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For existing businesses

The City of Lake Forest works to strengthen local businesses and assists with promotion, development, expansion, permitting and general assistance. Your City business liaison will work with you to help promote your business, products and services.


All of the following services are available to Lake Forest businesses:

  • NEW: eCommerce Guide to implemeting a local eCommerce Platform for small businesses 1.0.
  • NEW: Virtual Lake Forest, add your business to the Virtual Lake Forest shopping mall.
  • NEW: Virtual Lake Forest pilot program - add your business to the new pilot program and let local residents shop with their avatar in your store 24/7.
  • NEW:  BMW Toolkit for Lake Forest Business Owners 2.0.  Get your business on the social media map. 
  • Participate in the new Lake Forest Shopping District team.  The team meets monthly and is currenlty developing a 28-month marketing strategy.
  • Get your city business news quarterly from the office of economic development.  
  • Add your business to the new VIrtual Lake Forest mall. 
  • The city conducts a business outreach program, meeting individually with businesses each year.
    Marketing Assistance with community awareness programs,
  • NEW: Social Media Guide for Small Businesses 2.0 (Copyright 2015)
  • Coordination of special events and creation of marketing materials for use by the entire retail/office community.  These events include the Open Air Market, concert series,innovation week and holiday programs.  
  • Inclusion on the city directories located in Market Square and on city website.
  • Business Identity - helps build a sense of business identity within the community.
    The city produces and updates the business district directories, identifying stores in the central business district, north and south.
  • Hosts regular networking meetings - to discuss special events, store hours, street closings, holiday scheduling, introduce new city programs and to identify significant issues confronting your business.
  • Inside Lake Forest - works with Channel 17 Lake Forest TV to create a special interview and taping of your business, featuring your products, services or menus.
  • Coordination with the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce - coordinate and work closely with the chamber on upcoming events, business opportunities and media relations.
  • Signature Events in Lake Forest - work closely with local businesses and restaurants in coordinating with monthly events in Lake Forest. Popular events are home and garden walks, drawing over 12,000 people; golfing tournaments, art shows and theater productions.
  • Coordinates internships with Lake Forest College and Lake Forest High School.
  • E-Commerce Workshops - new this year, the City of Lake Forest is working with local businesses to improve their bottom-line with e-marketing and e-commerce workshops.
  • CAN - the Lake County Accelerator Network with links to all resources for small and start-up businesses.
  • CAN
  • Market Research - the City has recently completed extensive market research identifying products and services desired by the residents, business owners and property owners.
  • For more information, contact the Office of Economic Development at 847.613.7005.






220 E. Deerpath, Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-2600
Non-Emergency Police:  (847) 234-2601

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