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Information and Assistance for Small Business Owners

From time to time we receive information from various government agencies or non-profit groups that might be of use to Small Business Owners.
They will be posted here and updated periodically.

Please scroll down to see all the articles.
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From the BACP

2016 City Inspection Workshop Dates Announced

BACP will continue to offer the "City Inspections - Ask Questions, Get Answers" workshop in 2016. The workshop will be offered the first Wednesday of every month at BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street. 8th Floor Room 805. This workshop provides information on what you must know to maintain compliance. Officials from several City departments will provide insight to operate safely, stay compliant, help prepare for inspections and highlights the do's and don'ts of operating a healthy business. Go to the 2016 Inspection Workshop flyer for scheduled dates.
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From the BACP

The PrivateBank Offers New Incentive For Entrepreneurs

The City of Chicago's Small Business Center (SBC) has partnered with The PrivateBank to make entrepreneurs who complete the city's Business Start-Up Certificate Program eligible to apply for low-interest and no-fee loans through the bank's Entrepreneurial Loan Program. The city's free certificate program is designed to educate business owners and entrepreneurs on the essential elements of opening and growing a business.
Business Start-Up Certificate Program participants must complete a curriculum of business education workshops, which consists of nine workshops that must be completed within six months of attending their first workshop. The first session will run from January 2016 through June 2016 and the second session is from July 2016 through December 2016.
Program participants who complete the curriculum will now qualify to apply for The PrivateBank Entrepreneurial Loan. This low-interest, no-fee loan can range from $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 for new businesses and $25,000 for businesses with one-year of filed tax returns. All financing decisions are made by the bank.
The SBC hosts free workshops every Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning in Room 805 at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago. All workshops hosted by the SBC are free and open to the public.
To register for a workshop or for more information, call 312-744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org.
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From the BACP

Legal Services for Business

Small business owners seeking legal assistance now have several choices when it comes to engaging a lawyer. Low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs who do not have the means to hire an attorney can access free legal assistance from The Law Project (TLP) of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. If an entrepreneur is not eligible for assistance from The Law Project, they may contact the Justice Entrepreneurship Project. If an entrepreneur has the financial means, they should contact the Chicago Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service for the names of lawyers and should feel free to request a free initial consultation with an attorney. Additionally, the Chicago Kent Patent Hub will help facilitate the placement of qualified, under-resourced inventors with the pro-bono legal assistance of a licensed patent attorney. The Legal Services for Business Flyer will provide more detailed information.
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From the BACP

Mobile Prepared Food Vendor License Effective November 13, 2015

For information click here
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From the SBA

Migration to EMV Chip Card Technology and Your Small Business
U.S. credit card companies are making the transition from magnetic stripe technology to cards with chips. Chip cards are payment cards that have an embedded chip, offering increased security when your customers use the chip to pay in store. The SBA is committed to making sure small business owners understand what this transition means for you, your business, and your customers through webinars, online resources, and in-person events.

Learn more
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From the SBA

Plastic Bag Ban

BACP would like to remind consumers that the City of Chicago's plastic bag ban will take effect on August 1, 2015. Retailers occupying stores that are more than 10,000 square foot will no longer be allowed to offer plastic bags. The ban will be extended to smaller chain stores and franchises in August 2016. The ban does not affect small independent or non-franchise stores and restaurants.

Learn more about the plastic bag ban at Retail Bag Use
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From the SBA

What Business Plan Type Is Best for Me?

With all the different meanings of "business plan," I recommend you use good planning to help you run your business as well as possible. Keep it lean. Don't make it a document for outsiders unless you have a business reason to show a business plan to outsiders. Keep it fresh. Use it to get what you want from your business.

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From the SBA

SBA Loans Explained – A Small Business 101
If you have struggled to get financing in the past or are thinking of venturing into small business loan territory for the first time, you may be wondering what SBA's loan programs are all about. Here's what you should know!

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From the SBA

How to Guesstimate Your Starting Costs

How much will it take to start that new business you're thinking of? Use these simple steps to develop a good estimate. You don't get to know for sure, but if you have the discipline to break things into meaningful pieces, and then research each of the pieces, you'll have a good idea.

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From the SBA

How Do I Find an EIN?

One of the key requirements for most new businesses (or businesses that are restructuring) is obtaining an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the IRS. Here's what you need to know about EINs and how to go about getting one for your business.

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