Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces small business reforms

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The city is taking steps to make life a little easier for small business owners. (WLS)

The city is taking steps to make life a little easier for small business owners.

And it could mean you'll be seeing more restaurants and more outdoor cafes around town. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a series of reforms Friday during a fireside chat in front of business owners in Bronzeville.

It came after he toured some businesses that will be soon be opening in that neighborhood, including a coffee shop and an ice cream store.

"Bronzeville is a good climate. This is a place that's a destination area that people come to spend money, to shop, and it's up and coming so we think that this will be an excellent location," said YahYa Muhammad, owner of Shawn and Michelle's Ice Cream.

The reforms include cutting the $250 business licensing fee in half.

"Our goal as a city is reforming the licensing process, the financing process all the things we do, is to really get out of your life be less onerous, know where you are in the different stages of what it takes to build a family business," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The changes include allowing restaurants to operate outdoor patios year round, instead of just nine months out of the year.

"What will do now is look at ways of covering the patio so it becomes an extension of the restaurant over all during the winter season," said Norman Bolden, Owner of Norman's Bistro.

The mayor is also changing the regulations for pop-up restaurants to allow ten, 30 or 90 day licenses. It's a way to encourage young chefs to venture out into new neighborhoods to test their viability before plunking down big cash to open a restaurant.

"If they succeed as a pop-up restaurant then most likely they will turn into a restaurant that is in the community," said Sam Toia Pres. Illinois Restaurant Association.
Related Topics:
businessrahm emanuelsmall businessrestaurantsBronzevilleChicago
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