many opportunities in Chicago for those wishing to start a business, expand on
their projects or move in a new entrepreneurial direction. This Friday is the
Annual Food Policy Summit. Taking place
at the south Shore Culture Center, the event – from 9.30am to 5.pm – is
organized by the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) in conjunction with
the Detection and Classification of Acoustic Scenes and Events (DCASE). Now in its 14th year, a series of
workshops, food demos and resources will be available. Click here
for more information.
business owners and will be able to learn how they can participate in the City
Markets program as well as benefit from Chicago’s vending opportunities.
Next week on
March 18, a workshop will be hosted by the Chicago City Markets Team, in
conjunction with Logan Square Farmers Market and Bronzeville Boxville Market
executives. Discussions for new market
applicants will be centered on how to find a market most appropriate for one’s
In other Chicago business expansion
news we see the movement of security integrator Security 101 opening a new
office in Chicago. It will be run by David Ritland who is both
owner and president; a man who has expanded another company – The Sentral Group
– to five American and one Mexican plant.
CEO of the firm, Steve Crespo said:
“Chicago is an exciting market with a number of growing businesses and organizations needing quality integrated security to protect employees and assets. Dave and his team will be backed by the Security 101 organization and its other franchise offices.”
Chicago – and actually the entire
state of Illinois – needs more money for infrastructure. currently, according to Illinois DOT acting
secretary Matt Magalis, at least $39 billion is needed. $13 -$15 billion of this would be used in the
next decade just for highway maintenance.
Public transit isn’t looking all that
good either; $19 billion is needed for that.
And state airports require an investment of $250 million. A further $800 million is needed for
passenger rail and $4 billion for freight rail.
and we haven’t even started talking about the huge amount of capital
required to bolster highway capacity.
“Our funding needs are great, but in order for us to drive our economy and our great state forward, we must invest in the maintenance and expansion of our multimodal system.”
Arcadis has been appointed principle
contractor for the upgrade of Chicago’s metro red line. The project – valued at
$102m – will be a joint project undertaken by Jacobs and Ardmore Roderick and
the CTA. Arcadis will lead the
endeavor. 15.4km of track – currently
over 100 years old – will be renovated.
this will hopefully lead to reduced need of maintenance which delays
city commuters. Red line stations at
Argyle, Berwyn, Bryn Mawr and Lawrence will be completely reconstructed as part
of the project. LeeAnn Tomas-Foster of Arcadis explained:
“This project will improve rider experience, reduce overcrowding and help CTA meet rapidly growing demand for transit service in Chicago. We are honored to work with CTA to improve quality of life for Chicagoans.”
This is a good start to the infrastructure problems of both the city and
Chicago – or those moving to the city – will be pleased to know that minimum
wage is far from minimum. While the
state of Illinois has been stuck at $8.25 for the last 9 years, this year
Chicago pushed its minimum wage up to $13!
So how is this fact affecting the rest of the state of Illinois? It seems it does not want to bow to pressure. according to CEO and President of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Rob Karr, Illinois should not be dictated to by Chicago. At a recent meeting held by the Senate Labor Committee, Karr said:
“It’s something we all need to look at when we’re talking about … the economic diversity of this state and the fact that, the suburbs and downstate simply don’t enjoy the same economics [as Chicago].”
that raising the minimum wage leads to less employment opportunities has
largely been disproved, particularly within Chicago. With the raise of the minimum wage in Chicago
(a hike of 40 percent) unemployment in the windy city actually reached an
all-time low of 3.6 percent! indeed, in
2018 Chicago’s drop in unemployment was the highest out of America’s largest 10
cities. Plus, an additional 72,000 jobs
arrived in Chicago, causing it to have more jobs per capita than in the last 50
Ford put a
billion dollar investment into Chicago last week adding 500 manufacturing jobs
while North Point also announced the creation of 1,300 new jobs.
minimum wage is important. Chicago has
shown that it works too.
This year’s Black Restaurant Week
(Chicago) took place last week, February 10-17.
In its fourth year, the event is designed to honor Dr. Carter G. Woodson
who founded ‘Negro History Week’ back in 1926.
Half a century later that event became Black History Month and that
finally led to the current restaurant week.
The idea behind the event was to establish
an address for Chicago-based African American Owned Eateries to be “recognized
Last year the event featured 26
restaurants, whereby $11402 was spent at restaurants and 726 dinners served. The
lineup for this year is featured here.
Last month the Chicago Booth held a panel discussion – led by
Dean Madhav Rajan – on where the economy is headed this year. Economic Outlook is one of Chicago Booth’s
most venerable traditions and has been in place since 1954.
How is America’s
longest-ever government shutdown impacting Chicagoans? What are people doing to lessen the burden
felt by locals? In this article, we look
at that specific issue as well as the more general problem of the city’s
Chicago are helping people out by giving free lunches, tickets to the museum
and even temporary employment. Getting a
free sandwich at the Adler Planetarium doesn’t pay the bills but it’s a nice gesture
to help people get through their day. Meanwhile at Horse Thief Hollow – a restaurant
catering to federal workers at Midway Airport – is featuring a shutdown special
with a free lunch valued up to $15.
real estate developer Candice Payne decided to help the homeless. Payne – whose own boyfriend was once homeless
– was working from home one day when outside temperature was subzero. That inspired
her to find a way to help out.
She set out
by contacting hotels to see if they would open their doors to the
homeless. After being turned down by
many, she accessed 30 rooms at The Amber Inn.
Transporting the homeless there proved to be her next challenge so she
turned to social media. The post went
viral and the end result was 72 rooms for 5 nights being booked, assisting 122
people thanks to numerous donations.
They say one good
deed deserves another so perhaps that was why Payne was invited to appear on
The Ellen DeGeneres show where she received a $25,000 gift token for Walmart.
For centuries people have been working in different
capacities, in varied cities and countries, to improve the environment of where
they are for the minorities living in them.
2019 and Chicago is apparently very less different than one would
imagine. here we take a little look as
to what the city is doing currently in this vein.
“Chicago’s black population, the city’s largest demographic in 2000, has dropped by 24 percent through 2017, going from more than one million in 2000 to just under 800,000 in 2017. The number of whites in Chicago surpassed blacks in 2017, and Latinos will almost certainly pass blacks by the time of the 2020 census.”
Why is that? Why are
blacks leaving Chicago? if this was not
the case, the population of Chicago would actually be increasing. instead, there
seems to be a move to places such as Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.
Is there perhaps discrimination against minorities? according to Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle, if voted in she will “bring equity to an overly punitive ticketing policy that has unfairly targeted minority motorists and forced thousands of them into bankruptcy. one part of her proposed policy will be the reversal of what she terms a punitive policy that (according to a Woodstock Institute study) targets motorists in “low- and moderate- income communities of color” at a 40 percent higher rate than those from more affluent neighborhoods. she would also set up a task force within her proposed Office of Criminal Justice to thoroughly investigate “the disparities between aggressive ticketing in black and brown communities and less-aggressive ticketing in white neighborhoods.”
Educationally efforts are being made to assist minority groups too.
along with a few other universities nationwide, the University of Chicago extended its
application deadline. it was discovered
by George Washington University that such an extension “helped reach more
underrepresented minorities. The school received an additional 600 applications
from African-American, Hispanic and first-generation college students after
extending its deadline to Jan. 15 from Jan. 5.”
Hopefully the same will be true for Chicagoans.
Less than two weeks after J. B. Pritzker was inaugurated as Illinois’ 43rd governor, he guided a review to be conducted by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) on the enhanced efficiency of the use of state funds for workforce training. The DCEO has 90 days for this project. Pritzker said:
“It is critical that state resources are being used to meet
the demands of the 21st Century,”
The idea is to offer new businesses capital, technical support and
mentorship. To date, 1871 – the nonprofit
Business Incubator that Pritzker helped establish in 2012 – has already generated
approximately 7,000 jobs as well as 400+ digital startups which are now in
place in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
And then there is the
Illinois solar revolution that is taking place throughout various parts of
the state’s open land. Various communities
are getting on board to use solar power in an effort to meet renewable energy
goals. One example of this is Aurora
which is seeking to turn half of all energy to renewable within the next
decade. Will County’s Energy and
Conservation Specialist, Sam Bluemer has described what is happening as “an
The initiator for this was the 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act
which was established – and has successfully – set up new solar programs and
incentives. One of these is the lottery
whereby developers can apply in January for renewable energy credits often
needed for viability of the projects and can be used for:
large, utility-scale solar arrays
small-scale solar projects known as
Keep posted for more exciting developments in 2019 in Illinois.
If you’re in Chicago looking to network, connect and join
others in business-related summits, where should you go next month? One place for those with green fingers is the
meeting Adding Value: Back to our
Roots. Hosted by the National Floriculture Forum on 16-17 February, click here for
On February 14 to 17th, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute
(USHLI) is hosting its 37th annual national conference. This year’s theme is “Defend Democracy: Aquí
y Ahora” and will take place at 301 E. North Water Street, at the Sheraton
Grand Chicago Hotel. Congressman Joaquin
Castro will be one of the keynote speakers and Luis V. Gutierrez, a former
congressman, will be a speaker for the Latino Leaders Recognition and
USHLI. For registration, click here.
On March 28, there
is the Family Office Deal Flow Summit organized by ResearchandMarket.com. This is an amalgamation of family investors,
dealmakers, private businesses and more.
At the one day summit they can all work on getting a mutually beneficial
deal completed. Discussions and presentations that will take place will be on
the following subjects:
It’s amazing how much of real estate, environment and
infrastructure changes over time…and yet stays very much the same. At the moment one example of this is what has
evolved over the years at West Oakdale Avenue.
In 2005, a new landmark was designated in Chicago
within the Lakeview neighborhood. the
area between Seminary and Sheffield Streets for locals and tourists alike to check
out historical buildings. Many years ago
these were home to the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company officers founded in
1878 by John True and others which became the name in terra cotta
one of those houses – completed in 1887 – was given
the name the Henry Rokham House. that
became known as The
Queen of Terra Cotta Row and in
2012 had a market value of nearly $2.5million.
Featuring stained glass windows, brick etchings of a woman on a spinning
wheel, unique tile work, original coach house and more, it was designed by
now, for the first time in six decades one of these
properties is for sale!!! The two floor building with four bedrooms, three and
a half bathrooms, and two kitchens has a 1970s vintage feel to it. back in its day it
was known as “the absolute crème de la crème.” now
it can be yours for $699,000 to enjoy leopard print carpeting, condo sports and
more. It may be somewhat outdated and in
need of some modernization but the location and the story it tells brings it
more than charm.