Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel Launches "Office of New Americans"

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Calling them the "lifeblood" and the "economic engine" of the city of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday announced a new office to help immigrants open small businesses.

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Calling them the "lifeblood" and the "economic engine" of the city of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday announced a new office to help immigrants open small businesses.

One out of every five Chicagoans, the mayor said, are immigrants, and they're 50 percent more likely to start a small business. 

The new office -- The Office of New Americans -- will "drive the other pieces," said Emanuel, including  licensing and permitting, and will make sure immigrants feel welcome and are aware of the services available to them.

How does he plan to pay for it? The administrative cuts he made to his office shortly after he was inaugurated will cover the new expenses, he said.

"There's money in the budget to do this because I made dramatic cuts for this, with this in mind," he said.

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