City Hall eases approval process for small business licenses - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

City Hall eases approval process for small business licenses

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Mayor Emanuel announced new efforts to boost small business in Chicago on Thursday. Anyone who has done business in City Hall probably came out saying, "There's got to be a better way."

The mayor said City Hall has found a way to cut the red tape and help entrepreneurs open new businesses in the city faster.

The new Small Business Center is on the eighth floor at City Hall. It's the place to find licenses and permits for construction, or zoning for small businesses.

Through a pilot program involving 200 start-ups over nine months, the city found that on average, a new restaurant would take 180 days to get going. The city's restaurant start-up program cut that time to about 75 days.

Mayor Emanuel said City Hall should be a partner in business, not an obstacle to them. He also said they should treat constituents as customers.

"What happens is they're already getting and have to make payments on their bank line of credit," Emanuel said. "Yet the door is not open, because they didn't get a liquor license or the license came at a different time when the restaurant license came. My goal is to not have people paying the banks before they have to get a customer through the door."

Those restaurant owners said they were so worried about their business plans and their product lines, and they would come to City Hall and would be banging their heads against the wall.

But the City Hall has now cut some of that process. They have reduced the license categories required from 117 to 49 categories. That's still a lot, but the small business owners said it reduces their headaches too.

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