Illinois Small Business Development Center

Start a new business or grow your existing business with expert advice, workshops and resources. Plus, if you need help dealing with local government, you’ve come to the right place.

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No Cost One-On-One Advising for Small Businesses

The Illinois SBDC at the Chicagoland Chamber has already helped over 600 small business owners and entrepreneurs. Chamber membership is not required to take advantage of SBDC services.

Receive Assistance With:

  • Business planning
  • Guidance on business financing
  • Market research and marketing plans
  • Customer relations
  • Dealing with local government
  • Connections to additional resources
  • Branding
  • How to use data
  • And more…

Can SBDC Help You?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the IL Small Business Development Center can help you.

  • Are you starting your own business?
  • Do you have a business plan?
  • Does your business need access to markets, contracts or capital?
  • Do you need help with financial analysis and planning?
  • Are you interested in doing business with the government?
  • Do you need strategic planning to guide your business growth?
  • Are you interested in integrating the latest technology tools into your business?

Make an appointment with the IL Small Business Development Center Today

Meet Our Center Director – SBDC

Stacey Pitts Caldwell

Energized by her experience in business, marketing and development, Stacey joined the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce with a passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners thrive. Through individual advising, program development and community outreach, Stacey works to elevate and bring awareness to the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an invaluable resource in the small business ecosystem. With careful strategic planning and measured economic impact, Stacey has successfully helped over 400 small businesses in the Chicagoland area secure more revenue and reach their goals.

With nearly 15 years of experience as a management and business consultant, Stacey brings a rich background in marketing, communications, non-profit development, graphic design, and social media strategy – along with a wealth of insight and expertise as a small business owner herself. As owner of SMP-Creative Business and Design, a boutique graphic design firm, Stacey continues to be a resource and helps small businesses with their branding needs.

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Stacey earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Management (BA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from Benedictine University. As a self-proclaimed “creative intellect”, she seeks to incite passion in other small business owners, entrepreneurs and future business leaders, while helping them gain access to educational programming and training to help move business forward.

Stacey takes a creative approach to all of her endeavors both personally and professionally, where she continually seeks to connect people to resources, services and causes that have meaningful impact. Recently awarded and named as a Walker’s Legacy Honoree for 2018’s Power 15 National Award for multicultural women who have positively impacted the business community, Stacey is also a mother, wife, and small business owner who enjoys wearing multiple hats and is fulfilled by seeing other small businesses become more successful and achieve their goals.

Meet the Team

Othello Van Calbert

Business Advisor

Othello helped run his family-owned businesses from an early age until his late twenties. Since then, he has helped run other small businesses, earned his bachelor’s degree at DeVry Institute of Technology, and worked for Argonne National Lab as a data acquisition and project management. He also worked at Mitsubishi Electric Automation as a quality control engineer.

As founder and CEO of Othello Business Solutions, a management consulting firm, Othello helps businesses through data analytics and data science. Othello is enthusiastic about collaborating with entrepreneurs and companies, big or small, supporting them to reveal hidden insights into their data, perform a market analysis, chalk out strategies, and analyze their financial structure for better profitability.

Othello is happily married with three kids. He enjoys martial arts, spending quality time playing games, and going for walks with his family. Othello also enjoys coding with Excel, R, Python, Spyder, Visual Studio Code, MS Power BI, and Azure for apps and dashboards. He is also pursuing a Charter Financial Analysis certification.

Adrienne McFarland

Virtual Coordinator

Adrienne is a Marketing and Event Planning professional born and raised in Memphis Tennessee. She has been a Chicago resident since 2012. She is the owner of Chaibles, an event supply small business, she and her husband launched in 2017, located in Chicago, Illinois.  Adrienne began her career as a marketing and game day operations coordinator for the NCAA Ohio Valley Conference. She knows what truly drives conversions, builds relationships, and engagement strategies. She believes it’s not mastering the marketing plan, it’s how well you connect with people you’re trying to help and get to know and then communicating your understanding back to them.

Upon arriving to Chicago, Adrienne held a fundraising position with ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, overseeing various donor relationships and fundraising events across the Midwest region. In addition to her professional career, She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She was married in 2016 to her husband Billy. They have a 2 year old daughter, Aja.  Adrienne holds a BA in Mass Communications and a MA in Sports Administration from Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.

About SBDC

Illinois Small Business Development Centers have been providing assistance to Illinois businesses since 1984. The Centers have served over 1,063,416 pre-venture and existing small businesses and have assisted clients secure access to over $3.25 Billion in debt and equity business financing. For more information on the Illinois Small Business Development Center network.

Learn More

SBDC Partnerships

The SBDC at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Department of Commerce and Economic opportunity and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Stacey Pitts Caldwell at (312) 494-6700 or by text at (312) 810-4298.