Female law students are paired with the business owners and offer direct consultation and legal aid.
The clinic was founded by Julie D. Lawton and says the program is “mutually beneficial for businesses and students. For our students, this is a wonderful, dynamic and interdisciplinary experience, and for our clients, they are able to obtain this holistic support. Not only legally, but also technically. “
The clinic has offered this service for the past four years. All business types and sizes are encouraged to work with the DePaul law students.
All across Chicago, venues are offering live performances for the Holiday season. From fine dining to theater performances, nighttime adventures to family-friendly frolicking, having an audience is the most precious gift of all to these businesses. Consider any of these local events for your holiday fun.
After nearly 15 years of deliberation, court hearings, and tenders, Chicago construction company Tucker Development has secured credit for the $155 million development in Lincolnwood. The project is also known as District 1860 in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s presidential election that year; project completion is set for 2023.
Leases have already been signed for nearly 15,000 square feet of the commercial properties, including a Fatpour Tap Works and a Fat Rosie’s.
The COVID-19 Small Business Support Program has allocated $2.7 million to 41 NGOs that will offer targeted assistance to Chicago’s small business owners and innovators. Through the program, a variety of different services will be offered including free counseling, coaching, media campaigns, and press coverage. Funding will also be provided for public outdoor activities to showcase small businesses, like “Live Love Shop Rogers Park.”
“[This program] provides an important opportunity to lay the foundation for an enduring, equitable, and inclusive economy. I am grateful to BACP and its partners for bringing this program to life, which truly serves as the next step in our ongoing commitment to revitalizing our businesses and empowering the communities they serve.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot
This small-business boost is a continuation of previous efforts to revive this segment of the economy; the Chi Biz Strong $22 million grant offered financial relief and a $2.3 million grant helped eateries set up outdoor dining.
Ferrara Candy, the Chicago-based candy manufacturer, faced a devastating ransomware hack in October.
The attack on October 9, 2021, just weeks before Halloween, did curtail candy production but did not impact the supply of holiday favorites like candy corn, Nerds, gummy worms, and other sweets.
Ferrara, which makes 85% of the candy corn in the United States, has been making candy for more than 110 years. Founded by Italian immigrant Salvatore Ferrara, the company is the leading non-chocolate provider of seasonal treats.
Overall, the 2021 Halloween season candy sales, following the pandemic slump, increased by nearly 48%, with sales topping $324 million. Unfortunately, the pandemic also yielded a 300% spike in cyber crimes. Industry experts are urging corporations, businesses, and the general public to take extra precautions to protect their online and real-life operations.
Fifth Third Bank has announced a plan to invest $20 million in South Chicago, the defunct steel town abandoned by the departure of the South Works steel plant in 1992.
The investment plan includes $2 million in funding for grassroots efforts and $18 million in financing for residential and business loans. Fifth Third’s efforts, in partnership with Claretian Associates, are part of a three-year revitalization scheme to revive the area and correct extended periods of disinvestment and under-funding.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, held this year on the weekend of October 8-10, gave Chicago’s hotels and restaurants a critical boost in business. After 18 challenging months of coronavirus-related restrictions, the city’s dining and hospitality businesses are finally seeing some relief as they served the nearly 26,000 marathon participants.
On October 1, Microsoft announced a new partnership with Chicago to provide free digital skills training courses for at least 300,000 residents.
“Accelerate Chicago,” is meant to boost the employability of Chicago citizens who either lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or those who have few digital skills at all. It will also offer “cross-training” for those looking to pivot their career paths. Accelerate includes free courses on several Microsoft applications and programs.
Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, explained that the new program will allow the city to remedy the “socioeconomic fallout” of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering participants “good-paying, sustainable” jobs.
“We have an important opportunity to use this moment to better the lives of those who were struggling long before this pandemic ever struck.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at a news conference with Microsoft President Brad Smith.
Accelerate has already been launched in New York, Atlanta, Houston, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Chicago’s downtown firms leased 2.2 million square feet in Q3, nearly 20% more than 2020. Nevertheless, more than 20% of office space in downtown Chicago remained available for rent, mostly because tenants aren’t expecting to operate at full capacity and are not looking for big spaces. Some industry experts say that many of the leases being signed are for companies that gave up their rentals for the majority of 2020 and the beginning of this year. Lockdowns and cost-saving measures had these businesses working remotely; now they are looking to reopen an office and maintain a downtown presence.
As more and more investors ask companies to share the information reported to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, the realities of workforce representation of minorities and women are gaining new attention. For many firms and businesses, including those in Chicago, increasing participation by Black and Latino workers in tech jobs is a top priority.
Google, for example, has 1,200 workers in its Chicago offices; African Americans make up 2.2 percent of technical jobs. Latinos make up only 4.8 percent of these jobs in the tech-giants national employment base.
The executives at Chicago firms say they have all seen the benefits of diversity in their staffing schemes. A healthy sharing of opinions, constructive debates, and meaningful exchange of best practices are only some of the positives that come along with expanding the hiring base. Unfortunately, not all Chicagoans are optimistic. Carlton Gates, an African American recruiter for Yum! Brands based in Chicago, and a former employee of Oracle and Google, says the tech-verse has been “talking about diversity for 20 years, and not a single thing has changed.” According to Gates, there is a tribal vibe on engineering teams, where little to no cultural or ethnic crossover happens.
With all this in mind, local companies with open tech vacancies are looking for new resources and pipelines to identify talent. They are also taking measures to modify the interview processes to abate bias and address issues that might be unique to minority populations.