Start a Business

Small Business

Let us help you succeed.

Congratulations! Visiting our website is the first step of many in starting your business. The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and our partner organizations have many resources available to you for building your business.

For those just starting out on the path to creating your business, we recommend taking advantage of the no-cost New York State Small Business Development Center’s counseling sessions. These one-hour complimentary sessions occur at our office and are available by appointment only. To schedule your counseling session, please call us at 607-273-7080. For more information on the Small Business Development program click here for details.

For those that already have your business plan and are ready to open for business, please make sure to visit the Tompkins County website for information on business licenses and required permits. To reach the Tompkins County Clerk Office please click here. If you are opening a business in Ithaca, you may need to contact the building division at the City of Ithaca here.

Of course, once you have completed all the necessary steps to open your business, please make sure to give our Chamber a call – we would like to share with you the many benefits and services that we offer our members to help grow their business through our core values of:

  • Creating a strong local economy
  • Representing the interests of business before government
  • Business growth
  • Providing networking opportunities
  • Political action-supporting issues
  •      Join the Chamber

    Joining the Chamber of Commerce can help you connect to the local business community quickly, and help you navigate the resources and opportunities while you start your business.


  • Join Rev

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    Rev is a business incubator and workspace in Ithaca, NY. They offer business mentorship, workspace, and startup resources for any new or growing business that will create jobs in the community.


  • Business Counseling

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    The Small Business Development council offers free counseling small business owners. Get assistance with various parts of starting a business from small business owners.

  • Federal SBA

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    The U.S. Small Business Administration guides you through everything from starting to managing and growing a business. The SBA also helps businesses secure loans.

  • Business Cents

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    Business CENTS is the small business development program of Alternatives Federal Credit Union, offering training, consultation, and relationship building opportunities for entrepreneurs.


  • Downtown Ithaca

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    The Downtown Ithaca Alliance is charged with assisting businesses and investors interested in downtown Ithaca projects. Downtown Ithaca has many exciting retail space opportunities available.

  • Technology Licencing


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    One of the main objectives of the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) is to foster the growth of new businesses based on Cornell Technology to promote regional economic development.

  • Microenterprise



    Big Red Microenterprise (BRM) is a student-run educational experience that spurs microenterprise development by assisting self-employed individuals reach their business goals

  • Cayuga Venture Fund

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    CVF’s venture capital team is interested in startups at various stages across a wide range of industries. They invest in companies across New York State that excite them.


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