Getting Started

Dwight – Invest in Your Future Here

UNDER CONSTRUCTION – You’ve caught us while we’re working to build out the information on this page.  Thank you for your patience while we look to provide you with the most useful information.  In the meantime, if you need help, feel free to reach out to us at or (815) 584-1830.

Starting a new business can be both exciting and overwhelming.  But the DEA and the Village of Dwight are here to help you.  We’ve compiled information here that should help to make your process go more smoothly.


Experience, Knowledge, and Education

You don’t need an MBA to start your own business.  That said, starting a business without a solid understanding of both your field and basic business principles can make it difficult for you to get started, or may result in your business going under before it had a chance to thrive.  You’re also more likely to attract investors or to obtain a business loan if can show that you have invested in your learning about how to successfully run a business.  You may be fortunate enough to have years of experience working for someone who taught you the business you want to get into.  But if not, there are ways to gain some of that knowledge.

Certificate – Small Business Management
This 19-credit program, through Heartland Community College, will prepare you to run a successful business operation.  Courses include:  Small Business Accounting, Business Communications, Customer Relations, Supervision, Quickbooks Accounting, Legal Environment of Business, and Small Business Management.  In Small Business Management, you will be guided through the creation of your business plan, which you can pitch to investors in a Shark Tank-style event put on each Spring.  Normal community college tuition rates apply.  This program is eligible for Financial Aid.  Contact DEA volunteer John at for more information.

Certificate of Completion – Entrepreneurship
This 18-credit program, through Joliet Junior College, will give you the basics you need to ensure that you’re following good business practices.  Courses include:  Introduction to Accounting, Business Law I, Introduction to Business, Principles of Management, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, and Principles of Marketing.  Normal community college tuition rates apply.

Certificate of Completion – Starting a Business / Business Expansion
Santa Clara University’s My Own Business Institute (MOBI) is funded by a donation from entrepreneur Phil Holland, author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide, and follows many of his teachings.  The Starting a Business course is offered online at no cost.  What we like about the program is that the 15 sessions are aligned to MOBI’s free business plan template, making it easy to revisit course material while working on your plan.

Maintaining Your Health Insurance

In the past, one major obstacle for many would-be entrepreneurs was that they were unable to leave their current employer due to an inability to get covered by individual health insurance.  Luckily, the ACA removes that obstacle by ensuring that no one is blocked from obtaining coverage due to age or medical history.  If you will be losing your employer-based coverage when you begin working on your new business, visit to get covered

Are You Prepared for This?

Cultivating Your Idea

Writing Your Business Plan

Choosing a Business Structure

Registering Your Business

Licenses and Permits

Helpful Programs

Below are some programs that may help you with your expenses.

Village of Dwight Rent Subsidy Program

To help new businesses in their first year, the Village of Dwight offers a Rent Subsidy program that you and your landlord may agree to participate in if you are renting your business space.  Details about the program can be found here.

Business Loans

Dwight’s banks invest heavily in the growth and development of our community.  We encourage you to work with a local loan officer who will know you and have a vested interest in your success.  These officers will be able to discuss the types of loans available to you, including SBA loans.

Dwight Bank, a Branch of Bank of Pontiac

Diane Jensen, Commercial Loan Officer
(815) 584-1855

Peoples National Bank of Kewanee: Dwight Banking Center

Eric Stewart, Vice-President
(815) 584-1212

Midland States Bank

Mike O’Brien, Commercial Loan Officer
(815) 352-4676

Kim Diss, Dwight Banking Center Manager
(815) 937-2831

Local Real Estate Agents

The best way to find the property best suited to your business is to enlist the assistance of a local real estate agent.  They know the community, they know what’s available, and they can give you valuable insights into each location’s strengths and weaknesses.

Sancken Sole Realty
700A South Union St.
Dwight, IL  60420

(815) 844-4104

McArdle Realty

Dwight, IL  60420

(815) 274-1917

In an attempt to make everything easily accessible to you, we have copies of relevant permit information and forms here.  However, to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information, you may also want to check the Village of Dwight’s Permits and Forms page.

Building Codes

The following Building Codes are currently in effect.

2015 International Building Code and any subsequent revisions

2015 International Residential Code and any subsequent revisions

2015 International Fire Code and any subsequent revisions

2015 Mechanical Code and any subsequent revisions

2014 National Electric Code and any subsequent revisions

Illinois Plumbing Code and any subsequent revisions

Dwight Municipal Code (2021)

Part 1

Part 2

Dwight Subdivision Ordinance (2019)

Dwight Zoning Ordinance (2021)

Construction/Building Permits

For all building/plumbing/electrical permits:

  • All permits must be paid in full at the time they are submitted.
  • All permits pertaining to the project must be turned in at the same time (i.e., if doing an addition, you must have building, plumbing, and electrical permits turned in together.)
  • All permits must be completed in full (everything that applies to your project.)
  • All permits must be filled out by the contractor/person doing the work.  They know the details of the work to be done.
  • Projects must be marked out with flags or spray paint before turning in your permit.
  • You MUST have your permit (signed and approved) in your hand BEFORE you can start your project.

Land Development Permit

Building Permit

Electrical Upgrade/Work Permit



Plumbing Upgrade/Work Permit



Local Marketing Opportunities

The following are great ways to let those in Dwight and surrounding communities know that you’ve opened your doors.

Dwight Economic Alliance

The Dwight Economic Alliance merges the functions of a Chamber of Commerce with tourism, economic development, and community development.  Let us help to market you.

  • Your first year Bronze membership is free (or discount off of higher levels)
  • Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • You’re listed as a sponsor for DEA-run town events
  • Shares on well-established social media accounts

Newspaper Ads

The Paper is a free newspaper delivered to every household in Dwight and 21 surrounding communities.  It is released every Wednesday and is the perfect place to advertise your shop or services.
(815) 584-1901

Be Involved

When starting up a new business, your time and your money are limited.  But in a small town, your involvement in the community will win you a lot of loyal customers.  Coach a team or be a sponsor.  Join one of our local organizations.  Attend DEA meetings.  Join one of our local churches.  You need to set limits, but be visible.  If people see you doing good in the community, they will support your business.

Crissy Livingston, Village Administrator
Village of Dwight

(815) 584-3077

Whitney Scott, Village Clerk & Notary Public
Village of Dwight

(815) 584-3077

Doug Patten, Coordinator
Dwight Economic Alliance

(815) 584-1830