Beth Kregor: "Step Out of the Way, Aldermen, and Let Entrepreneurs Thrive"

Step out of the way, aldermen, and let entrepreneurs thrive

Remember the scene in “Gladiator” when the Emperor of Rome looks out to the crowd to decide whether to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to let Russell Crowe live or die?

Three proposals pending in the Chicago City Council would similarly allow aldermen to decide whether new businesses live or die.

Earlier this spring, Ald. Greg Mitchell introduced an ordinance requiring aldermanic review of every business license application in a ward.

In separate developments, Aldermen Leslie Hairston and Patrick Thompson proposed to rezone commercial corridors in South Shore and Bridgeport, respectively, as single-family residential — meaning every new business would need a special rezoning exemption to open. Each exemption would require the alderman’s support, a $1,025 application fee, public notice, usually a lawyer and sometimes an urban planner and result in at least a two-month delay.

Read more at Chicago Sun-Times