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Reminders for Businesses

Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) will continue processing business licenses and public way use permits, where applicable, online or over the phone. Please visit or call 312-74-GOBIZ. Learn more about how to use Chicago Business Direct. For public way use permits, please email and click here to learn how to obtain a Sidewalk Cafe Permit.

BACP public vehicle licensing application and processing requests should be e-mailed to Public vehicle inspections appointment list is posted on the Public Vehicles page. Requests to change public vehicle inspection dates should be e-mailed to

Additional resources:

  • Chicago’s COVID-19 Resources Center:

  • BACP Resource Center of businesses, employees, and consumers:

  • Chicago's industry-specific guidelines for safely operating within Phase IV: Gradually Resume, part of the city’s Be Safe Chicago framework:

Winter Outdoor Dining Guidance

Chicago is committed to ensuring that bars and restaurants can operate outdoors safely and successfully during the fall and winter months. Please visit for up-to-date guidance for safe outdoor service.

Chicago Reopening Guidelines

The City of Chicago has developed industry-specific guidelines for safely operating within Phase IV: Gradually Resume. These guidelines are part of the city’s Be Safe Chicago framework that will be used to guide Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19. The State of Illinois has imposed new mitigation measures that went into effect on Friday, October 30. Please review the guidelines to keep your business in compliance.

Tips to Protect Chicago's Businesses

The City of Chicago is working diligently to ensure that our business community is prepared for the potential for events, large demonstrations, protest activity, and civil unrest. You can view the proactive steps businesses can take to stay protected which include signing up for ChiBiz Emergency Alerts, joining Chicago's Public Private Partnership Initiative, and staying alert.

Neighborhood Business Development Centers

Chicago-based chambers of commerce and business support organizations, often referred to as Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC), assist in the development of small businesses in Chicago, serve as liaison between local businesses and the City of Chicago, and provide neighborhood business development services. They have have a strong neighborhood network and coordinate efforts with local aldermen, the City, and other community partners. They can help start-up entrepreneurs and existing business owners. Find your local NBDC by visiting

Extension of Business Relief

As a reminder, last month the Chicago City Council passed a law to extend critical regulatory relief into 2021. The following measures are now in place:

  • Extension of License Expiration Dates: All licenses that expire between March 15, 2020 and June 15, 2021 will be considered active until July 15, 2021 and those businesses can operate during that time without renewing their license or paying a fee.

  • Extension of Sidewalk Café Permit Expiration Date and Extension of Reforms: All current Sidewalk Café Permits will be considered active through May 31, 2021 and businesses with a Sidewalk Café Permit can operate their current Sidewalk Cafes until that date without renewing. Additionally, all Sidewalk Café Permits issued for the 2021 season will benefit from the temporary reforms implemented in 2020: permit fee reduction of 75%, the ability to extend in front of neighboring property and an expedited permit issuance process.

  • Extension of Expanded Outdoor Dining Program: The Expanded Outdoor Dining Program, through which bars and restaurants can operate outside on private property or closed streets, has been extended to last through the end of 2021.



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