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.