Services for Businesses

Our community is proud of the many locally owned businesses that have made Winnetka a special place for generations of residents and visitors. Many area shops have been in business for decades and are known for their products and service offerings and their commitment to their customers and to our community. We strive to ensure businesses are provided the resources and assistance they need to thrive and stay connected to the market. 

Available Properties

View a list of available properties where you might open a business.


The Village encourages businesses to collaborate on joint promotions and advertising efforts, and offers funding assistance for shared campaigns. Past projects have included print ads in Modern Luxury magazine, a holiday shopping guide insert in Sheridan Road magazine, and subsidized advertising in playbills at Writers Theater. Contact Liz Dechant to learn how to participate in a co-op ad.

Social Media 

Share news about a sale, event or business anniversary with a wide audience online! If you are a Winnetka business, send us high resolution images and 1-2 sentences about your good news for the village to share. Email Josie Clark, Village Communications Manager with this information. 

Business Showcase Videos

The Village of Winnetka will create a 1-2 minute video of your business! Showcase it your webpage and social media sites to share with your customers. Contact Liz Dechant to inquire about this unique advertising opportunity. Watch the videos here. 

E-Developments newsletter 

Share a sale, event or business anniversary to be posted in our e-newsletter. Email high resolution images, with descriptions, to Liz Dechant.

Energy Efficiency Programs

Winnetka commercial electric customers are eligible for incentives to install energy efficient lighting and equipment through a program supported by the Village of Winnetka and the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA). Eligible projects must be located in and receive electric service in Winnetka. Projects must produce electricity savings through efficiency improvements in commercial, industrial, or public-sector buildings, equipment or processes. Eligible products include: more efficient LED interior, exterior or exit lighting, adding occupancy sensory lighting controls, programmable thermostats, refrigeration upgrades, and air compressors and compressed air nozzles.  Ineligible projects include repairs of existing equipment, fuel switching, or new electric generation. Applicants under this program will be accepted on an ongoing basis, subject to funding availability. The total incentive cannot exceed 75% of the total project cost. Projects are reimbursed upon completion and require pre-approval to receive an incentive. Contact Liz Dechant for more information, or visit IMEA's website

Cook County has opened the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) financing program that provides low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and resiliency projects in commercial buildings. Cook County property owners can obtain up to 100% upfront financing from private capital providers for qualified upgrades including HVAC, lighting and solar photovoltaic systems and more in both existing buildings and new construction projects. For more information visit CPACE's website.

Business Registration 

Although the Village does not require a general business license, specialty licenses are required for sale or service of food, beverages, and alcohol. The Village maintains a business registry list which is updated annually. Registration for the list is required, but there is no cost for doing so. Business registration ensures that the Village has accurate information about the local business community and ensures that public safety officials have accurate contact information for commercial tenants in the event of emergencies. Please fill out our Business Registration form (PDF) and email it to Liz Dechant.

Hosting a Special Event 

The Village of Winnetka makes it easy for you to host a special event! If you are planning to host a special event, you must secure a special event permit from the Winnetka Police Department. To apply, submit a completed application and $35 application fee, a Certificate of Insurance, and an “Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement.” Applications should be submitted at least 15 days prior to the event. For questions about hosting a special event, contact Keri Kaup, Administrative Services Manager at the Police Department at 847-716-3440.

Sponsoring an Event 

The Village will offers a sponsorship and donation program for special events that benefit the community and engage local businesses. To determine if you qualify, review the policy (PDF) then fill out the application (PDF). The Village will review applications at monthly meetings and will notify applicants. 

Outdoor Seating and Dining 

Businesses who intend to offer outdoor seating on the sidewalk may do so between April and October with an Outdoor Seating Permit. To apply, submit a completed permit application along with a Certificate of Insurance with: 1) a minimum $1,000,000 per occurrence, 2) $2,000,000 aggregate coverage with the Village of Winnetka named as additional insured, 3) a simple drawing of the table and chair placement plan. 

View an outdoor dining safety guide for Fall and Winter, produced by the Winnetka Fire Department.
View a safety guide for dining green houses, produced by the Winnetka Fire Department.


The Winnetka Police Department has assigned a Business Resource Liaison dedicated to supporting businesses and addressing their concerns, including traffic and parking issues, providing security assessments and crime reduction advice; providing education and resources on topical concerns; and sending merchant alerts when crimes occur. Contact Officer Josue Perez to discuss any law-enforcement or security-related concerns you may have, or sign up for a security audit by calling 847-716-3414. In an emergency, though, please call 911.

Smart 911 and Winnetka Alerts 

Sign up for text alerts for times when emergency conditions exist in the Village and set up a profile available to 911 dispatchers to give them information to enable a faster response in the event of an emergency.

Small Business Saturday

This annual shopping event is promoted and sponsored by the Village of Winnetka. We provide marketing and promotional materials for your business to host a successful Small Business Saturday.