News Release
City Services

February 26, 2016

City Hosts First Small Business Expo ‘On The Road’ Series For 2016

Mika Stambaugh
Director of Public Information
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection    
312.744.5365

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) through the Small Business Center (SBC) has partnered with COUNTRY Financial® for the 2016 Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ expo series. The first expo is Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. with Jarrett Payton as the keynote speaker at Kennedy-King College, 740 W. 63rd Street, Chicago.

The expo will offer entrepreneurs and business owners the opportunity to consult, network and gather information from more than 40 government and non-profit agencies including the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Better Business Bureau, and the Chicago Treasurer’s Office. The goal is to provide expert advice to small business owners on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning.

“Mayor Emanuel’s administration is committed to supporting Chicago’s entrepreneurs and small businesses,” BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek said. “Small businesses are the economic backbone of Chicago and programs like this help ensure our small businesses have the skills and resources to create jobs in our neighborhoods. Thank you to COUNTRY Financial for stepping up and making and investment in Chicago’s small business community.”

A $10,000 financial commitment from COUNTRY Financial® will sponsor mini-makeover services as well as professional photographers to take free headshots for all attendees. These two services combined will provide an added professional touch for attendees to use on their social media sites and marketing materials.

“Supporting small businesses so they can be successful has been a longtime priority for COUNTRY Financial as part of the insurance and investments we offer,” said Mike Fisher, Agency Field Executive of Market Development at COUNTRY Financial. “We’re excited about this new partnership and sharing our expertise to strengthen businesses and communities.”

Immediately following the keynote speech there will be three free workshops that begin at noon and end at 1P.M.

  • Technology is a Small Business’ Best Friend Presented by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
  • The Entrepreneurial Equation Presented by Felicia L. Slaton-Young, Greater Englewood Community Development Center
  • How to really start your business Presented by SCORE

The ‘Small Business Center on the Road’ is a series of five free expos in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), the Office of New Americans (ONA) and Western Union, Fifth Third Bank and now COUNTRY Financial®.

The expo is part of the Mayor’s agenda to support neighborhood businesses and economic development. It will also offer business consultants from the (SBC) to help attendees apply or renew for a business license and make an appointment for additional counseling at City Hall. In addition, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic and The Law Project will provide a free legal clinic with representatives offering 20-minute consultations. A one-hour networking session, hosted by City Treasurer Kurt Summers, will wrap up the expo from 1 pm to 2 pm.

2016 Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ expo series dates and locations:

  • February 27, 2016 @ Kennedy King College
  • April 30, 2016 @ Arturo Velasquez Institute
  • June 25, 2016 @ South Shore Cultural Center
  • September 10, 2016 @ Columbus Park Refectory
  • October 29, 2016 @ Copernicus Center

To register for an expo or for more information, visit chismallbizexpo.com, call 312.744.2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center and the Small Business on the Road expo series, visit www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.
                 

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