Updates & Additional Resources

No Late Fees for Any License Issued by BACP

There will be no late fees for any license issued by BACP with an expiration date on or after March 15, 2020 until 30 days following the repeal of the ordinance on June 30.

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) introduced an ordinance to provide additional regulatory and financial relief measures to Chicago’s businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The proposed ordinance would extend the expiration date for licenses that otherwise would expire during the pandemic and defer the collection of Accessibility Fee payments from taxicabs and Transportation Network Providers (TNPs) while the ordinance is in effect.

This applies to all businesses licensed by the City, such as retail stores, child day cares, hotels, restaurant and bars, along with public vehicle licenses, such as those required for public chauffeurs, taxicab medallions, pedicabs, private ambulances and medicars.

Click here to review the press release.


Reminder: Sidewalk Cafes are to Remain Closed

Residents will be permitted to enter a restaurant to order food and then immediately leave upon receiving the food. Restaurant and bar owners are responsible to ensure social distancing policies are in place and that people do not congregate inside or outside. Sidewalk cafes must be closed.

Social distancing policies, and no onsite consumption of food or beverage, applies to Outdoor Patios as well.


Instructions for Requesting Copies of Business Licenses

Requests for re-prints of City of Chicago Business License Certificates are currently being handled via email, instead of in-person at the Small Business Center, while City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public.

To request a re-print of your misplaced/lost business license certificate, you will be provided with a City of Chicago Business License Certification Letter in lieu of a reprinted license certificate.  It will be accepted for any City grant and/or loan application documentation requirement as proof of business licensure.

To obtain a City of Chicago Business License Certification Letter, a business owner/representative of the business, or an NBDC employee on behalf of the business, may:

  • Send an email request to: chicagobusinessdirect@nullcityofchicago.org
  • Subject: Request for a City of Chicago Business License Certification Letter
  • The email request must contain as much of the following information as possible:
    • City of Chicago Business Account Number
    • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
    • Business Location Address (EXACTLY as it would have appeared on the original business license certificate)
    • DBA Name

New IDPH Grocery Store Guidelines

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)  has released suggested guidelines for all grocery facilities. The guidelines are geared toward grocery store operations, but contain information that might be helpful to other food services as well. Click here to review these new guidelines.


Stimulus Check Calculator

Curious whether you’re eligible for the stimulus checks that the Federal government will be issuing in the coming weeks. The eligibility and amount you will receive, if any, depends on your filing status (Married Filing Jointly, Single, or Head of Household). The amount you receive is also dependent on how many children you claim as dependents on your tax return.

Check out this stimulus calculator from Forbes to see if you’ll be eligible.


Department of Planning & Development Closed

Due to the ongoing public health crisis, City Hall remains closed to the public. The Department of Planning & Development (DPD) zoning functions continue as normal, however, staff has had to alter the process for in-person zoning review, administrative adjustments, and payment for zoning functions and services not associated with a building or sign permit.

Details and a list of zoning contacts are provided on DPD’s website. General inquires can be sent to DPD@nullcityofchicago.org.


Illinois Restaurant Association COVID-19 Updates & Resources

  • Essential employee template letter: foodservice workers may need documentation to identify themselves as essential employees to authorities when traveling to or from work. Share this template with your teams.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Foodservice FAQs: the IDPH has issued interim guidance to provide information on COVID-19 prevention in various food service operations and address the Governor’s Office mandate. Learn more here.
  • Off-Premise Best Practices: for tips on how to optimize menu changes, packaging, communication methods, workstation setups, payment options, and more for off-premise business, click here.


Need Help Determining if You’re Business is Deemed Essential?

Looking for additional details on if you’re considered an essential business? Refer to this flow chart to help. Also, review section 12 of Governor Pritzkers ‘Stay at Home’ Executive Order here.


BACP Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

Until further notice, all BACP offices will be closed to the public. This includes the following locations.

  • Small Business Center, 121 N. LaSalle St. Room 800
  • Public Vehicle Licensing Center, 2350 W. Ogden Ave. 1st Floor
  • Public Vehicle Inspection Facility, 2430 W. Pershing Ave.

BACP will continue processing business licenses, where applicable, online or over the phone. Please visit www.chicagobusinessdirect.org or call 312-74-GOBIZ.

Visit the BACP COVID-19 Business Resources page for additional information.


Help Workers at Your Favorite Chicago Businesses

Hundreds of Chicago restaurants and bars are turning to patrons for help during these uncertain times. Donate, order delivery or buy gift cards and t-shirts to help them.


BACP Small Business Support – Survey

The City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) is soliciting your feedback as they develop resources and measures to support small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Click here to complete the survey.


Truck Deliveries Loading/Unloading Hours Extended

The Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health has ordered a partial suspension in enforcement of 8-32-130 of the municipal code (loading and unloading operations) to enable delivery of essential items such as groceries, food, healthcare supplies and/or equipment, and replenishment of necessary commodities for stores.


Return to COVID-19 Information & Updates page.

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