Best Small Business Resources in the Peoria Area

Small map with pin depicting Peoria, IL

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Illinois has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Peoria area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Illinois.

Resources Available in your Area

Brave Launch

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning

Description

Brave Launch is an intensive, 7-week program run by Bradley University that takes entrepreneurship teams and gives them the mentoring and knowledge to launch a business. The program is fee-based, not equity-based, so teams retain full ownership of their company, and is open to ventures in any industry. The classes heavily feature mentorship and are very interactive, so don't just expect a series of lectures! Entrepreneurs who already have an idea refined and are planning to launch should apply. Classes take place at the Next Innovation Center.

Restrictions

Accepts teams of 2-4 founders.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

801 W Main Street
Peoria, IL 61606
309-677-4321
tce@bradley.edu


Illinois SBDC and ITC at Bradley University

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1501 W Bradley Ave, Jobst 141
Peoria, IL 61625


Peoria Public Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Research

Description

The Peoria Public Library offers resources such as business planning, marketing, and links to local business resources. They have meeting rooms that can be reserved ahead of time and are free for entrepreneurial use.

Restrictions

A library membership is required to access some services.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

107 NE Monroe
Peoria, IL 61602-1070
309-497-2143
alycejackson@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us


Peoria SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


River City Labs

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Product Development

Description

River City Labs is a Peoria makerspace, offering public access to advanced manufacturing tools and machines, as well as educational classes so anyone can learn how to fabricate their vision. Their space is suitable for both prototyping products or creating art, it's very flexible. Services include woodworking, metalworking, CNC machines, electronics stations, and 3D printing. Membership plans are very reasonable and grant 24-hour access and reduced prices on classes. If you're interested, join River City Labs every Thursday for a public build night where you can check out the space and talk to members.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1213 SW ADAMS
PEORIA, IL 61603
815-662-5376


The Nest

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Coworking

Description

The Nest is a coworking space located in the Oak + Adams area of Peoria's Warehouse District, offering amenities such as private meeting rooms, pour over coffee stations, and a flexible open office plan. Membership options are available for a monthly rate or a very reasonable daily rate for the entrepreneur with an unpredictable schedule.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

820 SW Adams St., Suite C
Peoria, IL 61602
309-495-5972
rgettys@greaterpeoriaedc.org

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 8 am - 5 pm