Small businesses hampered by a restrictive permitting process now will now have an easier time getting approval for signs to help advertise their businesses.
The victory came when the Chicago City Council passed a law streamlining the permitting process earlier this month. Previously, those seeking a sign permit had to receive approval from the city council before the sign could be installed. According to the Small Business Advocacy Council, which had worked with a coalition to improve the permitting process for more than a year, the old permitting process could significantly delay the installation of new signs.
According to testimonials of businesses affected, some were unable to install a sign for a number of months after opening—significantly impacting their ability to attract new customers. Others said they took the risky move of installing signs without the proper permits.
The Small Business Advocacy Council coalition included work from local chambers of commerce as well as the International Sign Association and the Illinois Sign Association. ISA and the Illinois Sign Association both brought expertise on the economic value of signs to business and insight into the benefits of streamlining the permitting process.
When the bill passed the City Council, the Small Business Advocacy Council estimated it would reduce the amount of time spent waiting for a permit by 50-80 percent.
To learn more about ISA’s advocacy work on behalf of small businesses, contact David Hickey, David.Hickey@signs.org.