Economic Opportunity & Recovery
More Opportunities,Better Support
As the city recovers from Covid, we need a plan to bring more jobs to Chicago and make Chicago the home that people choose to live, work, raise their families, and grow their businesses. My administration will work to make Chicago an economic powerhouse– that means supporting the business community, giving more opportunities to small businesses in neighborhoods throughout the city and providing support for workers citywide.
Addressing economic inequality is critical to creating a Chicago that works for everyone. In my time in Springfield, I’ve sponsored a number of bills that begin to address these issues, and I plan to bring that same commitment as the Mayor of Chicago. Addressing economic inequities will help tackle the roots of intergenerational poverty, and that work needs to start right now.
Social support for our city can only go so far without the economic support to back it up. My administration is committed to putting a comprehensive plan into place that will retain, strengthen and attract businesses.
Chicago is known for its intense work ethic. Now, we need government support to make sure that that work ethic counts for something.
Chicago has the third largest GDP in the country and the 22nd largest GDP in the world. We can lead the nation and have the most successful and equitable economic recovery in the nation. We just need the vision and leadership to make it a reality.
Prioritize Business Development in City Hall
- Decentralize the Business Administration and Consumer Protection Bureau to increase transparency and accountability, and allow the City to better serve the unique needs of business and consumers.
- Align city contracting to close the racial wealth gap and support building community wealth.
- Streamline the business permitting process to eliminate unnecessary red tape and make the process straightforward and transparent.
- Establish a Chicago CEO Council to advise on business issues citywide to prioritize growth and investment.
- Create a “Main Streets Plan” for our historical commercial corridors.
- Establish specialized support for the hospitality industry, which has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Work with Springfield to come up with a solution to address the abundance of commercial vacancies by eliminating or reconfiguring the Commercial Vacancy Tax Credit. Partner with nonprofit developers to make these spaces affordable for small businesses and create new opportunities for ownership.
- Support downtown’s post-COVID transformation by activating public spaces through programming and infrastructure repairs, providing technical support and financial tools to local small businesses, and investing in the city’s tourism industry.
Establish Better Jobs & Training Programs
- Create a partnership between the City, Chicago Public Schools and Chicago City Colleges and unions to develop vocational and trade training programs.
- Explore programs like the Career Impact Bond that can expand access to quality, industry-recognized career training to people who have historically faced barriers to education and employment.
- Create the Chicago Reshoring Initiative to bring back good, well-paying manufacturing jobs to the City from overseas and ensure that these manufacturing jobs are environmentally-conscious and responsible.
- Make Chicago a conducive place to house call centers through new grants and programs.
- Develop co-ops and other small businesses to cater to our anchor institutions such as universities and hospitals.
- Develop or partner with existing resources to offer an Entrepreneurs Startup Boot Camp of online courses that provide information on the resources, funding, and technical assistance available in the city.
- Incentivize and support the creation of worker-owned cooperatives. Worker cooperatives are proven to generate wealth, improve the quality of life of workers, and promote opportunity for people who lack traditional access to business ownership.
Invest in More Neighborhoods That Need It
- Shift TIF dollars from zones that don’t need to be further developed into higher-need communities to foster more equitable economic development.
- Transform the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund by expanding beyond its current structure as a matching grant that often requires considerable capital to access and make it a holistic fund that can serve businesses that may not have that access.
- Create new incentives for locally owned businesses to encourage greater development in high-need neighborhoods.
- Create business navigators for small businesses (this came to be during covid, but the plan is for them to go away once the virus subsides. this should be permanent).
- Negotiate with anchor institutions to increase their use of local vendors and suppliers, hire locally and invest in affordable housing for their workforce.
- Establish an Office of Supplier Diversity to set goals for minority business ownership and ensure the city is meeting those benchmarks.
Your Business Is Our Business
Your Business Is Our Business
No matter who you are, if you call Chicago home, the economy affects you. By supporting the campaign, you are supporting better business and a better place to live and work.