Jenny Beorkrem6 months ago
I own two small businesses in Chicago and believe that if you DO head out beyond the lakefront (i.e. Gold Coast and Lincoln Park), I'm proud to say that most of our neighborhood business districts do still have a Main Street - like landscape. Sure they might be dotted with Dunkin or Starbucks (of course) but the mainstays tend to be locally owned and/or family businesses that have been there for decades. As compared to other cities of its size and density (NY and LA) Chicago offers affordable living and work space. Although my first business is largely online, I wouldn't have been able to afford starting a business in either NY or LA. Sure, working with the city has not always been easy, but I truly believe that thanks to affordable space and an underlying Midwest attitude to "help your neighbor", the entrepreneurial and small business community in Chicago is unmatched elsewhere. I agree that yes, there are social issues that Chicago may be trailing other cities of its size, namely gang violence and public education but I do think Chicago is a great place to live and do business and is headed in the right direction.