Growth

Episode 29 – R.B. Pest Solutions, Pest Control in Chatham

Robi says doing business in Chicago is “exciting.” She grew up watching her dad work as an exterminator. Then, after working as a business educator for a couple of years, she decided to start her own pest control company. What kind of licenses did she need to kickstart her business?

Episode 28 – Catalyst Ranch, Creative Meeting and Event Space in Chicago Loop

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.

Episode 27 – The Silver Room, Eclectic Retail and Sound System Block Party in Hyde Park

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?

Episode 19 – Friendly Wash Throughout Chicago, a Laundromat

Tony describes doing business in Chicago as “great”. He worked as a real estate broker before opening a laundromat business. How did he choose the locations that would support the kind of business he was seeking to launch?

Just Ice in Back of the Yards, a Craft Ice Producer

Rosanna describes doing business in Chicago as “a new thing every day”. When she opened her craft ice business she had no competitors in Chicago. How did Rosanna go about navigating a new industry?

Vested World in The Loop, an Angel Investor

Euler describes doing business in Chicago as “extremely collaborative”. As a lawyer, he focused on transactional work. How has his legal background informed the way he approaches the promotion of economic development in underserved areas?

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 13 – Dearborn Denim of West Garfield Park, a Denim Brand and Manufacturer

Robert describes doing business in Chicago as full of “good people”. He says Chicago is one of the best places in America to launch an apparel manufacturing business. What about the city makes it a hospitable place for skilled workers in this industry?

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 11 – Chicago Detours in The Loop, a Tour Guide Company

Amanda describes doing business in Chicago as ‘stimulating’. She built a market of Chicagoans interested in off-the-beaten path tourism. Where does she travel to show Chicago’s historic side?