For more information on a particular industry position on an issue, please refer to the below:
One important way the Association provides service to our members is by addressing pending and proposed legislative actions which could ultimately impact your business or property. Our Planning & Advocacy Division’s Advocacy Committee actively tracks all new and pending legislation that could have consequences on your taxes, employees and how you conduct business.
Our Advocacy Committee, which is comprised of members of the Board of Directors and leaders from the various member groups of the Association, has very close contacts with area aldermen and other governmental officials. It also works closely with numerous other business organizations which focus on specific industries including hotels, restaurants, retail and tourism. If there are specific issues or concerns you have, you can contact the Association’s staff and they will be happy to work with you to make sure your interests and concerns are being addressed.
In addition, Magnificent Mile Association staff are available to assist you with issues regarding your specific business or property including permit assistance, graffiti removal, repair of public way conditions, providing information from our ‘Michigan Avenue By the Numbers’ document or anything else to help you as a member.
Current Advocacy/Governmental Issues:
Public Way Advocacy
As a benefit of membership, we want to make sure that you and all staff and employees at your business or property know that you can reach out to the Association for assistance and general information. Over the past few months, our Planning & Advocacy Division has received requests from members regarding a wide range of public way issues including: graffiti removal, repair of broken sidewalks curbs and potholes, encroachment of sidewalk cafes on pedestrian sidewalks, business solicitors blocking sidewalks and advertising sandwich boards on sidewalks. We have also provided members with information including status of pending permits, street closures, signage ordinance requirements and usage of electric scooters.
View the Emergency Guidance Flyer.Emergency Guidance
Fair Workweek Ordinance
After two and a half years of debate, Chicago's City Council passed the Fair Workweek Ordinance in July. The council’s Committee on Workforce Development endorsed the ordinance on a unanimous voice vote after business and labor groups came together on a compromise version drafted with the mayor’s staff.
It requires companies in specific industries to give eligible workers 10 days notice of schedules beginning July 1, 2020, and 14 days notice beginning two years later.
What to know about Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance
Industries covered: Buildings services, health care, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail, warehouse services.
Employers covered: Those with more than 100 employees globally, or 250 employees for nonprofits; at least 50 of them covered by the ordinance.
Employees covered: Salary less than or equal to $50,000 a year; hourly rate less than or equal to $26 (service fees included for hotel workers), with annual cost-of-living adjustment; must work most of time within city limits.
Restaurant exemption: Ordinance applies only to companies with at least 30 locations and 250 employees globally. No franchisee with three or fewer locations in Chicago.
Advance notice of schedule changes:At least 10 days beginning July 1, 2020, and 14 days beginning July 1, 2022.
Right to decline: Employees can turn down schedule changes made after deadline for advance notice.
Extra pay: If shift is changed after the deadline for advance notice, employee gets one extra hour of pay in addition to regular compensation. Employee gets at least 50% of pay for schedule hours if shift is canceled or reduced with less than 24 hours’ notice.
Right to rest: Employee can decline a shift with less than a 10-hour break from the last shift. If they work it, they get paid 1.25 times regular rate.
Exceptions: Schedules changed by mutual agreement in writing; changes forced by civil unrest or threats, utility outages, acts of nature, disaster declaration (for health care), canceled banquet, hours lost because of discipline for just cause.
Offer of more hours: Employer must first make offer to qualified employees covered by ordinance, then to temporary or seasonal workers. No discrimination.
Penalty: Not less than $300 or more than $500 for each offense.
Litigation: Employee can sue only after documenting a complaint with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Effective date: July 1, 2020, except for safety net hospitals, which must comply by Jan. 1, 2021.Read the ordinance >>
Minimum Wage Ordinance
Passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners on October 26, 2016, Ordinance No. 16-5768 will increase the minimum wage for many employees in Cook County.
Effective on July 1, 2018, the new base wage for employees will be raised to $11 an hour. For tipped employees, the base wage will increase from $4.95 an hour to $5.10.
Lakefront Noise Bill
The bill was passed by the Illinois House of Representatives in April of 2017; it’s still awaiting approval from the Senate.
The regulations will address noise levels along the lakeshore in order to improve the quality of life in the region.
Changes put in place by the HB2361 would allow for:
- Noise monitoring systems along Lake Shore Drive.
- Increased fines for loud motorcycles and impounding after 3 noise violations.
- Requiring ambulances to only use their sirens when responding to a call.
Year-Round Sidewalk Café Ordinance
The City of Chicago currently allows businesses to operate sidewalk cafes for nine months, from March to December. The city council approved the ordinance on June 12, 2018, now allowing outdoor café operations year-round.
Businesses will be able to profit more during the winter months, especially on warmer than usual days. This is an opportunity to keep sidewalks vibrant and active year around.
The amended café ordinance will establish a snow threshold at which point all café furniture must be removed.
Proposed Threshold Increase for Retail Theft Offenses
Letters of objection were sent in April of 2018 to District Aldermen and sponsors of House and Senate Bills which would effectively increase the thresholds of retail theft to be considered a misdemeanor to a felony from $300 to $2000.