Leah says she feels “conflicted” about doing business in the city of Chicago. Sometimes the red tape, regulations, and seemingly exorbitant cost of doing business makes it difficult to spend the money where it matters most — her staff. Despite the growing pains, what’s next for the Aeslin pet family?
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?
Sylvia and Augie’s business grew out of a personal need for an effective laundry detergent that wouldn’t irritate their family’s sensitive skin. From diaper rash to eczema to sweaty workout clothes, Sylvia couldn’t find an “all in one” product that worked for everyone, so she engaged an organic chemist to create one. Dinobi Detergent is designed to be an affordable, plant-based laundry detergent that is powerful in the wash, yet gentle on skin and the environment. From changing consumers’ buying habits, to navigating the city’s contract and procurement process, to keeping their product in stock for wholesalers, doing business isn’t always easy. What is the vision for Dinobi over the next five years?
Liz says doing business in Chicago is “uncertain” because she’s trying something a little outside of the box in the grocery market. Forty Acres Fresh Market is a pop up grocer specializing in selling high quality fresh produce at an everyday low price. Founded in response to the dearth of fresh food options on Chicago’s West Side, Liz is doubling down on community partnerships, grants, and building credibility in her neighborhood.Can this business model thrive in the long term?
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.
Dan describes doing business in Chicago as “entrepreneurial”. He built a market for shipping seafood from the trunk of his car. How has he handled the challenges of maintaining a potentially hazardous food business?