Some businesses to close during NATO summit

May 14, 2012 3:19:28 PM PDT
Many Chicago businesses are making preparations for the NATO summit that gets under way this weekend. Some are closing for the summit; others are allowing their employees to work from home.

The option of working from home will allow workers to avoid expected traffic and commuting congestion due to the summit.

"I'm most likely going to work from home," Eric Johnson told ABC7. "When I started out working I couldn't work from home, but now I can. I can work anywhere I want.

"Right now our agency is in a wait-and-see mode," said Jessie Vicha. "And we're monitoring the news and sort of seeing what's happening. We certainly have the capability to work from home if we need to."

ChicagoFIRST has 31 members - mainly financial institutions - that organized after 9/11 to strategize ways to keep business moving in the event of disruptions. The businesses have been preparing alternatives during the NATO summit since last fall.

Some members of ChicagoFIRST will have employees take their work home on Monday.

"They are using some portion of working from home so employees who can work from home and support those operations do so," said Brian Tishuk, ChicagoFIRST. "Many are employing back-up locations to ensure that critical operations will continue."

For those who will be venturing downtown on Monday, Chicago Transit Authority will be adding service throughout the weekend.

"Friday afternoon and Monday morning will really be enhanced, beefed up rush hour service. We're going to do everything possible to have as many vehicles out on the streets moving Chicagoans as we possibly can," said Peter Ousley, CTA.

CTA will re-route 24 bus lines, but there will be more service added. Information on route changes will be available on the Chicago Transit Authority website at TransitChicago.com.

For NATO security alerts for business, visit hillardheintze.com/alerts_register.php

Residents near McCormick Place may be asked to show identification or a utility bill to prove they live in the neighborhood.

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