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Sam Toia in Chicago Sun-Times, ABC 7: Year-Round Cafes, Pop Up Permitting Great for Industry

Friday, April 27, 2018  
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The Chicago Sun-Times and ABC 7 spoke with IRA President & CEO Sam Toia about the prospect of year-round sidewalk cafe permits, an initiative Mayor Emanuel is expected to roll out along with several small business reforms this Friday. 

“Chicago’s weather can be very unpredictable. But if we get warm days like we did in February of ’17, we would like restaurants to be able to take advantage of this,” Toia said. "Millenials grew up with the Food Network and the Travel Channel. It’s all about an experience. If you’re going after that millennial crowd, those restaurateurs might look at this because this is an experience. You might have more places in River North looking at it than the Gold Coast. Maybe in Logan Square or in Avondale.”

The IRA has been lobbying for a year-round sidewalk café license since February 2017, when temperatures soared into the 80s. We commend Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago for introducing pragmatic small business reforms that will benefit restaurants and diners across Chicago and its neighborhoods. 

Click here to read more from the Chicago Sun-Times. Click here to watch the segment from ABC 7 Chicago.

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