On June 26, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection ( BACP ) launched the first annual ChiBizPride Campaign.
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 30 ( in which Lightfoot, who is lesbian herself, will be the grand marshal ), 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.
Around the country, LGBTQ+ businesses are estimated to contribute $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy. While many states have policies that are hostile to LGBTQ+ businesses, Illinois attracts the third most LGBTQ+ business owners in the nation.
BACP will host a roundtable discussion with LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and chamber leadership on Friday, June 28, at City Coffee, owned by AJ Lutz. This conversation will allow business owners an opportunity to share their experiences with operating a business in Chicago. Also, the Small Business Center On The Road Expo will take place on Thursday, June 27, 5-9 p.m., at 1871 at the Merchandise Mart. Featuring keynote speaker Luis Garciathe co-founder, CEO and chief creative at Bixbeethis free expo is a one-stop-shop for all entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business in Chicago.
To learn more about Chicago's LGBTQ+ businesses and the ChiBizPride Campaign, please visit Chicago.gov/ChiBizPride and follow @ChicagoBACP and @ChiSmallBiz. To register for an expo or for more information, visit www.chismallbizexpo.com, call 312-744-2086 or emailBACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org . For more information about the City of Chicago's Small Business Center visit www.chicago.gov/sbc.