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Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposes help for Chicago businesses, would include cap on third-party delivery fees and end alcohol sales at liquor stores after 10 p.m.

Chicago Tribune - 5/26/2021

Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a package of measures on Wednesday aimed at helping Chicago businesses, including extending a cap on third-party delivery fees and $10 million in grants for those hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lightfoot’s proposals, which will need to be approved by City Council in the coming weeks, include extending a 15% cap on third-party delivery companies “until after the city recovers from the pandemic.” The mayor also is pushing a discounted payment plan for businesses with city debt to make it easier for them to renew licenses and continue operating.

Lightfoot’s package also would permanently ban alcohol sales at liquor stores after 10 p.m. She implemented the measure during the pandemic but it’s received criticism from some business interests who are likely to oppose the move.

Prior to the pandemic, liquor stores in Chicago were allowed to sell most types of alcohol until 2 a.m. or later. There have been efforts in recent years by some aldermen concerned about violence and loitering near liquor stores to set earlier hours, but those proposals have not gained much traction.

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The city also would expedite restaurant licensing for those setting up in closed restaurant spaces, allow A-frame sidewalk signs and make it easier for businesses to get permits for other sidewalk advertisements, Lightfoot’s office said.

She also will push a wage theft protection ordinance, among other plans.

Also on Lightfoot’s agenda: A proposal allowing cocktails to go, which was a popular change for bars and restaurants in 2020.

“In order to recover from this pandemic quickly and holistically, we must take bold action and reimagine how we do business here in Chicago,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

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