profits or B2B resource providers (lenders, trainers, contractors, consultants of every kind) that allow staff to provide a quality work plan for every client, regardless of opportunity or need presented.

As a long standing service in the City of Chicago, GSDC supports businesses by connecting them to City services:

  • Providing businesses access to the City of Chicago Small Business Center
  • Connecting businesses to local elected officials
  • Aligning businesses with various City departments
  • Assisting with applications for City of Chicago small business loans and grants
  • Providing information on updated ordinances, workshops and other information that interests you

Connect with Chicago SCORE, which offers free and low-cost business education workshops (and the opportunity to connect with potential mentors!). GSDC regularly partners with SCORE by hosting SCORE meetings at their office every third Tuesday of the month.

Are you a business owner, but haven’t read about Secure Choice?
Secure Choice offers Illinois businesses with at least 25 employees, that have been in business for two or more years, and who do not currently provide a qualified savings plan, the option to either offer a private market savings vehicle, or automatically enroll their employees into Secure Choice. Learn more.

Need help getting in touch with your alderman? GSDC boundaries extend across 10 different aldermanic offices. Find out which ward you’re in. Want more information on key city services? Find it on the city’s website. Visit the City’s Clearmap for crime information and block club information.