City of Chicago Offers Free Business Workshops

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection offers FREE business workshops every Wednesday and Friday at City Hall, 8th Floor. To register for a workshop call 312-744-2086. You also can register by emailing


January 2016 Workshop Calendar
1/1     No Workshop Due To Holiday1/6     City Inspections – Ask Questions, Get Answers  
 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by the City of Chicago
To operate a successful business in Chicago you must know what it takes to maintain compliance. Officials from several City departments will provide insight to operate safely, stay compliant, help prepare for inspections and highlight the do’s and don’ts of operating a healthy business.
1/8    5 Steps Guaranteed to Land You MORE New Business in 2016
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Eleanor Anne Sweet, Adjunct Professor of Loyola University Chicago – Quinlan School of Business
5 steps will be highlighted to turbo charge your business in 2016 and DOUBLE your business leads!  Learn habits you need to break to beat your competitors.

1/13    Accounting in the Cloud: QuickBooks Online
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Maribel Del Real, CPA, MSA Del Real Tax Group, Inc., Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Learn how to keep your financial recordkeeping books in the cloud using QuickBooks Online. We will identify advantages of QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop and list the important online features and benefits. Attendees will learn how to navigate the user interface as well as the sales and expense processes.

1/15    The Values and Benefits of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Automation    
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Adam Tuttle, Active Campaign
CRM can increase productivity, improve time management, and manage large volume     of leads. The benefits dramatically increase when paired with a sales automation tool. This workshop will discuss the things small businesses should look for when choosing a CRM and also what sales automation is doing to change the game with existing technologies.

1/20       How to Obtain a Sidewalk Cafe Permit
9:30  to 11:00 a.m. [Special Workshop Time]
Presented by BACP, Small Business Center – Public Way Use (PWU) Unit, Anthony Bertuca
Take the mystery out of the Sidewalk Cafe Permit Application process by attending this informative workshop.  We will explain the application process, inform you of all the requirements, and help you get prepared to submit an application. The entire application process may take 30 – 45 days, and the 2016 Sidewalk Cafe Season begins on March 1st, so make sure to reserve your seat now.

1/20      How to Manifest All Your New Year’s Resolution 2016
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Presented by Tim Smithe,Creative Director/CMO of Walter E Smith
If you are like many Chicagoans, you will not fulfill the important resolution you made just before the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. Yet still, one well-executed New Year’s resolution can change Your Life. Relationships. Career. Health. Wealth. Two-time Emmy® Award winner Tim Smithe will help you bring back to life, and then materialize your resolution, with his proprietary Resolution-Realization System. This is a step-by-step process that he has demonstrated to audiences around the world over and is now ready to share it with his hometown.

1/22      How to Open a Concession at O’Hare or Midway Airport
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Chicago Department of Aviation – Concessions Department
Are you interested in operating a restaurant or shop at O’Hare or Midway International Airports, but don’t know where to begin? Come and learn about the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, how to operate a business at the airports, and a summary of the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program.

1/27     Trademarks, Patents, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights: How To Recognize Your Company’s Assets
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Patrick J. Smith, Partner, registered patent attorney at Greer, Burns & Crain, Ltd. 
Learn the difference between a copyright and a trademark as well as a patent and a trade secret.  Learn how to differentiate between the various types of intellectual property and learn the steps you can take to protect your company’s IP assets.

1/29    How to Write a Business Plan – What you Need to Know!
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Donna R. Rockin, Executive Director, Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center at IIT
Learn how to create a comprehensive business plan.  It’s easier than you think when you understand all the components that get included.  You’ll receive a complete list of what to include to demystify the process. Writing a solid business plan is your roadmap to business success.

Click here to view full monthly calendar. All workshops are free and are located at the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection – City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, Room 805.