• Evanston Edge

    The City of Evanston's Economic Development Division

  • Business Toolbox

    Our New Business Guide can walk you through the process of opening a business in Evanston from start to finish.

    More information about zoning, licensing, incentives, and workforce programs can be found below.


    Learn where in Evanston your business can open

    Great Merchant Grant

    Merchant District Support

    Entrepreneurship Support Program

    Supporting Entrepreneurs

    City funded program aims to provide micro-funding support for startups who have participated in a business startup education program and have a defined business model.

    Elevate Evanston

    Evanston Workforce Development

    Elevate Evanston unites our community’s efforts to connect individuals with employment opportunities, job training, and career education.



    Startup Showcase

    Supporting Entrepreneurs

    Evanston Edge Startup Showcase is a gathering of Evanston entrepreneurs, students, investors, developers, and designers in support of Evanston's most innovative startups. Five minute pitch, five minute expert panel inquiry, five minute audience questions - 15 minutes of fame. Networking, drinks, and eats follow.

    Feedback and Ideas

    Merchant Support

    Please share your your ideas, feedback, constructive criticism on our Evanston Merchant Feedback and Idea Share form. Your input is critical for the City of Evanston to maintain its high quality of place and a growing economy. 

  • Available Space

    Find a home for your business in Evanston

  • Explore Evanston

    Find a home for your business in Evanston

    Downtown Evanston


    Downtown Evanston is a dynamic city center that is home to over 100 dining options for every palate and budget. Here you will discover a mix of local boutiques and big name brands that make an ideal shopper’s paradise.

    Main-Dempster Mile

    Anchored by two CTA purple line stops and the Main Street METRA station, you don't need a car to experience a variety of unique independent shops and restaurants. Visit the Main-Dempster Mile Special Service Area online.

    Central Street

    Central Street has its own “village” feel and is host to a wide selection of small locally owned shops, as well as Northwestern University's Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    Noyes Street

    Surrounded by single-family homes, the neighborhood is home to the Noyes Cultural Arts Center and a mix of shops and restaurants serving neighborhood residents as well as Northwestern students, faculty and staff.

    Howard Street

    Anchored on the east by the Howard Street CTA station and stretching west to Ridge Avenue, the Howard Street commercial corridor forms Evanston's southern border with the City of Chicago, and contains an eclectic mix of celebrated local businesses.

    West End

    This area has historically been home to Evanston's industrial and manufacturing businesses. Today, the neighborhood includes IRMCO, Temperance Brewing Company, Ward Manufacturing, and other manufacturing companies.

    Central Evanston

    The area around Church Street and Dodge Avenue features a variety of shops and neighborhood services that thrive off the neighborhood's close proximity to the students and families at Evanston Township High School. Visit the Central Evanston Business Association online.

    West Village

    Evanston's West Village includes a collection of businesses focused on recreation, wellness, and the arts. The recently renovated Evanston Plaza shopping center includes the Valli Produce grocery store, as well as Dance Center Evanston.

    Southwest Evanston

    The three shopping centers of Southwest Evanston feature convenient parking and national brands including Target, Best Buy, PetSmart, Sam's Club, Aldi, Marshall's, and Home Depot.

  • Food & Drink

    Evanston is home to a celebrated dining scene with over 100 restaurants, bars, and specialty shops to choose from. The businesses below were featured in a recent issue Make it Better Magazine but there are plenty of places to explore. See more at http://bit.ly/evanstonfood.

    1305 Chicago Ave.

    1704 Central St. 

    1700 Central St.

    980 Chicago Ave.

    1941 Central St. 

    810 Dempster St.

    629 Howard St.

    1625 Hinman Ave. 

    2922 Central St. 

    1813 Dempster St.

    749 Chicago Ave.

  • Social Feed

    Explore Evanston on Social Media

  • Blog: Discover Evanston

    Get to know Evanston's entrepreneurs

    Capitalizing on the resurgence of tabletop roleplaying games, RavenRook Publishing has found a unique niche. Under the moniker The Rook & The Raven, they craft and sell high quality disc-bound gaming notebooks specifically designed with these sorts of games in mind. This Evanston-based business...
    The Fitness Matrix is the brain-child of Albert Ferguson, a Northwestern University graduate who had a vision to offer complete fitness services in west Evanston.   Ferguson, who holds an MBA from Georgetown University and was previously a global business consultant, returned to Evanston with the...
    Sweet Temptations Bake Shop is a family business in every sense of the word – it was founded by Eli Hernández and her four children. Today, three years later, the whole family still runs every aspect of the everyday operations. Sweet Temptations is one of the many businesses that have bet on...
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  • About Us

    The Economic Development Division helps businesses grow the Evanston economy as we strive to create the most livable city in America.

    Economic Development Staff

    We work closely with local, county, and State officials to advance economic development efforts in Evanston and our region. The Economic Development Team has built strategic partnerships with the Evanston business community, including Northwestern University and local and national companies of all sizes. We are very active in our local business district and merchant associations and strongly believe in getting to know and work with the people who create business in Evanston.


    Phone: 847-448-4311

    Mail: City of Evanston Economic Development Division

    2100 Ridge Ave., Rm. 3600
    Evanston, IL 60201

    Economic Development Committee

    Meetings of the Economic Development Committee are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. Items submitted for consideration by the Economic Development Committee should be filed with the Economic Development Division Staff no later than two weeks prior to the meeting date.
    View Agendas & Minutes

    Trending Topics & Facts

    The Trending Topics and Facts page is designed to provide clarity and details on topics of interest circulating in the community, eliminate misconceptions, and spread accurate information about City of Evanston projects and activities.

  • Connect With Us

    Get the latest news by following us on social media





  • Proposed Planned Development Projects

    A Planned Development is a particular type of special use that requires specific review by DAPR, the Plan Commission, and City Council. Generally, planned development rules apply for projects involving more than 24 housing units, a lot larger than 30,000 square feet, or new construction of 20,000 square feet of floor area. Evanston's Zoning Ordinance contains general regulations for planned developments in section 6-3-6.

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