Chicago/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on May 15, 2024
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson Marks First Year with Bold Economic Reforms and Development InitiativesSource: TDKR Chicago 101, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chicago's Mayor Brandon Johnson is celebrating a year of pushing the city forward with new economic policies that are turning heads and reshaping the Windy City. Among the highlights of his first year in office, is a whopping $1.25 billion Housing and Economic Development Bond, aimed at reducing historic reliance on Tax Increment Financing and stimulating equitable growth across Chicago's diverse neighborhoods, according to the Office of the Mayor.

Johnson's administration is taking swings at bureaucracy with the 'Cut the Tape' executive order, which reportedly snipped away red tape to accelerate the development process. The order comes alongside a report launched in April, offering over 100 recommendations for streamlining, including "enhancements in internal and external communication, accountability, resource optimization, and the elimination of redundant processes," per the Office of the Mayor.

Local entrepreneurs got a boost under Johnson, with over 6,000 new business licenses handed out, and an overhauled licensing process that's trimmed online application times to just 11 days. The mayor's office notes that the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) didn't just stop at cutting down red tape; they've also actively supported upstarts with over 100 webinars that drew close to 10,000 attendees, and the revamping of their Entrepreneur Certificate Program, which, with a fresh and user-friendly portal, prompted a more than 400 percent jump in signups compared to the previous year.

Moving on to cultural grounds, Johnson's government has poured funding into preserving Chicago’s rich architectural tapestry and cultural heritage, allocating $8 million in city support for historical preservation, as reported by the Office of the Mayor. This sentiment carries into the cultural sphere, with $1 million in grants earmarked for community programs through the Neighborhood Access Program, demonstrating the administration's embrace of cultural development as a necessary facet of urban progress.

Chicago-Real Estate & Development