Regulations are killing my business

These small businesses are being squeezed by local regulations requiring specific licenses. All are fighting back with the help of the Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm.

Food truck
small business regulation burke casper
Business: Food truck
The rule: Stay 200 feet away from restaurants
Rule maker: City of Chicago
Penalty: $2,000 fine

The biggest problem for Chicago food trucks used to be finding an open space. To secure a coveted lunchtime spot downtown, for example, Greg Burke would park the family Camry there overnight.

But last year, the city made it illegal to park within 200 feet of established restaurants, making nearly every lucrative spot downtown off limits.

Now, police often force Burke to drive off just as dozens of hungry customers gather around his Schnitzel King Food Truck. He used to sell 100 pork schnitzel sandwiches a day. Now it's more like 50. He estimates he's lost about $25,000 in profit since August.

"It's definitely hindering us from making a profit. We can't go where people want us to go," Burke said.

What's more, food trucks must now install GPS devices, so that city officials can track their movements.

"It feels like a criminal ankle bracelet," Burke said.

Jen Lipford, a city spokeswoman, said the law ensures public areas remain clear for people and traffic to move.

"We make sure we're not jumbling businesses on top of businesses," she said.


  @Jose_Pagliery - Last updated January 30 2013 11:43 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.