Business News

City Council Passes Regulatory Relief for Businesses

Posted on December 17, 2020

The Chicago City Council passed an important piece of legislation expanding regulatory relief for businesses that continue to be impacted by COVID-19. This ordinance extends a number of different measures, outlined below, that were implemented this year in order to support businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Under this new ordinance, the following relief measures are now in place:

Extension of License Expiration Dates
All licenses that expire between March 15, 2020 and June 15, 2021 will be considered active until July 15, 2021 and those businesses can operate during that time without renewing their license. For licensing questions, call (312) 74-GOBIZ (46249) or email businesslicense@cityofchicago.org.

Extension of Sidewalk Café Permit Expiration Date and Extension of Reforms
All current Sidewalk Café Permits will be considered active through May 31, 2021 and businesses with a Sidewalk Café Permit can operate their current Sidewalk Cafes until that date without renewing. Additionally, all Sidewalk Café Permits issued for the 2021 season will benefit from the temporary reforms implemented earlier this year: permit fee reduction of 75%, the ability to extend in front of neighboring property, and an expedited permit issuance process.
For Sidewalk Café Permit questions, email publicwayuse@cityofchicago.org.

Extension of Expanded Outdoor Dining Program
The Expanded Outdoor Dining Program, through which bars and restaurants can operate outside on private property or closed streets, has been extended to last through the end of 2021. Businesses that are interested in extending their permit past the end of 2020 must submit a request including the DOT number of their Permit and submit insurance covering the extended dates. Additionally, businesses that are operating their Expanded Outdoor Dining area during winter months need to submit an updated permit plan that includes any winterization plans and equipment. Questions and required documents can be submitted to SEPermits@cityofchicago.org.


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