SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The city that makes it hard to work

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014

* Agreed

Chicago needs entrepreneurs. But too often, the city slows them down or chases them out of town.

The “City that Works” doesn’t work for startups. A simple process is necessary so that startups in Chicago can get off the ground and start working, hiring and paying taxes. One good place to start is to make Chicago a 24-hour city.

This idea arrived in America after Phoenix city councilmen observed the startup licensing process in Hong Kong. A Hong Kong entrepreneur can walk into a government office in the morning and walk out with a business permit in the same day.

So the Phoenix City Council set the goal of getting businesses through permitting in one day. Phoenix privatized the process to speed it up, allowed businesses to “self-certify” and is now allowing online permitting so that businesses can get licensed in less than 24 hours.
Chicago, more than anywhere else in the country, needs this type of regulatory innovation

* Let’s just think about one thing: Awnings. If you want to put up an awning in front of your store, you have to fill out a five-page application, submit it to your alderman for approval, then submit it to the city inspector, and then send it to the city council

Each application for use of the public way requires approval by the City Council. Once the application is approved by the alderman of the ward in which the proposed public way use id located and submitted to BACP, it is prepared for City Council passage. The application is then referred to the Committee on Transportation and Public Way. Once approved by the Committee, the application is referred back to the City Council for passage by the Council. Where the aldermanic approval signature is not received by BACP within 60 days after applicant submission, and there is no applicant-sponsored ordinance as described in paragraph 3 above, then, provided the application is complete and accurate and the applicant is not in violation of any pertinent provision of the Municipal Code and has submitted the necessary Building Permit application(s) to install the sign, canopy, awning, banner or marquee and has been approved by all related inspecting departments, the application shall upon the 61st day be deemed approved by BACP and processed for submission to the City Council as a Mayoral introduction.

Then you pay a $400 city fee and have to buy insurance - a million dollars worth of liability insurance

The Certificate of Insurance is evidencing no less than $1,000,000.00, combined single limit, with said insurance covering all liability, both public liability and property damage that may result from the granting of said privilege. Please ensure that the insurance liability is no less than $1,000,000.00.

The city estimates that it can take up to three months to navigate this process.

For an awning.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


30 Comments
  1. - liandro - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Little things like that add up quickly. Also, the bad buzz can be as bad as the actual red tape. If someone wants to open up their own biz, but all they hear are horror stories from people they know that have tried it…well, they often won’t even bother.

    Chicago seems to have a good vibe going on right now in the tech community…evidence of what happens when the buzz turns in the other direction. Chicago (and IL) needs to get a reputation of being a great place to start up a new business. It needs to make it easier, and be very public about what those steps they take are.


  2. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    There seem to be three basic kinds of news stories about government: it’s moving too slowly, it’s moving too quickly or it’s corrupt. Or some combination of the above.

    The NRI scandal is a story about government moving too quickly. Procedures weren’t followed; oversight was haphazard or nonexistent. But just as often, we read complaints that the red tape is holding up innovation, creative solutions and economic development.

    I’m being (a little) tongue-in-cheek here, but streamlining the permit approval process for awnings will sound like a great idea until someone is killed by a falling awning. Then we’ll all lament that the process moved too quickly and cut corners.


  3. - Goooner - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    That’s actual efficient, by City standards.

    Try to get approval of a building permit.

    The fact that people hire “expeditors” for building permits says it all.

    Don’t hire the right guy? Forget that permit for a while.

    And meanwhile work that can be done — and jobs created — comes to a halt.

    I’ve lived in the City most of my life and I admit there is no place else I’d rather live, but anybody who claims the City is business-friendly has no clue.


  4. - Goooner - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    NRI was “government moving too quickly”?

    Is there an approved speed for passing out cash to politically connected people who can influence GOTV shortly before an election?


  5. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    There are so many things we can do to help ourselves as a city and state that simply are not being done. The awning example is downright ridiculous.


  6. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    Precisely right. Ald. Rugai tried to streamline the “awning” process in Beverly, the “awning capitol” of the city. It still took 3 months to get a permit, still needed a boatload of liability insurance, still subject to frequent and costly inspections. And this is an area where it was being encouraged…


  7. - RMW Stanford - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    As one person pointed out all of those little regulatory cost add up over time and in economics terms costs are costs, it does not matter if they are imposed by the government or the market. Chicago and Illinois both need to adopt a more market friendly attitude ( note I use market friendly not business friend which is to often code word for subsides and cronism)


  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    The practice (and it’s just that, a practice; there’s no cover of law) of giving aldermen baronial power over development in their wards is ridiculous and undemocratic.

    In fact, the whole City Council system is ridiculous. Theoretically, Chicago is a Strong Council/Weak Mayor system. In practice, we know it’s just the opposite.

    Try to think of anything good that’s come out of the City Council in your lifetime, except for the perverse entertainment of low-rent crooks getting easily hooked by the federales.

    Chicago would be much better off with a council of ten or under. That would require the building of real support from a diverse, large population.

    But fewer council members with larger constituencies would pose an electoral risk to Chicago mayors and cut down the gravy train for neighborhood hacks.


  9. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    and then an “entrepreneur” who is apparently well known ruins it for others by holding an unsanctioned concert at
    Montrose Harbor, police move in to stop a fight, and a big melee happens with bottle throwing, resulting in arrests. now the City is talking about licensing promoters. it’s complicated.


  10. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Does Phoenix not have clouted employees or politically appointed directors of city agencies?

    How do they get this done so quickly? Impressive!


  11. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    also, another good headline, Rich!


  12. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    It’s obscene that you have to apply through your alderman. The rest of the bureaucratic process is just sad.


  13. - Goooner - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    One additional note on this –

    The $1 million insurance policy really should not be a big deal.

    Commercial general liability policies should be in at least that amount. To open a company anywhere, the company should have one and it should provide coverage for this.

    It should be standard and shouldn’t increase anybody’s cost.

    The delays and the rest of it are a different matter.


  14. - Because I say so... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    And some alderman have or had their own local levels of approval through appointed committees. So before you even get to the city hall level, you have to wait for the monthly local zoning commission to meet. One previous alderman had a reputation for making business’s jump through all kinds of hoops that many just avoided trying to business in that ward.


  15. - CLJ - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Up to three months to go through the process is kind. I once, in a former life, had the job of processing these applications for a former Chicago alderman. There is the initial approval from the alderman (signature on the application), then approval from the city, city staff then draft the ordinance which is presented to the alderman during a city council meeting (second aldermanic sign off), ordinance is introduced. The following month it goes to committee and then council for approval. Then it has to be published, officially become “law” for lack of a better term (third month). Then it goes back to city staff for processing and billing. After payment the permit is approved (fourth -fifth month).

    What was great, the city didn’t know this requirement was on the books until around 2006 at which point it hired dozens of inspectors to go to every business to find if they needed a public way permit (canopies, awnings, lights, speaker, basically any and everything that hangs off or is attached to the front of a building hanging over the sidewalk including somethings like bank vaults that might be located underneath the sidewalk).

    Again, the city created another bureaucratic layer called the City of Chicago Small Business Office to help businesses deal with the bureaucracy of other city departments. Efficiency!


  16. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    A favorite Chicago City Hall memory:

    Scene: Customer Service Window of the Building Department.

    Purpose of visit: Pick Up a Building Occupancy Certificate

    Bureaucrat from Hell: Counter Clerk

    “But My Certificate is filled out, stamped and sealed… It is sitting on the desk immediately behind you on the top of the stack… I can see it from here.”

    Clerk: “Those completed certificates are not available for customer pick up until tomorrow. You will have to come back tomorrow to pick it up.”

    No amount of reasoning could move this oaf. So I had to make another trip downtown.

    And they wonder why people are eager to move!


  17. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    ===Goooner - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    One additional note on this –

    The $1 million insurance policy really should not be a big deal.====

    It’s an “additional” policy. Just for the awning. It is a big deal.


  18. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Got to love central planning as it were.


  19. - Goooner - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    A Guy,
    Actually, I don’t think it does.
    The form requires that the City be added as an additional insured. That’s also routine.
    There is no apparent requirement for a second policy.
    As long as the CGL does not exclude coverage for these things, then it is OK.


  20. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    The Reader did an article in 2011 about how few Chicago City Council matters have to with citywide policy. Almost everything is “ward housekeeping.”

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/city-council-reform/Content?oid=3828954


  21. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    ===There is no apparent requirement for a second policy.===

    I’m not actively underwriting Commercial GL anymore, but this is correct to my experience - CoC is simply added as an Additional Insured on the business policy.


  22. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Precinct Captain is correct. but, if only one function….traffic….was removed from Council approval, there would be a very low percentage of the work remaining. traffic decisions left to professionals equals better traffic management and fewer ordinances.


  23. - Steve - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    For a look at how Chicago’s closest competitor in population is thriving : check out this article in the Wall Street Journal today. A much easier process in Houston.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/joel-kotkin-and-tory-gattis-success-and-the-city-1405379881


  24. - chicon - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    It is not a surprise to read stories such as this. It is what one should expect when there is a government in place that is not at all answerable to the people that hire them. It is not a good thing to have one party (any party) so utterly dominate a government that it doesn’t fear being replaced.


  25. - WestLooper - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    As a small business owner in the West Loop (we have been in Chicago for 15+ years), I can attest to Rich Miller’s findings in his article. I started the company in Oak Park and moved downtown a few years later. I don’t think Oak Park even knew I existed. No forms, no delays, just got started and paying taxes. I fear that the pending hike in minimum wages will make it more difficult for entreneurs to continue to work in Chicago. As a practice, we hire interns for the summer. I started my career as an intern and feel it is important to pass the learnings along. We pay our interns: I feel that is only fair as they are providing a service. We have always paid more than the minimum wage. But I set the rate, based on skills and market demand; not government dictates. A high school or college student may not have the skills to be paid $15+ a hour. The new wage hike may force me to have only unpaid interns, none at all, or even to move. Small businesses are the key to this country’s, and Chicago’s, success. But our city doesn’t seem to embrace that concept.


  26. - Tim Snopes - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    What’s the problem here? Tradition is good. Everyone gets there’s. “Dju get yers?”


  27. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    As an immigrant to Illinois, stories like this make me ask “Why do legislators have executive power?”

    Approval of permit applications is an executive function. Aldermen are elected to perform legislative functions. Please note 30 years ago the federal Supremes struck down Congress’ disapproval of administrative rules, which was nearly identical to the Legislative Audit Commission’s disapprovals of administrative rules. The Supremes said the legislative branch’s constitutionally valid response to executive administrative rules / operations they disapproved of was legislation.

    Again, why are legislators given executive authority?


  28. - Chris - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 5:17 pm:

    “traffic decisions left to professionals equals better traffic management”

    Maybe, maybe not. CDOT has a poor track record on many (not all. many.) traffic management issues.


  29. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 5:25 pm:

    – It is not a good thing to have one party (any party) so utterly dominate a government that it doesn’t fear being replaced.–

    You’re looking at it the wrong way. Party really has nothing to do with it anymore.

    Richard I finished off what was left of the GOP in the city, it’s true, but the monolithic Democratic Party structure died with him, as witnessed by the elections of Byrne and Washington.

    All city officials are, at least nominally, Democrats, but the same was true during Council Wars when every day was a battle royale within city government.

    There are 50 highly coveted baronies in which a lord or lady can exercise de facto control over much of the estate and make a good (legal) paycheck while keeping an eye out for hinky supplemental income, if so inclined.

    The Lord Protector, the Mayor, has in recent decades obtained power via a cult of personality rather than any party system. The mayor as chief administrator wields power and can compel obedience by delivering or withholding favors and services from aldermen.

    In addition, the mayor has the power to appoint alderman when vacancies occur, which happen more often as not as aldermen, despite the lessons of history, are strangely compelled to accept envelopes filled with chump-change cash from strangers wired for sound.

    At one point, Richard II had appointed nearly half of the City Council.


  30. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 6:28 pm:

    @ Chris, stopsigns and traffic bump a palooza in Chicago is just laughable.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Oh, c'mon
* Question of the day
* Chris Crane: New Plan Will Help Ensure Reliable Power
* Teamsters leader: Rauner admin "compromised and gave concessions" for "fair" agreement
* State avoids contempt citation... for now
* Group: Proposed child care rule changes are illegal
* *** UPDATED x1 - Quinn's office responds *** Art returned after police report filed
* NORML: GA should accept Rauner's AV
* Maybe not
* Message synergy
* AFSCME claims threats, calls Rauner opposition "hysteria"
* Rauner using race as an issue against AFSCME bill
* Running on empty and can't fill the tank
* Attorneys: Providers still not being paid
* Moody's: Illinois ratings will be based on whether state can deal with revenue problems and show it can make required pension payments
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * MIUI 7 now available for non-Xiaomi phones
        * Collect characters and conquer the other side in “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes”
        * Agent Q Is A Virtual Assistant That’s Focused On Helping You Shop Online
        * Moto X Pure Edition will be available to pre-order tomorrow
        * Verizon rolls out Android 5.1.1 Lollipop-powered LG G Vista
        * Nest’s 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat is here for $249
        * Forget the Z2; possible Samsung Z3 Tizen phone appears to be in the works

        * 2015 DSL White Sox season review
        * White Sox callups likely to be familiar faces
        * Podcast: See you in September
        * Guessing the White Sox' September call-ups
        * White Sox Minor League Update: Aug. 30-Sept. 5
        * White Sox steal finale win from Mariners
        * Ventura keeps disappointment in perspective

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        September 2015
        August 2015
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Custody fight to focus on Illinois mom's role in 2003 deaths
        * 7 dead from Legionnaires' disease at Quincy veterans' home
        * Judge declines to hold Illinois in contempt on payments
        * Manhunt in northern Illinois prompts school lockdown
        * EXCHANGE: Sycamore family ponders future after loss of barn
        * HUD approves loan guarantee to Rockford for hotel project
        * Marion trailer park pays $75K to settle discrimination probe
        * Drew Peterson due back in court as trial approaches
        * University survey looks at issues for transgendered
        * State, Teamsters agree on new contract

        * United Way advance keeps Helping Hands shelter open as budget impasse continues
        * Judge declines to hold Illinois in contempt on payments
        * State, Teamsters agree on new contract that includes four-year wage freeze
        * State, Teamsters agree on new contract
        * Rauner signs law toughening penalties on drunken drivers
        * Illinois State Museum is latest target in political fight
        * Moody's warns Illinois lawmakers of budget stalemate impact
        * Rauner signs law toughening penalties on drunk drivers
        * Exelon mulls closure of unprofitable Quad Cities nuclear plant
        * Illinois investigates parole board members' bankruptcies

        * McDonald's to roll out all-day breakfast
        * Illinois dodges contempt ruling over payments—for now
        * Here comes another alcohol delivery service
        * Google revamps logo to reflect increasing shift to mobile
        * Delta to pay business fliers if it's later than American, United


          * Police: Man in custody in stabbing death of woman in Lansing
          * Manhunt continues for suspects in slaying of Fox Lake police officer
          * Running car blamed for deaths in Maine Township
          * Piano, Jahn among architects vying for Obama library
          * Federal judge tosses request to find Rauner administration in contempt on payments
          * Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million
          * Lindenhurst teen, father mourned; Grayslake schools offer support
          * Body found in river after motorists see man jump off overpass near Hodgkins
          * Country Club Hills suspends firefighter who filed porn, sexual harassment suit
          * Shermer Road closed as garbage truck flips


          * United Way advance keeps Helping Hands shelter open as budget impasse continues
          * Judge declines to hold Illinois in contempt on payments
          * Todd Maisch: National labor board's decision a real jobs killer
          * State, Teamsters agree on new contract that includes four-year wage freeze
          * Rauner signs law toughening penalties on drunken drivers
          * Illinois State Museum is latest target in political fight
          * Moody's warns Illinois lawmakers of budget stalemate impact
          * The Rev. David Hoefler: Springfield diocese not targeting non-Catholics
          * Exelon mulls closure of unprofitable Quad Cities nuclear plant
          * Illinois investigates parole board members' bankruptcies


          * Food for flowers? Free!
          * Homeless man charged in burglaries, thefts
          * 7 dead from Legionnaires' disease at Quincy veterans' home
          * Officer shooting prompts manhunt in northern Illinois
          * Black Dog: 'Middle of September is realistic'
          * Black Dog Update September 2015
          * 09-01-15 Penny for Your Thoughts
          * Why I play football: Unity's Daniel King
          * Late-summer warmth promotes corn and soybean maturation.
          * Why I play football: Milford/Cissna Park's Jake Montgomery


          * Suburban Rundown: Untold Rauner-Quinn tiff over veterans sketches
          * Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival returns to Geneva
          * Broncos again look like class of AFC West
          * Chiefs tight end Kelce out with ankle injury
          * Lake in the Hills kicks off summer festival Friday

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Sen. Durbin, Rep. Schakowsky announce Leve......
          * Durbin, Schakowsky, US Army Corps, MWRD, A......

          * Sen. Kirk calls attention to International......
          * On International Overdose Day, Kirk Urges ......

          * Morning Minute: Access to mortgage lending is improving, NAR survey finds
          * So you think you know how to save energy?
          * IAR countdown to Oct. 3
          * T
          * Correction. IEA supports #FightForDyett.
          * edTPA and TFA are two sides of the same coin.
          * Filmmaker Talks About His Documentary Alleging Child Sexual Abuse At JPUSA: "They're Not Going To Shut Me Up With Money"
          * Confrontation On Sheridan, Officer Injured (Updated 2x)
          * Court Advocate Info & Training On September 30th
          * 9th video reveals insider track on Planned Parenthood baby body parts industry


          * Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak at Illinois Veterans’ Home-Quincy Update
          * State-Teamsters One Step Closer to Finalizing Agreement
          * Veteran Spouse Ada Ruth Cripps Honored As The IDVA Volunteer of the Year
          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * State to Issue $16 million in Credits to Reverse Penalties for Monthly Electronic Wage Reporting - Rules provide relief for nearly 13,000 employers over the next six months




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller