Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on March 7 an overhaul of the way City Hall works with small businesses in order to cut red tape and more effectively support economic development across neighborhoods.
By opening a new City Hall Small Business Center and streamlining permit and licensing reviews, small business owners and entrepreneurs across the city will have a “one-stop-shop” and dedicated staff working with them every step of the way to support their success.
And under the leadership of a new Chief Small Business Officer, Roxanne Nava, City Hall would be equipped to advocate for small business owners and entrepreneurs and ensure policies and procedures are implemented in a way that works for small business.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods, accounting for nearly half of Chicago’s jobs. Yet too often City Hall can get in the way instead of supporting their success. That stops today,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We have made strides in streamlining licensing and permitting processes, but there is still more we can do. With the new Small Business Center, led by a dedicated Chief Small Business Officer, our small businesses and entrepreneurs will find that City Hall’s door is wide open to support them every step of the way.”
With this announcement, Emanuel said he is following through on a commitment he made during his budget address last October.
The package of reforms were developed by the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team and the Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Housing and Economic Development, and Transportation, based on input from over 120 small business owners and entrepreneurs in over a dozen meetings held in Chinatown, Chatham, Little Village, Uptown, Roseland and others.
“We are committed to making sure City Hall is a partner, not an obstacle, for our small businesses,” said Rosemary Krimbel, commissioner of the Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection “With this Small Business Center and Chief Small Business Officer, we are creating a dedicated, “one-stop-shop” for entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them thrive.”