If you live in the Windy City, you probably know that Chicago is all about its people, sports clubs, entertainment, and many prominent landmarks. Spend the day in Chicago and be wowed by such sites and places as Wrigley Field, Millennium Park, and the Chicago Riverwalk. There is so much about Chicago to love that the people who do you live there will tell you it’s the best city in the world.
What of the business environment in Chicago? How do small businesses fare in the Windy City? And what about startups? Do they have a fighting chance to make their mark on the Chicago business landscape? In this article, we discuss some of what small companies can expect when doing business in Chicago.
The Benefits of Having a Chicago Based Business
As with any major city, there will be pluses and minuses when it comes to running a business in Chicago. Among some benefits:
– Chicago has the 20th largest economy in the world. This means that there are plenty of opportunities. Not only is it a big economy, but it’s also a reasonably diversified one, which means that the wealth is spread across numerous industries. No one industry dominates the city’s workforce. So, if you’re a restaurant or a beauty salon in Chicago, you do have a chance to thrive.
– There is a deep talent pool. Chicago is home to numerous universities. Loyola University, DePaul University, the University of Chicago, among others, create an environment that is home to many young, eager professionals looking to establish themselves. Not to mention, professionals from all walks of life seem to be drawn to the Windy City.
– Chicago is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies. Among some of the most notable are Boeing, Motorola, and Kellogg. What does this mean for small business owners? The founders of these companies tend to invest money in Chicago’s communities and Chicago small businesses.
– Chicago is the hub of the Midwest. It is an incubator for this section of the country. Given its location and its size, the city of Chicago is very well-connected in terms of the major cities surrounding it.
The Cons of Doing Business in Chicago
There are some downsides as well to having a Chicago-based business. Among these are:
– There can be limited potential. Depending on the industry and outlook, competition and other factors could limit your overall potential for some small businesses. One thing about it, you do have to work hard in Chicago.
– Because it is a major city, it can be more expensive than other areas in the Midwest. This will be the case, though, with any central urban hub. Strategically spending your money and ensuring that you cut waste will be critical for the success of a small business.
Getting a Business Loan in Chicago
So how do you go about getting a business loan for your Chicago business? It’s not as complicated as some may think. First off, you want to research and explore the different lending options available, be it a traditional bank or an alternative lender. Generally speaking, alternative lenders have far more flexible criteria and come through with the cash a lot quicker than is the case with a bank. Many clients will receive funding in as little as 2 to 3 days.
You want to ensure that you have all your documents prepared and ready to go. These can include tax returns, financial statements such as balance sheets and cash flow statements, articles of incorporation, any business leases, a credit report, and anything else the lender may request. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of being approved.
Also, have a clear sense of what you will use your loan proceeds for. Being smart with the money you get and allocating it wisely will help put your business on a path to tremendous success.
First Union Lending is Here to Help
We offer Chicago-based businesses the kinds of loans that enable them to grow and ultimately succeed. With short-term loans, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances, we have a financing option perfect for your Chicago business. Call today, and let’s get started.