Business Education

BACP Webinars


BACP offers free business education webinars every Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. Topics include business licensing, operations, financial resources, marketing, and more. Programs are free and open to the public and taught by industry professionals, not-for-profit agencies, and government agencies.

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) is committed to providing accessibility for all individuals, including people with disabilities. To request accessibility, please contact BACP at, 312-744-6060.  Although we will always work to fulfill your accessibility need, in order to ensure the best quality service is provided, we ask that you make request no later than 3 business days in advance of the event.

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) Entrepreneur Certificate Program is a free and optional program available to attendees of the free BACP business education workshop and webinar series. For program details (enrollment, requirements, contact information, etc.) and to enroll go to Entrepreneur Certificate Program.
Disclaimer: This does not make your business certified with the City of Chicago. If you are interested in the City of Chicago M/W/VBE Certification program, please visit

Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, 2/1 at 3:00 PM
City Inspections - Ask Questions, Get Answers 
Presented by the City of Chicago

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, Department of Public Health, and the Department of Buildings will provide insight on how operate a compliant business in the City of Chicago. Topics covered will include how to prepare for inspections, building permits and sign display requirements, food inspection overview and necessary certificates, and zoning review procedures. Learn how to operate safely and avoid common setbacks.
Register for the 2/1 Webinar

Friday, 2/3 at 9:30 AM
A New Pitch in the New Year
Presented by Myeisha Grady, Business Advisor, Access to Capital Program and Services, Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)
It’s a new year with a new business or maybe new services or products have been added to your current business. What a perfect time to work on your business pitch. This interactive session will provide you with tips and tools to update your business pitch to help you get to the next level!
Register for the 2/3 Webinar

Wednesday, 2/8 at 3:00 PM
Getting Started in SEO: An Introduction to Search Engine Optimization
Presented by Edwin Romero (Independent SEO Consultant)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or the process of improving search engine visibility, is a marketing channel that is often either overlooked or misunderstood by small business owners. In this webinar, we will review the significance of SEO for small business owners, how SEO can serve as a long term, cost efficient marketing channel and what fundamental best practices should be kept in mind when optimizing for SEO.
Register for the 2/8 Webinar

Thursday, 2/9 Webinar at 10:00 AM
SBIF & NOF Grants: Capital to Make Permanent Improvements to Your Small Business
Presented by Kimberly Brisky, Managing Director of Communications & Engagement at SomerCor. SomerCor is contracted by the city of Chicago to administer the SBIF and NOF programs.
The Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) and Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) grants provide small businesses and nonprofits with capital to make permanent building improvements. As part of the INVESTSouthWest initiative, these funds support small businesses and nonprofits seeking to strengthen commercial corridors across Chicago through transformational investment. This presentation will provide details on program eligibility rules, benefits, application instructions, and client success stories for these impactful programs.
Register for the 2/9 Webinar

Friday, 2/10  at 9:30 AM
What You Need to Know About Your Business & Federal Taxes
Presented by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Ladder Up
This workshop will answer important tax questions for your business including: Are you required to file a tax return? Is your worker an independent contractor or an employee? What business records must be kept? Are you required to make estimated tax payments? What resources does the IRS have for small business owners?
Register for the 2/10 Webinar

Tuesday, 2/14 at 2:00 pm
City of Chicago Debt Relief Programs
Presented by the Department of Finance
Learn more about the benefits, eligibility requirements, and how to apply for Utility Billing Relief (UBR), Clear Path Relief (CPR), Administrative Debt Relief (ADR), and Business Recovery Payment Plans.
Register for the 2/14 Webinar

Wednesday, 2/15 Webinar at 3:00 PM
How to Open a Concession at O'Hare and Midway International Airports
Presented by the Chicago Department of Aviation - Concessions Department and Unison Retail Management
Are you interested in operating a restaurant or retail shop at O'Hare or Midway International Airport, but don't know where to begin? Come and learn about the Request for Proposals (RFP) process and how to operate a business at the airport. This workshop also provides an overview of the O'Hare, and Midway airport current Concessions programs; the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program; and the O'Hare 21 future expansion. Lastly, we will provide you with all the resources you will need to get started.
Register for the 2/15 Webinar

Thursday, 2/16 at 2:00 PM
Empower Hour: Batter & Berries

In honor and recognition of Black History Month, this month’s Empower Hour will feature BACP Commissioner Ken Meyer chatting with Craig Richardson, co-founder of Batter & Berries.  The eclectic restaurant is a staple of Chicago’s vibrant brunch scene. The idea, and continuing principle, behind the well-known restaurant is to offer the freshest food possible with flavors from all over the world and friendly service. 
The candid conversation will cover the creation of the business, collaboration with community creatives, product development, and utilizing City of Chicago business resources. The webinar will end with a Q&A for attendees to ask questions.
Register for the 2/16 Empower Hour

Friday, 2/17 at 9:30 AM
Practical and Legal Considerations of Starting a Nonprofit
Presented by Erica Spangler Raz, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Learn the ins and outs of starting a nonprofit charitable organization. This workshop covers the similarities and differences of a nonprofit business and a for-profit business, the legal steps to obtain 501c3 public charity status, and the on-going reporting requirements to maintain it.
Register for the 2/17 Webinar

Wednesday, 2/22 at 3:00 PM
Chicago Business Licensing: Mobile Food Dispenser/Preparer
Presented by City of Chicago Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
Learn about Mobile Food Dispenser/Preparer licensing, including the application process and required documents, as well as best practices for safe operations. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.
Part of the BACP business licensing webinar series
Register for the 2/22 Webinar

Friday, 2/24 Webinar at 9:30 AM
Develop an Effective Business Plan
Presnted by Score Chicago
A thoughtful and well-executed business plan is the first step for every potential entrepreneur. Businesses differ in value, marketing, production, operations, and financial objectives, and good planning increases the odds of success.
Writing an effective business plan is as much an art as it is a science. This webinar covers the essential elements of business plan development.  Topics include: setting goals and objectives, preparing marketing and financial plans and defining action steps to attain appropriate goals.
Register for the 2/24 Webinar

Wednesday, 3/29 at 3:00 PM
Chicago Business Licensing: Shared Housing
Presented by City of Chicago Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
Learn about Shared Housing licensing, including the application process and required documents. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.
Part of the BACP business licensing webinar series
Register for the 3/29 Webinar

Wednesday, 4/26 at 3:00 PM
Chicago Business Licensing: Pop Up Host/Operator
Presented by City of Chicago Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
Learn about Pop Up Host/Operator licensing, including the application process and required documents. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.
Part of the BACP business licensing webinar series
Register for the 4/26 Webinar

Please email with any webinar questions.


Visit BACP’s YouTube for all webinars.