The Dept. of Business Affairs and Consumer Protections (BACP) offers free business education workshops or webinars every Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. Due to COVID-19, all programs are currently being offered as webinars. Topics include business licensing, operations, financial resources, marketing, and more. Programs are free and open to the public and taught by industry professionals, not-for-profit agencies, and government agencies.
The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection’s
FREE business education workshops are now available as WEBINARS!
To register visit www.chicago.gov/businesseducation
Wednesday, 3/10 Webinar at 3:00 PM
What You Need to Know About Your Business & Taxes
Presented by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Ladder Up
This workshop will answer important tax questions for your business including: Are you required to file a tax return? Is your worker an independent contractor or an employee? What will the IRS request during an audit? Are you required to make estimated tax payments? What resources does the IRS have for small business owners?
Friday, 3/12 Webinar at 9:30 AM
Nuts and Bolts of Business Planning and Financial Readiness for Start-ups
Presented by Geri Aglipay, Director Midwest Region, Small Business Majority
Learn nuts and bolts for starting a sustainable small business that is also better prepared to weather economic changes. Learn business planning from a financial readiness lens.
Wednesday, 3/17 Webinar at 3:00 PM
Understanding the 5C’s of credit from a Lender’s perspective
Presented by the CIBC Bank
Whether you’re a business owner or thinking about starting your business; you will learn what you need to know about bank financing products during this discussion. We will talk about credit, capacity, collateral, character, capitalization and loans, lines of credit and other available resources that can help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
Thursday, 3/18 Webinar at 1:00 PM
The 2021 Expanded Outdoor Dining Program
Last year, the City of Chicago established the Expanded Outdoor Dining Program as an emergency support measure to allow bars and restaurants to operate outdoors safely in the public way or private property. All bars and restaurants interested in participating in 2021 should join this webinar to learn how to apply for a new Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit or extend their current permit.
Friday, 3/19 Webinar at 9:30 AM
Recognizing and Protecting Your Company’s Trademarks, Patents, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights
Presented by Patrick J. Smith, Partner, registered patent attorney at Greer, Burns & Crain, Ltd.
Learn the basic differences between copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets and the assets they protect. Knowing the differences will help you to take the right steps and make the right decisions to protect your company’s intellectual property assets.
Wednesday, 3/24 Webinar at 3:00 PM
BACP Business Education Workshop Webinar: How to Open a Concession at O'Hare and Midway International Airports
Presented by the Chicago Department of Aviation - Concessions Department and Unison Retail Management
Are you interested in operating a restaurant or retail shop at O'Hare or Midway International Airport, but don't know where to begin?
Come and learn about the Request for Proposals (RFP) process and how to operate a business at the airport.
This workshop also provides an overview of the O'Hare, and Midway airport current Concessions programs; the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program; and the O'Hare 21 future expansion. Lastly, we will provide you with all the resources you will need to get started.
Friday, 3/26 Webinar at 9:30 AM
Finding Resources for your Business
Presented by Jazmin Garcia, Senior Business Resource Manager, World Business Chicago & David Arriola, Business Advisor, ISBDC, ICNC
ChiBizHub presents the premier one stop shop for entrepreneurs and small business owners where you can find resources from start-up capital to networking tools to scale your business. The Hub is made up of over 180 Business Resource Providers, including the Industrial Council of the Nearwest Chicago. The ICNC will also share how they help business owners in the time of COVID19.
Wednesday, 3/31 Webinar at 3:00 PM
Digital Marketing Basics
Presented by Score Chicago
Digital marketing allows small businesses to compete with a much smaller advertising budget. Discover the potential of digital marketing in 2021 where we work through the basics of advertising vs organic results, how to get started, which marketing platform is right for you, and a complete beginner's guide to SEO.
1.Digital Marketing Overview and Trends in 2021
2.Advertising Platforms and Which One is Right for You
3.Search Engine Optimization
4. Advertising vs SEO
5.What to Watch Out For
Attendees will learn how to create a structured digital marketing plan, identify the correct measures to set objectives and evaluate digital marketing as well as understand and follow the practical success factors to improve results from digital marketing.
Please email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org with any webinar questions.
Reminders and Resources:
Winter Outdoor Dining Guidance
Chicago is committed to ensuring that bars and restaurants can operate outdoors safely and successfully during the fall and winter months. Please visit chicago.gov/winterdining for up-to-date guidance for safe outdoor service.
Chicago Reopening Guidelines
The City of Chicago has developed industry-specific guidelines for safely operating within Phase IV: Gradually Resume. These guidelines are part of the city’s Be Safe Chicago framework that will be used to guide Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19. Please review the guidelines to keep your business in compliance.
Tips to Protect Chicago's Businesses
The City of Chicago is working diligently to ensure that our business community is prepared for the potential for events, large demonstrations, protest activity and civil unrest. You can view the proactive steps businesses can take to stay protected which include signing up for ChiBiz Emergency Alerts, joining Chicago's Public Private Partnership Initiative, and staying alert.
Neighborhood Business Development Centers
Chicago-based chambers of commerce and business support organizations, often referred to as Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC), assist in the development of small businesses in Chicago, serve as liaison between local businesses and the City of Chicago, and provide neighborhood business development services. They have have a strong neighborhood network and coordinate efforts with local aldermen, the City, and other community partners. They can help start-up entrepreneurs and existing business owners. Find your local NBDC by visiting chicago.gov/NBDC.
Extension of Business Relief
As a reminder, last month the Chicago City Council passed a law to extend critical regulatory relief into 2021. The following measures are now in place:
Extension of License Expiration Dates: All licenses that expire between March 15, 2020 and June 15, 2021 will be considered active until July 15, 2021 and those businesses can operate during that time without renewing their license or paying a fee.
Extension of Sidewalk Café Permit Expiration Date and Extension of Reforms: All current Sidewalk Café Permits will be considered active through May 31, 2021 and businesses with a Sidewalk Café Permit can operate their current Sidewalk Cafes until that date without renewing. Additionally, all Sidewalk Café Permits issued for the 2021 season will benefit from the temporary reforms implemented in 2020: permit fee reduction of 75%, the ability to extend in front of neighboring property and an expedited permit issuance process.
Extension of Expanded Outdoor Dining Program: The Expanded Outdoor Dining Program, through which bars and restaurants can operate outside on private property or closed streets, has been extended to last through the end of 2021.
Business Education Resources:
To view upcoming webinars, visit www.chicago.gov/businesseducation
To view past webinars, visit www.YouTube.com/ChicagoBACP