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City of Chicago hosts 4th ‘Small Business Center on The Road’ Expo

Chicago Native Bill Rancic to Deliver Keynote Speech

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced the fourth ‘Small Business on the Road’ business expo to be held on Saturday, September 19 at 1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, from 10A.M. to 2P.M. Chicago native Bill Rancic will deliver the keynote speech at the expo which offers entrepreneurs and business owners the opportunity to consult, network and gather information from almost 40 government and non-profit agencies including the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, the Better Business Bureau, and the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office, that will be on hand to provide information to small business owners on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning. To date, more than 1,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs have attended the expo series.

“There’s nothing more tangible for an entrepreneur looking to launch their own business than learning from a local success story. I am always looking for ways to offer Chicago’s entrepreneurs expert advice on mistakes to avoid and tips that actually work.” said BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek.

For the first time in the series, there will be three workshops presented at the expo. Beginning at noon, Accion and Kiva Zip will present “Alternative Small Business/Start Up Financing Options,” Donna Rockin, the Executive Director of the Knapp Entrepreneurship Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology will present “Marketing Basics: What You Need to Know,” and the Founder and CEO, Forward Progress and Social Jack, Dean DeLisle, will present “Creating A Responsive Online Social Media Community.”

Keynote speaker Bill Rancic will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. to talk about his road to business success. Rancic has deep Chicago roots, even opened his first business in Orland Park-a lemonade stand.  His hard work is peppered throughout Chicago; he was the project manager of the Trump Hotel, as the winner of the first season of “The Apprentice”. He is the leader of a multi-million dollar real estate enterprise in several City neighborhoods and owns two Chicago culinary hotspots; RPM Italian and RPM Steak, both are just blocks away from the Merchandise Mart.

The Small Business Center on the Road is a series of five free expos in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), the Office of New Americans (ONA) and Western Union.

Business consultants from the City of Chicago Small Business Center (SBC) will be on hand to help attendees apply or renew for a business license and make an appointment for additional counseling at City Hall. In addition, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic and The Law Project will provide a free legal clinic with representatives offering 20-minute consultations. A professional photographer will be on hand to take free headshots for attendees to use on their social media sites and marketing materials.

The final Small Business on the Road expo for 2015 will be held on Saturday, November 14 at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the City of Chicago’s SBC and the Small Business on the Road expo series, visit www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.

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