Eva says doing business in Chicago is “challenging.” That’s putting it lightly! This founder of Catalyst Ranch, a creative meeting and event space in historic downtown Chicago, has run around in circles and jumped through hoops many times for everything from expanding their physical location, to getting the proper licensing to offer catering at their events, to getting a sign that people can actually see from the street. Find out why, despite these obstacles, Eva has no plans to leave Chicago and how she made the leap from corporate employee to thriving entrepreneur.
Eric describes doing business in Chicago as “exhilarating.” Despite being a natural entrepreneur who loves his city and his community, it isn’t always easy to navigate the city’s codes and licenses. How exactly did Eric go from peddling Bart Simpson t-shirts on the street, to a lifestyle retail space in Wicker Park and a move to Hyde Park, to starting a block party in Hyde Park that attracts thousands of people, to pop-up shops around Chicago?
Juana describes doing business in Chicago as “frustrating”. She spent much of her life savings outfitting a truck for mobile retail, but how’s it going?
Maria describes doing business in Chicago as “amazing”. Her business was recently formalized with the passing a street vending ordinance. Learn more about what street food legalization means for her.
Kamilah describes doing business in Chicago as a “learning experience”. She began by experimenting with boozy cupcakes in her kitchen. What inspired her to transition into a full-fledged business?
LaForce describes doing business in Chicago as “interesting”. LaForce says you have to be patient when you’re getting all the correct licenses and permits. How much time does he suggest you allot?
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?