Chicago Entrepreneurs to Mayor: Allow Us to Create New Jobs!

J. Justin Wilson
J. Justin Wilson · December 5, 2013

Chicago Ill.—Despite dismal job creation numbers across the country, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel recently announced plans to add 40,000 tech jobs in Chicago. But a new paper and video from the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago explain that officials in the Windy City are suppressing job creation through needless red tape and regulations. In fact, Chicago makes it illegal for tech companies to create more than one job before they rent office space.

“We applaud Mayor Emanuel for recognizing the importance of creating new jobs in Chicago,” said Beth Kregor, director of the IJ Clinic. “The Clinic and our entrepreneurs would love to work with the mayor and city officials to create an environment that allows job creation to flourish. Unfortunately, Chicago does not have such an environment today.”

Kregor, a nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship and job creation, authored a new paper, Space to Work: Opening Job Opportunities by Reducing Regulation, profiling several Chicago entrepreneurs and the problems they face from city regulations. Kregor offers several solutions the city can implement to improve Chicago job growth. She recently presented her work at the Aspen Institute’s seminar, Big Ideas for Jobs: Entrepreneurship as a Job Creation Strategy. Her presentation is available online.

Today, the IJ Clinic released a video detailing the story of Chicago entrepreneur Zina Murray and how the city killed her innovative business that was an incubator for Chicago job creators. Zina turned a vacant building in her neighborhood into a beautiful, eco-friendly business, Logan Square Kitchen. It allowed entrepreneurs to start food enterprises in a safe, legal and licensed environment. But constant delays, holdups and expenses from city hall – including 14 separate inspections – proved deadly to Zina’s Little American Dream Factory. She was forced to close her doors.

“Entrepreneurs throughout Chicago desperately want to create new jobs and provide new and innovative services for their communities,” said Kregor. “By simply removing needless barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship, Chicago can create an atmosphere where new ideas are welcome, neighborhoods flourish, and Chicagoans create jobs for each other.”
The IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School has helped hundreds of low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs across the city who need legal assistance but cannot afford it.

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