Chicago Small Business Pride Week

The City of Chicago's "Small Business Pride Week 2019" begins on Monday, June 24th, and concludes on Friday, June 28th.

BACP's ChiBizPride campaign celebrates, and highlights, the contributions of the LGBTQ-owned businesses in Chicago, which leads up to the 50th annual Chicago Pride Parade on June 30th.

ChiBiz Pride Infographic


Campaign highlights diversity of Chicago's business community; Local business owners to be featured on social media, Smart Business Chicago podcast and roundtable discussion

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today launched the first annual ChiBizPride Campaign. Kicking off this week, the new campaign celebrates and highlights the contributions of the many LGBTQ+ owned and LGBTQ+ friendly businesses throughout Chicago. Leading up to the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Chicago Pride Parade on June 30th, BACP has partnered with local chambers of commerce and business service organizations to bring attention to and celebrate the contributions of Chicago LGBTQ+ business community...


BACP Smart Business Chicago Podcast

Check out the podcasts of BACP Commissioner, Rosa Escareno, on SoundCloud called "Smart Business Chicago", which features Chicago's entrepreneurs sharing their business stories.

In celebration of Chicago Small Business Pride Week, the "Smart Business Chicago" podcast features interviews with Dan Earles of Earles Architects (Episode 33), Alan Cichon of AceBounce & Flight (Episode 34), and Hank Zemola of Special Events (Episode 35):

BACP Commissioner Escareno with Dan Earles of Earles Architects  

In Chicago, our business community is proudly united. Look no further than Dan Earles who is demonstrating what it means to be a business owner with intention. He is the Principal of Earles Architects + Associates, owner of Epic Gourmet Popcorn, and owner of SEAATS. Dan talks about his company culture of inclusion and trainings, the benefits and importance of being a certified LGBT Business Enterprise, and how chamber membership has helped him in connecting and advocating for his businesses and the community.

Listen to Ep 33: Designed with Purpose on SoundCloud

BACP Commisioner Escareno with Alan Cichon of AceBounce & Flight  

Alan Cichon is in the business of winning. Games that is. He is the President of Operations in the U.S. for Social Entertainment Ventures (SEV). SEV operates Flight Club and AceBounce in Chicago. The two concepts both offer social entertainment, a party experience without compromising on quality of food and beverage offerings. Listen to find out why SEV chose Chicago as it’s first U.S. location, the shift towards experience-based social outings, and the role of nostalgia in hospitality.

Listen to Ep 34: Business Game Changer on SoundCloud

BACP Commisioner Escareno with Hank Zemola of Special Events  

On any given day there is something to do in Chicago. And once festival season starts, options are limitless. Part of that is due to the driving force behind Special Events Management (SEM). SEM produces approximately 25 runs/walks/marathons/half marathons and 30-plus art/street fests in Chicago, its suburbs, and beyond each year. Hank Zemola, Founder and CEO, of SEM credits his early years in event management for teaching him hard work and high quantity creates good business operations. He discusses his favorite events and the joy of bringing a spotlight on Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Listen to Ep 35: Bringing Crowds to Chicago's Neighborhoods on SoundCloud

BACP Commisioner Rosa Escareno with Christy Webber of Christy Webber Landscapes  

Christy Webber of Christy Webber Landscapes is not afraid to get her hands dirty. With roots in Michigan, she has bloomed in Chicago. During her business growth she took risks and took advantage of every opportunity. With hard work and determination, she now employs a staff of 400 that are helping beautify Chicago’s neighborhoods. Working close with the City of Chicago, she advocates for all minority groups to have access to bid opportunities. Listen as Christy talks about how neighborhoods can be transformed with a bit of greenery.

Listen to Ep 36: Chicago in Full Bloom on SoundCloud

Please check back periodically for additional Chicago Small Business Pride Week information to be posted on this page, and follow the ChiBizPride Campaign @ChicagoBACP and @ChiSmallBiz. 

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