Advocacy & Outreach: BACP provides support by connecting you with financial and start-up resources both online and in person. We offer business guides and other information about the laws you need to comply with; online web tools; free business workshops and events; free one-on-one counseling; information on consumer rights and help in protecting them from fraud and deceptive practices.
Business Licenses & Permits: The Business Assistance Center is staffed with business consultants who are here to walk you through the process of starting a business by helping you determine what licenses or permits you need and connecting you with business resources. BACP also issues public way use permits to businesses or property owners who occupy anything that is on, over or under the street, for example, a sidewalk café, a sign that hangs over the sidewalk, or a vault.
Cable: Along with the Chicago Cable Commission, BACP oversees cable TV operators in Chicago to ensure they are in compliance with Chicago’s Cable franchise agreements and they are providing services to consumers in all areas of the City. BACP also provides oversight of cable channels 23, 25 and 49. BACP operates Cable 25, the City of Chicago’s Local Origination channel that provides independent TV producers an outlet to air programs.
Enforcement & Investigations: BACP inspects thousands of businesses and public vehicles to ensure compliance with City laws and regulations. BACP also responds to and investigates consumer complaints.
Hospitality Licenses & Permits: Also part of the Business Assistance Center, the Hospitality Section is prepared to assist business owners with the license process for restaurants, bars, taverns and other entertainment venues throughout the City.
Prosecutions & Adjudications: BACP helps consumers when they have been victims of fraud and helps to resolve complaints against businesses through mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, charges may be brought to obtain consumer restitution or fines.
Public Vehicle Licenses & Permits: Taxicabs, Public Chauffeurs, Charter Busses and nine other categories of public passenger vehicles are regulated by BACP. We oversee licensing, purchasing taxicab medallions, vehicle inspections and rates of fare.
BACP has locations at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.; 2350 W. Ogden Ave.; 2420 W. Pershing Road; Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St.; 33 N. LaSalle St. Suite 1600, and the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. The department is made up of 176 full-time employees and seven part-time staff members. See below for the leadership organization chart. The department’s budget can be found on page 212 of the Budget Book.