Earlier this week, Chicagoans woke up to the heartbreaking news that small businesses, restaurants, retail shops, convenience stores and more were once again violently looted. With many just beginning to reopen their doors following civil unrest earlier this summer, employers throughout the city are understandably questioning the future of Chicago’s business community. I want to assure you that the Chamber is actively engaging with the Mayor’s office, Aldermen, and other key stakeholders on your behalf to put a stop to this activity. To put it simply, the violent action we have seen cannot be tolerated and those that have participated in criminal activity must be held accountable and prosecuted to show our business owners and their customers that Chicago is still a safe and good place to work, shop and live.

I have also spoken with national and local media outlets, including Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Sun-Times and WGN-AM, calling for swift action to both foster a strong Central Business District and support neighborhood businesses, as well as, build trust in the safety of our workplaces and commercial corridors. Only then will we get people back to work, ensure the livelihoods of our residents, generate needed revenue that supports our schools, first responders and needed social services, and renew the economic engine of Chicago that provides for the rest of the state and the Midwest.

As we move forward, I will continue to work towards creating policies that encourage economic development. We need a united response.  To that end, the Chamber invites you to take a quick survey asking what steps elected officials must take in order to restore Chicago’s business community and ensure the safety of workers, customers, residents and visitors.  

I know the past several months have been extremely difficult, and as we continue to see the impact of both COVID-19 and violence throughout our city, the path forward is challenging. We are indeed at a crossroads, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is committed to fighting on your behalf to secure a brighter future. If you are in need of assistance or have ideas not outlined in the survey, please let me know.

Jack Lavin
President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce