On May 7, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection ( BACP ) introduced an ordinance to provide additional regulatory and financial relief measures to Chicago's businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The proposed ordinance would extend the expiration date for licenses that otherwise would expire during the pandemic and defer the collection of accessibility fee payments from taxicabs and transportation network providers ( TNPs ) while the ordinance is in effect.
The relief legislation was passed by the Committee on License and Consumer Protection and will be considered by the full City Council on Wed., May 20.
The proposed ordinance would be in effect until it is automatically repealed on Tuesday, June 30, or until the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) makes a written determination that the threat to public health of COVID-19 has diminished, whichever is earlier.
Under the ordinance, any license issued by BACP with an expiration date on or after March 15 will be considered active and no late fees will be assessed until 30 days following the repeal of the ordinance on June 30 or until CDPH makes a written determination. This applies to all businesses licensed by the City, such as retail stores, child day cares, hotels, restaurant and bars, along with public vehicle licenses, such as those required for public chauffeurs, taxicab medallions, pedicabs, private ambulances and medicars.
Also, the proposed ordinance would give BACP the authority to defer the collection of the accessibility fee paid by Chicago taxicabs and TNPs.
Currently, taxicab medallion licensees pay $22 per month and TNPs pay $0.10 per ride into the Accessibility Fund, which is used to support accessible transportation options, including those for individuals who use wheelchairs. Under the proposal, this fee will be deferred until June 30 and will apply retroactively to March 18 since these businesses are not able to generate revenue. This delay will not impact accessible transportation needs that the fund provides.