Welcome to the Business Resource Center!
The City of Lake Forest is one of the most distinctive communities in the United States and home to over 1,200 businesses, ranging from small, boutique shops to large international corporations. With convenient access from Interstate I-94, Route 43, Route 60, Route 41 and two Metra rail stations connecting Lake Forest to downtown Chicago and Wisconsin, and 30 minutes from O'Hare Interational Aiport, Lake Forest is the ideal business environment. Lake Forest boasts a five year average retail occupancy rate of 95.4%, low property taxes, and high personal incomes. As an added benefit to business owners, the City of Lake Forest does not require local business licenses.
Five Thriving Business Districts
The Central Business District is located on the east side of Lake Forest and is over 100 hundred years and continues to thrive. It's approximate area includes all businesses from Western Avenue and Alden Avenue to Western Avenue and Vine Avenue, with Oakwood Avenue on the west side and McKinley Road on the East Side. It includes the Metra UP-N Lake Forest Station, City Hall, and many businesses including grocers, service-oriented businesses, offices, and boutique shops. Historic Market Square is in the Central Business District. Market Square was designed in 1917 by Howard Van Doren Shaw and is considered one of the original shopping centers and the most automobile-friendly place in America.
Sunset Corners is located on the west side of Lake Forest on Waukegan Road. It is home to Sunset Foods, Ferentino's, Sushi Kushi Toyo, True Value, and many other retail and service-oriented stores.
Forest Square is located on the west side of Lake Forest on Waukegan Road. It is home to Starbucks, Lou Malnati's, Jimmy Johns, and many other retail stores, service-oriented businesses, and offices. It is also adjacent to the Metra Milwaukee District North (MD-N) train line.
Conway Park at Lake Forest is located on Route 60, just east of I-94. It is home to many international corporations such as Abbott, Chicago Bears, Conway Farms, Pfizer, Idex, Pactiv, Tenneco, Trustmark Insurance, and many other regional firms.
There are three Lake Forest businesses located on the southern border along Route 41. They include Britt & Carter Company, Life Storage, and Lou's Garage.
For a list of Lake Forest businesses, view the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce Directory.
For Prospective Businesses
Lake Forest is a business-friendly community, welcoming new businesses and corporations and supporting its established businesses and a strong relationship with its supportive Chamber of Commerce. If you are considering opening a business in Lake Forest or making changes to your existing establishment, we encourage you to contact staff to discuss your plans.
For more information, utilize the menu on the left side of the page to navigate the Business Resource Center.
Looking to start your own business? The Lake Forest Library maintains a robust Business Resource Guide on their website. This public resource is just one example of the welcoming business climate in Lake Forest. Please visit the Library to utilize these resources at 360 East Deerpath Road, just east of the Lake Forest Central Business District or call (847) 234-0636.
For additional information visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.
Seeking financial assistance? Visit the Lake County Partners website.
Are you a small business and need help planning what to do next? Visit the Chicagoland Small Business Development Center website.