Monthly Archives: February 2020

Is Chicago Business on a High?

Business in Chicago seems to be on a high, perhaps quite literally.  This seems to be in particular due to the success of the recreational marijuana industry.  On January 1 of this year Dispensary 33 started selling and immediately brought in a large revenue.

Local business executives and employees working nearby have noticed a jump in their own sales.  One staff member of SoFo Tamp close by said that people waiting to get into the Dispensary end up “buying a couple of drinks” in the meantime.  In addition, Jenny’s Nail Salon reported having “picked up a couple of new customers” due to the traffic at the Dispensary.

As well as being beneficial to other local businesses, it is also expected to impact the local economy given the tax revenues coming from the first month of sales, valued at $40 million.

While every good story has the naysayers, Dispensary 33 is no different.  There have been some complaints from those saying they are against having a store selling pot in their midst but overall it seems the economic benefits are outweighing the disapprovals.

Furthermore, people from outside of Chicago are coming to visit so that they can make their purchases, and, of course, while in the Windy City will make other purchases, utilize local services and ultimately spend quite a bit of money while there.  Some financial experts believe that this could lead to a huge revitalization in the area which has some great businesses that may have been inadvertently overlooked.

And, aldermen from Aurora are hoping to re-authorize four ward programs to bolster revitalization in local neighborhoods including:

  • Ward 1 Business Grant Program: 50-50 match up to $5,000 a project annually for qualifying businesses.
  • Ward 2 Fence Improvement Program for residents requiring assistance in repairing/renovating yard fences.

In other financial regional news there was an announcement by Fifth Third Bank that an estimated $20 million will be directed to projects in the South and West of the City in housing, creating jobs.  Plus, a $12 million capital fund money program will be launched by Gov. JB Pritzker in an effort to bolster private investments in the 300+ opportunity zones in Illinois. 

City of Chicago Construction Summit

On February 19, 2020 between 10am-2pm, Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services hosted the City of  Chicago Construction Summit at Malcolm X College.  The first event of its kind, attendee Amy DeVallet spoke of the immense “entrepreneurial spirit” she felt while there.

Moshe Victor Keinig, a retired architect from Tel Aviv, Israel, said that he “hoped to be able to get there next year. I heard tremendously positive reports about the event and I am hopeful — given how popular it was this year — it will become an annual occurrence.”

National Register of Historic Places

Two sites in Chicago have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium District today acts as a senior home and has changed its name to North Park Village.  Also there is a gymnastics center operated by Chicago Park Center and a nature center comprising 46 acres of land.  The second site is The Forum which was built back in 1897 and has since become a very popular local music scene.  For three-quarters of a century it could perhaps be best described as Bronzeville’s “political, social and cultural epicenter.”

According to Colleen Callahan, Illinois Director of Natural Resources, “each of these places tells a unique story that is part of the rich fabric of Illinois history. We are proud to work with local preservationists to obtain national recognition for these historic buildings and neighborhoods.”

All in all, 12 sites from throughout Illinois were added in 2019 to the register.

O’Hare – The Chicago Neighborhood That’s Great for Business

When deciding on Chicago as one’s home, a number of considerations must be addressed. One of the most important ones for individuals aged 20-70 is business opportunities.  Being one of America’s largest cities however means that there are many options within its borders.  In this article we take a look at the O’Hare area – the location of the International Airport.

There are a lot of opportunities here for businesses and therefore employment vacancies are often high.  Why is O’Hare so popular for companies?  For those combining both urban and suburban employee sets, it makes sense.  Some of the firms that have recently moved into the area are U.S. Cellular and GlenStar, for this reason.  As a result, building proprietors are also working on enhanced contracts and facilities for their tenants.

It’s a good area also due to public transit access and having a Chicago address is always welcome.  But at the same time – given its location on the edge of the suburbs while being right by the country’s most active airports – makes for a great combination.  Transportation access gives businesses an upper hand vis-à-vis talent recruitment for corporations. And for those professionals who have to travel internationally on a regular basis, what could be better than being right by the airport?