Direct Route To Your Profitable Business

Rockford area’s resource agencies collaborating to help local entrepreneurs find the most direct route to a profitable business!

News & Events

SBA HUBZone Program

If your small business is in a historically underutilized business zone, you may be eligible to apply for the SBA HUBZone Program, which allows businesses to compete for certain government contracts. See a preview of the upcoming HUBZone map, which is changing on July 1, 2023.


Learn More Here

Veteran Government Contracting

Attention Veterans! SBA is now accepting applications for the Veteran Small Business Certification program. Through this new program, certified veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses can compete for set-aside government contracts. The program will be SBA’s primary certification vehicle for all veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, important classifications that enable those businesses to qualify for sole-source and set-aside federal contracting awards.


New Cybersecurity Resources Have Been Posted


North Star has developed resources for small businesses that cover a variety of topics and can help your small business navigate the sometimes overly complicated subject matter of cyber and data protection. In addition to our own resources, below you will find resources available from partner organizations that have developed their own materials.


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The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act is a bold, nation-leading law that will put Illinois on a path to a 100% clean energy future, protect public health from pollution, provide a just transition for communities historically dependent on dirty fossil fuels, enact tough utility accountability measures, and will create well paid new jobs.

Learn More

Climate Bank Finance Loan Participation Program

Coming Soon

This new program will be overseen by DCEO and administered by the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA), which will partner with local lenders to issue the loans. Climate Bank funds will be available to small businesses in the clean energy sector. 


Click Here to Read the Press Release


“Launch815 is helping us to navigate the process of transforming our great idea into a viable, marketable product!”

– Fran Pierce, Pierce Products –


Launch 815 Partners: