Red Tape

Episode 16 – Back of the Yards Coffee in Back of the Yards, a Coffee Shop

Jesse describes doing business in Chicago as “daunting”. His neighborhood views him as a huge asset and his business is profitable – so what’s in the way of his business’ growth?

Episode 15 – Nature’s Little Recyclers Throughout Chicago, a Composter

Ed and Dale describe doing business in Chicago as “tough”. They have faced skepticism from both their local communities and legislators. What challenges do they face as owners of a composting business in Chicago?

Episode 14 – Saucy Porka in The Loop & Hyde Park, a Restaurant

Amy describes doing business in Chicago as “rewarding but frustrating”. When she began operating her food truck business Amy had no idea she would end up launching the Food Truck Association and advocating for new legislation. What advice would she now give to small business owners looking to engage with City Hall and influence policy?

Episode 12 – Boombox Throughout Chicago , an Architect and Developer

Katherine describes doing business in Chicago as “hilarious”. When she first had the idea to support micro-retail, it was illegal. In what ways has Katherine worked with City Hall to create processes that support microbusiness owners?

Episode 10 – Tea Squares of Englewood, a Food Manufacturer

Jordan describes doing business in Chicago as “aspirational”. He always wanted his business to benefit the local South Side community. What employment strategy has he chosen to further this mission?

Episode 8 – Shop the Thrifty Fashionista, a Mobile Business, Fashion Resale Truck

Jera and Joslyn describe doing business in Chicago as “interesting”. This mother-daughter duo decided to open a mobile thrift boutique. What steps did they have to take to ensure they’re compliant with the city’s requirements?

Episode 7 – Chicago Primal Gym in Lakeview, a Gym

Sean and Grant describe doing business in Chicago as “a dream come true”. They began their business from Sean’s backyard and faced a variety of zoning challenges. What advice would they now give to self-employed gym owners?

Episode 6 – Right Way Signs in Wicker Park, Sign Company

Alex describes doing business in Chicago as “frustrating”. He began growing his father’s sign company in Evanston, but relocated to Chicago. What about the Windy City and its workforce drew him there?

Episode 4 – Upton’s Naturals in Austin, a Food Producer

Nicole and Dan describe doing business in Chicago as “resourceful”. They saved thousands when bringing their food space up to code. How did they do it?

Episode 3 – Middle Brow Beer Co. in Logan Square, a Brewery and Brewpub

Pete describes doing business in Chicago as “optimistic”. He followed a Brew Pub model, but how did outsourcing the production of his beer make him feel?