Council Approves Slashing City Business Licenses

The City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance to reduce the number of Chicago business licenses from 117 to 49 and make it easier for dogs to accompany their owners to restaurant patios.

The move takes Chicago from one of the most heavily licensed cities to one of least, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. It cuts unnecessary red tape and decreases bureaucracy for local businesses, especially small businesses.

It also consolidates business licenses so restaurants won't need to apply for the separate $125 "dog-friendly" license.

Aldermen overwhelmingly supported the proposal, saying businesses "deserve to have the red carpet, not red tape."

Emanuel has said Chicago's 117 various business licenses is more than Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Atlanta combined.

The move could save small businesses more than $2 million because fewer licenses means fewer potential fines for entrepreneurs and business owners.

"Cutting this red tape reduces confusion and save business owners time and money that they can spend on growing their businesses and creating jobs," he said last month.

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