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Episode 33 – Aeslin Pup Hub, Brick and Mortar for All Your Pet Needs

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?

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UPDATE: Sign Legislation Changes for Chicago Businesses featuring Right Way Signs

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?

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Episode 32 – Dinobi Detergent, a family-owned manufacturer in Chicago

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...

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Episode 31 – Forty Acres Fresh Market, a Pop-Up Grocer

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...

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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?

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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...

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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...

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Episode 25 – Yolis Tamales in Gage Park, a Tamale Vendor

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.

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Episode 24 – Robust Coffee Lounge in Hyde Park, a Coffee Shop

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?

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Episode 22 – Lobster Gram of Mayfair Park, a Food Distributor

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?

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Episode 21 – IntoxiCakes

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?

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Episode 20 – Moon Meals of Hyde Park, a Food Producer

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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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