Strengthening Our Local Economy

Small businesses make our community an enjoyable place to live. I watched my Dad grow his family business with hard work and determination when I was a kid. Business corridors like Bryn Mawr, Clark, and Argyle are major attractions and we need a leader who will work proactively to ensure that those corridors are thriving.  All too often, politicians cater to the interests of large companies and national chains, passing tax breaks and bending rules so that they can consolidate their control on the city’s business environment. As 48th Ward Alderman, I vow to put small, family businesses first.   

1. Streamline licensing for small business owners 

  • A common refrain of small business owners in Chicago is that the city’s licensing and permitting standards create onerous barriers to entry. As alderman, I will support efforts to increase staffing at inspection agencies to reduce the length of wait times.

  • Designate a small business liaison in the aldermanic office to work on licensing and permitting issues and help local business owners apply for state and federal funds. 

2. Fine Commercial Landlords who intentionally keep storefronts vacant

  • Large real estate investment companies sometimes benefit from keeping their properties vacant as part of a tax avoidance strategy. Establishing fines for large commercial real estate companies that are not actively searching for new tenants can disincentive the practice.  

3. Prioritize assistance for local, small business

  • COVID-19 and the CTA modernization have made it difficult for local businesses to thrive. I will work with the Chambers of Commerce to fill vacant stores with small businesses and fight for more assistance from the city to reduce the cost of starting businesses.

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