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Small Business Coalition Calls For Cutting Red Tape

Small Business Advocacy Council

The SBAC and a coalition of business groups are calling for Chicago policymakers to cut unnecessary red tape.

Cutting unnecessary and burdensome red tape will help Chicago’s small and local businesses recover from the pandemic. Much of this red tape should have been eliminated long ago.

The Small Business Advocacy Council and a coalition of business groups are advocating for such reforms. We are calling on Mayor Lightfoot and every Chicago Alderman to:
• Eliminate the requirement that simple signs protruding over the public way by less than one inch (1”) be voted on and approved by the Chicago City Council;
• Eliminate the requirement that awnings, canopies and other structures on the public way be voted on and approved by the Chicago City Council;
• Eliminate the requirement that business owners attend hearings with attorneys for minor ordinance violations which do not impact the health, safety and welfare of the public. These should be paid by willing business owners without requiring a hearing;
• Legalize A-frame/sandwich signs placed safely in front of small and local businesses to help them bring back their customers.

There is an ordinance languishing in the committee on Transportation and Public Way that will eliminate the requirement for public way use permits to receive the approval of the Chicago City Council. This should be passed immediately.

“These reforms are long overdue and there is no time to waste”, states Elliot Richardson, President of the Small Business Advocacy Council. “Policymakers cannot make this about aldermanic privilege or settling scores. Cutting red tape for the small business community is about helping local businesses and Chicago’s economy recover.”

Kim Schilf, President & CEO of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce explains, “After a devastating year, it’s time to make it easier for our business community to operate in Chicago. This agenda cuts the red tape our businesses currently face and allows them to focus on rebuilding, rehiring and getting back to business.”

Executive Director of the Logan Square Chamber Nilda Esparza states, "Our small business community is the backbone of our neighborhoods and our City. This one-time in a century experience should allow us to institute reforms that will set the tone for the future. We've witnessed the devastation - let's make it a priority for small businesses to easily push through today so that tomorrow's unprecedented times have a solid guide to turn to."

Chicago’s Cut Red Tape Agenda is here: Chicago's Cut Red Tape Agenda

The SBAC is a nonpartisan, member-driven organization that advocates for the small business community providing networking opportunities and benefits for small and local businesses. To learn more about our mission, please visit

Patti Zikmund
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