Chicago has “north of 30,000” home businesses after an explosion-by-necessity during the stay-at-home shutdown triggered by the coronavirus.

Only 4,000 of those home businesses are licensed by the city — partly because Chicago’s home-business ordinance is more restrictive than any other major city.

On Tuesday, Chicago aldermen agreed to give home businesses the wiggle room they need to survive, thrive — and maybe even come out of the shadows.

A month after postponing the vote at the request of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) pushed a substitute ordinance through the Committee on Economic and Capital Development, which he chairs.

“It’s vital because it helps move Chicago forward towards a more robust and accessible economic recovery by giving all Chicagoans the wiggle room they need to make ends meet — even when that room is at home,” Villegas said.

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareno pointed with pride to the extra space provided to home businesses. If the full Council approves, it’ll increase from 10% of the home to either 25% or 300 square feet — whichever is greater.

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