Whether your business is just getting started or well established, the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce is here to help.
- Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce GRCC connects, supports, and empowers businesses in Ravenswood. Read more “Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce”
- Special Service Area #31 SSA #31 funds programs and services in the Greater Ravenswood Area. Read more “Special Service Area #31”
The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce can help you:
- Start or open a business in Ravenswood
- Access Chamber and City educational and funding resources
- Navigate City Hall and troubleshoot City-related issues
- Plan and promote your event or business in Ravenswood
- Get affordable group health insurance for your small business
- Connect you to the community through business-to-business networking
- Find resources for employment and workforce development
Get in touch with our office if you have any specific questions or requests. We are happy to assist you!
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub
The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) has created a Coronavirus resource hub to keep you connected to important information and resources regarding your health, current reopening phases, and ways to support neighborhood businesses and neighbors. Visit the COVID-19 Resource Hub.
Resources For Business Owners
Recently Featured Resources
- Illinois Bill Banning Single-Use Polystyrene Foam Containers Moves Forward
- Anti-Racist & Trans-Inclusive Customer Service
- Ravenswood SSA #31 Services Survey
There are several websites that list commercial properties available for sale or for lease. Here are a couple we’ve had success with:
Additionally, many of the commercial properties along Ravenswood Avenue are owned and managed by members of the chamber. View them in our directory.
Managing employees for the first time is daunting. The City of Chicago has different rules than the State of Illinois and understanding them is vital for your business!
Ravenswood is served by three aldermen. As a small business, you’ll most likely have to work with the Alderman and their staff on issues like licensing and zoning. Learn more about the Alderman and their wards:
- 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin | Ward Boundaries
- 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez | Ward Boundaries
- 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman | Ward Boundaries
City of Chicago, Departmental Resources
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Just about everything small business-related in Chicago goes through the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP). Through BACP, you can:
- Learn about Business License Types
- Learn about the Small Business Center
- Apply For or Renew a Business License
- Attend a Business Education Workshop
- Schedule an Appointment with a Small Business Consultant
- File A Public Way Use Permit
- Find Financial Resources
- Learn about Compliance and Enforcement
- Liquor Licenses
BACP also offers a Restaurant Start-Up Program, making it easier for you to open a restaurant in the city.
Department of Planning and Development
For small businesses, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) oversees issues related to zoning, land use, real estate development, historic preservation, and much more. Through DPD, you can:
- Apply for a Zoning Change
- Apply for Building Signage Permits
- Learn about Economic Development initiatives, such as Special Service Areas, Small Business Improvement Programs, and Industrial Retention
- Learn about Tax Increment Funding (TIF)
- Learn about Historic Preservation
Other City and County Resources
- Chicago Data Portal‘s is a great resource! For example, you could do your own market research by looking for
- Choose Chicago
- Chicago Zoning and Landuse Ordinance
- Cook County Assessor’s Office
State and Government Business Resources
For most small businesses in Chicago, issues usually arise at the city or count common issues are usually resolved at the city or county level. However, sometimes there are just some things that need to be addressed at the state or federal level. Learn more about the various Illinois and Federal departments that might be relevant to you.
- State of Illinois Business Services and Resources
- Licenses and Permits
- Illinois Department of Revenue
- Attorney General Kwame Raoul
- Secretary of State Jesse White
- U.S. Small Business Administration
Going Green: Resources for Operating a Sustainable, Environmentally Responsible Small Business
The Ravenswood community is extremely sustainably-minded and so are many of our small businesses! Whether its through implementing a reusable foodware program, engaging in commercial composting, or refitting their buildings with energy efficient lighting, there are a number of ways you can lower costs and lessen your impact on our environment.
Chart Reuse is a foodware reuse analytics platform designed specifically for businesses in the food and beverage industry. Their online software can help you explore what it would cost for your business to transition away from disposables to a reuse/refill alternative. Click here to visit their website.
Plastic Free Restaurants
Plastic Free Restaurants helps eliminate petroleum-based, single-use plastic from restaurants and schools by subsidizing the purchase of reusable replacements. Their website is also loaded with useful resources for sustainability-minded businesses. Click here to learn about their subsidy program.
Composting is one of the most significant ways to reduce your business’ waste footprint. While the City of Chicago does not currently offer municipal composting, there are several excellent local commercial composting services, including:
Chicago Environmentalists – This local group shares resources for businesses, including this guide to Making Your Office More Sustainable.
EcoShip Chicago – EcoShip combats waste and promotes sustainable business practices by collecting gently used shipping materials and distributing them to businesses that can reuse them.
Forever Ware – Forever Ware offers reusable beverage and takeout containers to businesses across Chicago (including some right here in Ravenswood!).
Verde Energy Efficiency Solutions – Verde helps businesses save money by replacing outdated, inefficient methods and hardware with modern, efficient solutions.