Free Remote Chicago Small Business Expo to Empower Entrepreneurs with Resources and Insights for Business Growth

February 22, 2024

Current and future business owners are encouraged to join remotely on Thursday, March 14th.

Elisa Sledzinska     312.744.1973

CHICAGO –Today, the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced the free remote Chicago Small Business Expo will be held on Thursday, March 14th from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The remote expo serves as a comprehensive resource for Chicago’s small business community, ultimately increasing chances of success and achieving business goals. It offers current and future business owner's crucial insights on topics related to operating a business, including how to obtain a business license, developing marketing tactics, managing finances, and engaging with customers. The keynote address will feature Luke Saunders, CEO and Founder of Farmer’s Fridge, headquartered in Chicago. To learn more and register for the free remote Chicago Small Business Expo, visit


"Small businesses contribute to the vitality of our local economy," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "The Chicago Small Business Expo is an invaluable opportunity to tap into a wealth of resources, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, and learn insights that can fuel the growth and success of a business."


One of the highlights of the remote expo is the opportunity to attend webinars presented by industry experts and leaders. The remote expo will provide:

  • Expert insights: Presentations featuring industry experts sharing their knowledge, experiences, and best practices.
  • Actionable strategies: Webinars are designed to provide attendees with actionable strategies and practical tips to implement directly to their business.
  • Q&A sessions: Each webinar, including the keynote address, includes dedicated Q&A sessions, allowing attendees to ask questions and seek clarification on specific topics.
  • Access to resources: Attendees will be provided with a digital resource guide post-expo to review at their convenience.


“The free remote Chicago Small Business Expos is a valuable platform for small business in Chicago, offering inspiration, education, and growth for attendees,” said BACP Commissioner Kenneth J. Meyer. “The expo provides a supportive environment on topics that directly affect small businesses in Chicago.” 


The keynote speaker will be Luke Saunders, CEO and Founder of Farmer’s Fridge, headquartered in Chicago. An entrepreneur at heart, Luke started the company while working as a traveling salesman after struggling to find fresh, healthy, and accessible food options on the road. Since 2013, the rapidly expanding business has grown to 1,200 Fridge locations across the country and has established a strong retail presence with partners including Target and Costco. Luke has been honored as a Forbes “30 under 30,” a Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40,” and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” In addition, Time Magazine named Farmer’s Fridge one of the “Best Inventions of 2019.”


"I am honored to speak at the Chicago Small Business Expo and look forward to sharing my learnings from a decade of entrepreneurship,” said Luke Saunders, CEO and Founder of Farmer’s Fridge. “One of the most important aspects of building a small business is tapping into the knowledge and perspective of other founders and creating a network of support. I’m excited to contribute my insights in hopes of helping other local entrepreneurs.”


The upcoming expo is sponsored by Western Union, Wintrust Bank, and CIBC Bank USA and in partnership with City of Chicago Colleges and the Chicago Treasurer’s Office.


“Western Union takes pride in supporting the remote Chicago Small Business Expo and recognizes the positive impact of diverse backgrounds in fostering a robust and dynamic business community,” said Mario Hernández, Director of Public Affairs, Western Union. “The expo plays a crucial role in empowering all participants, including immigrant entrepreneurs, by providing them with valuable knowledge and access to essential business resources."


The Thursday, March 14th remote expo will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The schedule is as follows:


9:00 a.m.: Welcome Address


9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Effective Ways to Market Your Small Business
Presented by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

10:05 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.: Launching a Business in the City of Chicago
Presented by the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)


10:50 a.m.-11:35 a.m.: Brewing Up Success: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your Winning Business Plan
Presented by the Women's Business Development Center


11:40 p.m.-12:30 p.m.: Keynote Address
Luke Saunders, CEO and Founder of Farmer’s Fridge


To register for the free BACP Remote Small Business Expo, visit For more information call (312) 744-2086 or email



I Want To