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Small Business Loans in Illinois (2021 Update)

The small business sector in Illinois ranks averagely against other states but has a lot of potentials to grow. It is vital to note that Illinois has one of the lowest ratios of guaranteed small business loans per a hundred thousand people in the nation. It is in the lower half among all the states in the country at 25. The amount of venture capital invested per a hundred thousand people in the state from 2012-2015 was still relatively higher than other states. Venture capitalists invested a total of $7 million in the three-year period. This means that Illinois has a vibrant startup scene that encourages more people to establish companies. It feels like more and more people should take advantage of the regulatory environment to start companies because they are likely to receive venture funding.Small Business Loans in Illinois

The average loan size in the state according to the Small Business Administration was around $350,000 in 2015. This figure puts them in the middle of the pack when they are compared to other states. A lower loan size means that financial institutions such as banks do not have confidence in the success of small businesses in the area. This could be because of external factors that the business owners do not control directly such as crime. This is a limitation on the number of businesses that can be started in the town because of the lack of enough funding to set up certain types of businesses. The loan might not be sufficient to cover the expenses associated with the business before it starts generating revenue.

The number of SBA loans per a hundred thousand people has been on a steady increase. There was a 37% increase from 2012 to 2015 showing that more people were able to access loans during that period. The amount of small businesses per 100 people in 2013 came to around 2.31. This means that two small businesses were serving any group of 100 citizens in Illinois. This could be attributed to the fact that it was harder to start a business in the area since the amount of funding was relatively minimal. The small business sector experienced close to no growth with the percentage coming at around 0.2%. This means that there were no improvements to the small business community to help them increase revenue and to improve sales. This is very discouraging since no growth is the same as negative growth.Illinois must show prospective business owners that they will see some growth when they start their businesses there. This will, in turn, help the state to become an entrepreneurial hub. This is important when it comes to startups that need to grow in order to survive. It explains why available venture capital is low. Investors perceive that there is a low chance for companies to succeed in the state. Numerous banks in the state of Illinois offer SBA-based loans. Some of the preferred banks offering SBA based loans include ABC Bank, North Community Bank, The Foster Bank, and First Southern Bank.


Banks in Illinois That Offer Small Business Loans

Below are the best banks to go to for your small business loan:

State Bank of Arthur

The State Bank of Arthur was founded in 1910 and was headquartered in Arthur, Illinois. It has offered personal and commercial banking services even after it was acquired by Morton Community Bank in 2015.

Ipava State Bank

After opening its first branch in Ipava in Fulton County in 1902, Ipava State Bank has maintained the same high level of quality for all its banking products.

BankChampaign National Association

Known by the name Market Place National Bank until 1989, BankChampaign offers services not only in banking but also in investment, trust, and online fraud.

First Bank and Trust Company of Murphysboro

Since it opened on 25 April 1889, First Bank and Trust Company of Murphysboro is one of the few financial institutions that has helped rebuild the community after the great disaster on life and property the Tri-State Tornado brought upon the area.

Central State Bank

Originally known as the Clayton State Bank, Central State Bank was founded in 1928. Despite the Great Depression occurring only years later, the bank continued to grow even up to this day with its fourth and latest branch in Kinderhook.

Old Second National Bank

Old Second National Bank acquired the most highly-rated bank for small business loans last year, the ABC Bank.

Top Cities in Illinois and Their Lenders

Illinois is considered one of the most advanced states in the Midwestern region. The area has long been home to a range of different industries and modern businesses. There are a number of large cities in the Illinois region, all which have plenty of opportunities for growth. If you’re interested in starting a small business in Illinois, there’s never been a better time.

This part of the article will take a look at the top cities in Illinois and help you determine which one is right for your small business. We’ll also give you some recommendations on reputable local business lenders to use!

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is much larger than any other city in the state – it also happens to be one of the largest cities in the country. Chicago often comes in at third in terms of the largest USA cities chart. The city is well known for having a diverse service based economy. While it might be an expensive place to live, it’s also a great place to start a business. Below are our favorite business lenders in Chicago:


Accion is a nationwide group of non-profit lenders that provides different types of business financing to their prospective clients. They have a great reputation for helping small Chicago businesses get their feet off the ground. We highly recommend them!

LISC Small Business

If you’re looking for a non-profit lender that can help you get the funding you need to start your dream business, LISC Small Business is the right lender for you. We highly recommend you work with LISC if you don’t think you’re eligible for other forms of finance. They’re located in the heart of Chicago.

Aurora, Illinois

Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois. It’s much more affordable than Chicago — it sits just outside of the larger city. If you want to start a business in a place that benefits from proximity to Chicago without the costs, this might be your best option. Below are the top lenders to work with in Aurora:

Aurora Bank & Trust

Aurora Bank & Trust is a local lender in Aurora that knows the city’s economy like no-one else. If you’re going to try and obtain business financing in Aurora, this should be your first port of call.

LISC Small Business

As Aurora is effectively attached to Chicago, business owners in the area can also benefit from LISC Small Business. If you’re an Aurora-based business looking for a non-profit lender, look no further!

Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, the third largest city in Illinois, is well-known for its manufacturing industry. The area is home to some of the largest assembly plants in the state. Below is the top lender in Rockford:

Bank Alpine

Bank Alpine is a regional bank that happens to have a branch in Rockford – they’ve become one of the favorite lenders in the area. If you want a bank that has local and regional experience, this is a good option if you’re opening a business in Rockford.

Joliet, Illinois

Joliet is only thirty miles outside of Chicago, but it still has an economy of its own. Joliet is also a major manufacturing city. It’s a very affordable place to live. Below is the lender we recommend you work with in Joliet:

NuMark Credit Union

NuMark Credit Union is a credit union with a local office in Joliet. They’re well-known for having a large variety of different lending products available. You can access real estate loans, land loans, term loans, lines of credit, secured loans, and other customized loans!

Naperville, Illinois

Naperville is another city that is considered an extension of Chicago. It lies to the west of the city. If you’re looking for a lender in the area, check out our suggestion below:

Naperville Bank & Trust

There’s nothing like partnering with a local lender that you can trust – Naperville Bank & Trust is the perfect lender for any Naperville-based business owners. They have a deep understanding of the local economy and a good customer track record.

Springfield, Illinois

While Chicago is the largest city in Illinois, Springfield is the capital. The area benefits from the various government sector jobs in the city. If you want to start a business in the area, consider the lender below:

Bank of Springfield

Bank of Springfield is a small Springfield-based bank with a good reputation in the area. If you want to work with a lender that understands the city of Springfield, there is obviously no better partner!

Peoria, Illinois

Peoria is another manufacturing powerhouse in Illinois. The retail sector is also thriving in the city. Either of these industries will perform well for new business owners. Below is the lender we believe is best to work with inside of Peoria:

F&M Bank

F&M Bank has a Peoria location that it uses to partner with local business owners. They have experience getting business owners the financing they need to take their operations to the next level.


Remember, some of these companies or banks are very specialized and may only handle SBA loans or a business line of credit. Ask them about any special programs for minorities or women. Also ask for information about business grants for startups if that interest you. If you bad credit don't worry as there still may be other alternative lenders willing to work with you.