In Highland Park, celebration turned to tragedy.

We are grieving for our neighbors.  Recent bipartisan bills signed into law have increased gun safety measures—and that will certainly help. But more is needed to solve this relentless plague of mass shootings. The weapons used in these violent attacks are meant for battlefields, not Main Street America on the Fourth of July. We owe those who have died and have been wounded more.


In honor of Independence Day, the Women’s Business Development Center reflects on the critical importance of democracy in the United States and on the world stage. Now more than ever, we must preserve our freedoms from the countless threats that seek to erode them—at home and abroad. Our founding fathers built our nation around the core principles of liberty, justice, and the rule of law, while seeking democracy and declare independence. As an organization and as Americans, we stand by those guiding beliefs.


The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) honors Juneteenth National Independence Day, the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, by working to help dismantle the biases, barriers, and systems preventing the full participation of diverse entrepreneurs in the economy. The WBDC envisions a world where all business owners have an equitable opportunity to compete and succeed in the marketplace and remains dedicated to supporting the eradication of the legacy of slavery and ongoing inequities in our country.


The Women’s Business Development Center reaffirms its commitment to the empowerment of women and women’s rights, including the very fundamental right to make decisions regarding health. Limiting women’s rights by limiting their health options takes away the most fundamental right for women and their empowerment.


The Women’s Business Development Center proudly advocates for diversity in all sectors of society and celebrates the  confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. As the first Black woman to be appointed to the highest court, this is a major milestone for the federal judiciary and our country. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s momentous achievement will be an inspiration for many years to come.


We at the Women’s Business Development Center are heartbroken to see images of distraught and displaced Ukrainians. It is extremely inspiring to see the world come together and stand against an unprovoked aggressor. We in the U.S. can do our part to support the people of Ukraine by making sure our neighbors and community business owners of Ukrainian descent know they are supported.

We must also continue to act with our wallets. It is heartening to see global businesses withdrawing from their dealings with Russia and small businesses choosing not to carry imported Russian products. As members of the international community, it is imperative that democracy be defended around the world and that we stand united in this effort.

This is the right thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do. Sacrificing revenue for democracy requires no debate or contrarian perspectives.

We stand for freedom. We stand with the people of Ukraine.








Navigating COVID-19 Services and Resources

Cook County, Illinois

Visit to learn more about the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance program.

Federal Government

The Biden-Harris Administration Increases Lending to Small Businesses in Need, Announces Changes to PPP to Further Promote Equitable Access to Relief.

Here are the facts that you need to know:

Priority Window for Business Owners with Less than 20 Employees

The Biden-Harris Administration will now open up a two-week period starting Wednesday Feb 24th where businesses with less 20 employees will have exclusive access to the application portal.

98% of all small businesses have 20 or fewer employees and this open period is potentially a lifeline for businesses who remain vulnerable.

Better Serve Self-Employed/Sole Proprietors
Going forward, self-employed individuals will use gross income to calculate the PPP loan amount.

Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration has set aside $1 billion for self-employed/ sole proprietors located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas.

Support for Second Chance Small Business Owners

The Biden-Harris Administration has taken the bipartisan step to allow some small business owners with prior criminal records to apply for PPP funding.

This will open funding to business owners who have turned their lives around, started a small business, created jobs, and contributed to their communities.

Exempt Defaults on Student Loans

Business owners who are behind on their federal student loan payments will now be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness under President Biden’s changes.

Initially, business owners who were delinquent on federal student loans could access PPP funds, but could not receive the loan forgiveness, meaning they had to pay it all back.

Clarification for Small Business Owners with Visas or Green Cards
The Biden-Harris Administration clarified that residents who do not yet have a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number can apply for PPP funding using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs).

This new modification prohibits lenders from denying PPP funding to business owners who use ITINs to pay their taxes.

Click here to learn more.