Now that the Cubs have finally broken a 108-year-old curse, it’s a great time to be in Chicago. The city is also rebounding from the effects of the recent recession, making it the perfect time to start your small business here. With over 10 million residents the metropolitan area is the third largest in the United States, and the city itself houses about 2.7 million people, making it a popular hub in the middle of the United States. If you’re not sold on setting up shop in Windy City, here are a few more reasons to consider.
A booming hospitality industry
According to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Chicago’s hospitality has grown by over four percent in the past year. Other studies have indicated that the city’s tourism industry is also on the upswing as more people are visiting and going out while in town. Entrepreneurs with visions of opening Chicago’s next hot spot are in a prime position to do so.
It’s getting easier
In many industries, the City of Chicago is known for bureaucracy, which has made some aspects of business difficult. However, in 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel worked with Goldman Sachs to stimulate business growth in the city. The program included learning programs, grants and other resources to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses. More can be seen about the program on the city’s website. Mayor Emanuel has since continued to work on reducing the red tape that discourages entrepreneurs.
Growth in tech
Many people think of Silicon Valley when they picture the tech industry, but Chicago is fast growing in that area. While promoting a technology conference in 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated, “Chicago’s tech sector employs more than 54,000 people, according to Built In Chicago, an 11 percent increase over 2014. This week, the city’s digital technology hub, 1871, unveiled its latest expansion to more than 115,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart.”
Chicago is openly welcoming entrepreneurs in all sectors, and the city’s economy is heating up. If you’ve been thinking of jumping into the world of business ownership, do it in Chicago.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for CBS Small Business Pulse.