Democratic lawmaker: Illinois and Chicago can do a better job supporting businesses

(The Center Square) ā€“ Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson for the Chicago Innovations Awards, highlighting industries across the city. However, some say the landscape can be improved.

Over the past couple of years, Chicago has seen major corporations pack up and move from the Windy City to other states. Some cited crime, while others have blamed the state’s high taxes for their decision.

During a speech to nominees for the Chicago Innovation Awards, Pritzker said Chicago is still a great place to do business.

“It’s been a goal of mine to make sure that people all across the nation, indeed all across the world, think of Chicago and Illinois as a place they want to come when they’re creating, building, and making successful their companies,” Pritzker said.

Over the past couple of years, Chicago has seen major corporations pack up and move from the Windy City to other states. Some cited crime, while others have blamed the state’s strict regulations for their decision.

“When businesses are not able to open because of regulations, it hurts the businesses chances of being successful,” state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, told The Center Square. “That’s the danger.”

Johnson described the business climate in Chicago as “thriving”; however, Ford said the city is still struggling to get the proper licenses out to prospected business owners.

“I think in Chicago, the greatest support that the city can do is expediting permits and cutting the red tape so businesses can start up,” Ford said. “It takes too long for business to get permits to do construction and it takes too long for businesses to get their inspections to open.”

Over the past year, Boeing, McDonald’s, Citadel and others have reduced their corporate footprints in Illinois.

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