Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCEO)

The mission of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development is to raise Illinois’ profile as a premier global business destination; and to provide a foundation for the economic prosperity of all Illinoisans, through coordination of business recruitment and retention, provision of essential capital to small businesses, investment in infrastructure and job training for a 21st century economy, and administration of state and federal grant programs. You can find all the details regarding the agency on their website (below). If you are planning a new business or a business expansion, DCEO has developed an Informational Project Plan Worksheet that can assist you in gathering your information.  Download it here

In addition, DCEO has a great page on their website they call Small Biz Assistance, full of downloadable pdfs that you will find very useful. Access it here. 

DCEO Releases Five-Year Blueprint

On July 1, 2014 the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) issued a five-year economic development plan for Illinois, a proposal that sets out the state’s priorities for encouraging private-sector job growth and business vitality, especially in regions with the highest poverty and unemployment.

The plan, developed and administered by DCEO, identifies seven high-growth business sectors in which the state can concentrate its efforts. It also increases accountability by requiring close cooperation with local economic development officials and by specifying five-year growth targets in measures such as job creation and business launches.

The 80-page plan, posted at, sets a goal of 360,000 business launches in Illinois through 2019. In addition, DCEO is aiming for 75,000 new jobs drawn from outside the state, 10,000 new jobs in areas with the highest unemployment, a 25 percent expansion in the number of people participating in workforce training and a reduction in poverty rates.

To implement the plan, DCEO will form task forces from inside and outside the agency and will begin meeting with economic development leaders from throughout the state.