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?
My first trip to City Hall
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.
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?
Jake describes doing business in Chicago as “opportunity”. When the markets crashed in 2008, he found renewed purpose bringing coffee to the Hyde Park Woodlawn community. When he started the business, he thought coffee might be recession-proof. Was he right?
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?
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?
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?