Go to There: Chicago Business Plan Competition

Friend of the blog and City Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely is kicking off and has just announced the new annual business plan competition. Startups and existing small businesses in Chicago are eligible, and it's just what it sounds like: The city wants your business plans, and it's willing to pay for them. Maybe.

Here are the rules from a release from the city:

• Business can be a start-up venture or an existing business. Existing businesses should not be in business more than 3 years and should have revenues below $2 million. 

• All businesses must be located or plan to be located in the City of Chicago.

• The following businesses are not considered eligible for the competition: Tobacco production, Hard liquor production, Casinos or other gamble ventures, Fur production, Currency speculation, Securities investment, Speculative industries, Adult entertainment related industries. 

They also are providing a template for your executive summary to detail what makes your business so gosh-darned special. There's plenty of reason to boast about that, too, because the first place winner can take home $5,000. Those templates are due in by July 6 at 4:30 p.m., and the city is also offering a trio of workshops on business plans that will be held here: 

• Wed. May 9, Quad Communities Development Corporation SSA #47, The Connection -4321 S. Cottage Grove 

• Wed. June 6, JVS Chicago / IL SBDC/ Duman Entrepreneurship Center, 216 W. Jackson Blvd, 2nd Floor Training Room

• Wed. June 27, Chatham Business Association, 806 E. 78th Street

Winners will be announced in October, and there's still plenty of time to get your application in, so why not give it a shot? You can read more on it here.  

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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