Erika Pfleger's Op-Ed in Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois, Chicago treats small businesses like they’re a problem
Erika Pfleger
Chicago Sun-Times
August 24, 2013

Illinois is the heart of America and small businesses are the economic backbone of our state. Unfortunately, far too often Illinois treats its job creators like criminals.

In Illinois a business owner can be charged with a felony for braiding hair or applying nail polish without a license. Unlicensed delivery of letters by bicycle in Chicago’s Loop can land a messenger in jail. Chicago’s food truck operators are required to install GPS devices, the costly equivalent of electronic ankle bracelets, so that the city can track their whereabouts. The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection’s Commissioner has the power to vest any Department employees or inspectors with full police powers, including the right to arrest, to enforce any business licensing provision.

These are only a few examples of how criminal penalties for business-licensing violations have proliferated in laws affecting low- and moderate-income occupations, which are typically set up as small businesses.