Tim Van Le and Imre Hidvegi remember their fight with city hall several years ago.
“We really felt like we had no word,” Tim Van Le of Lincoln Square’s Decorium Furniture told WBEZ about a push by Ald. Eugene Schulter to seize his block through eminent domain.
‘”Three and a half years later, he still heaves a sigh when he describes how it felt knowing he might have to relinquish his store,” the report says.
George Fink is president of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce. He says he senses fear on the part of small business owners.
“That’s the general feeling in the public that oh well, we can’t do anything unless we go through the alderman to do it,” Fink said. “Is that a good feeling for free people? No, I don’t think so.”
WBEZ says Elizabeth Milnikel agrees. She’s researched the regulatory environment in Chicago as part of her work as director of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. It’s a law clinic with a libertarian bent that works with lower-income entrepreneurs. She says Chicago’s political system vests too much control in each individual alderman.