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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 CPD

Business Alert Armed Robberies Convenience Stores 014, 017, 018 & 019th Districts
About the Crime:
This alert gives notice to businesses operating in the above districts, of Armed Robberies of a small retail stores in those districts. Anywhere from one to three offenders enter the small retail stores and announce a robbery while armed with handguns.
About the Offender(s)
The offenders have been described as one to three, male blacks between the ages of 17- 25. They are between 5'7" – 5'11" tall and weighing approximately 150 -175 lbs. They are wearing black hooded sweatshirts and white gloves while armed with handguns.
Incident times and locations:
• 1500 block of N. Damen on June 17, 2015 at 4:40am.
• 900 block of W. Armitage on June 26, 2015 at 4:00am
• 1400 block of N. Milwaukee on June 28, 2015 at 11:30pm.
• 2800 block of N. Ashland on July 3, 2015 at 12:30am.
• 3500 lock of N. Pulaski on July 19, 2015 at 12:30am.
What you can do:
• Be aware of this crime and alert other businesses in the area.
• Employees should call 911 to report any suspicious person(s) that
may be lingering around their business.
• Business owners should ensure that their business is equipped with
with a working video surveillance system and hold up alarm.
• Call 911 immediately and provide a detailed description of the
offenders including any vehicle description and license plate
information. If you have any information Contact the Bureau of
Detectives – Area North 312-744-8263
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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

Business Liability Insurance: It's Not One Size Fits All Tips for Choosing the Right Coverage

Starting a small business is not a one size fits all-process. However, one best practice that all small businesses should consider is liability insurance. It's no surprise that most of the information out there about liability insurance comes directly from insurance providers, so it is important to do extensive research to ensure that you are relying on objective information to make business decisions.

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From the BACP

Affordable Care Act Resources for Business Owners

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, saw its 5th birthday this past March. Employers and individuals alike are wondering if it has made a tangible difference in the availability or affordability of health insurance coverage. In a report released in May of this year by the RAND corporation, we learn that there has been a net increase of "16.9 million people with health insurance."
Other key findings include that "among those gaining coverage, the largest share (9.6 million) enrolled in employer plans. Despite these gains in coverage, as we look ahead to 2016, many insurance carriers are beginning to project high expected increases in premiums. Employers that offer coverage, and hope to continue doing so, should be aware of all of the tools available to keep their plans affordable. illinoishealthmatters.org is working to help link business owners to helpful tool and unbiased resources to understand and leverage their new healthcare coverage options.
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From the BACP

Restaurant Start-Up Workshops Will Feature Industry Experts Monthly at City Hall

The City of Chicago is doing more than encouraging people to dine at their favorite restaurants during "Chicago Restaurant Week." To help budding restaurateurs and established business owners, the Small Business Center (SBC) is hosting a series called "A Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Restaurant" at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 805.

"The City is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed," said BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek. "That's why we've partnered with Attorney Lema Khorshid and an array of industry experts to provide advice to anyone operating or looking to open a restaurant in Chicago."

The series is the made up of seven free workshops held once a month and covering a variety of topics. A complete list of workshops can be found at "www.cityofchicago.org/SBC.

The workshop series is free and open to the public. To register for the workshop, call 312.744.2086 or send an email to bacpoutreach@cityofchicago.org.
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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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From the SBA

5 Things to Know About Guaranteeing Your Company’s Debt

When your company needs financing, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain it unless you give your personal guarantee. This means if the company fails to pay its debt, you’re on the hook. Make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

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From the SBA

6 Golden Rules for Building Your Business with Social Media
Is your small business on social media? Is it working for you? Tried it but not convinced? Social media is the top online activity in the U.S., according to Marketing TechBlog it also has a huge influence on consumer buying decisions.

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From the SBA

Avoid Job Interview Pitfalls

While job interviews are useful to assess a candidate's qualifications, asking questions that are related to the candidate's protected status such as race, age, marital status or parental status may violate the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance. To prevent problems, only ask interview questions directly related to the position. More information can be found here.

Click the link below for more information from the Commission on Human Relations www.cityofchicago.org/humanrelations.
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From the SBA

What Kind of Business Insurance Do You Need?
Business insurance is one of those gray areas. Do you need it or don’t you, and, if so, what kind? For certain businesses, it’s an absolute necessity. But what if you run a freelance business or engage in low-risk work? Is business insurance a requirement? Here's what you should know.

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