Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot was among those taking part in the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois' April 9 Keynote Breakfast at the Drake Hotel downtown.
Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison gave the keynote address at the event.
Lightfoot, exactly one week out from her historic April 2 election, said that, "I'm just walking on a cloud, but there's a lot of work to do."
Part of that work, she said, is streamlining licensing procedures and eliminating red tape for Chicago entrepreneurs trying to navigate the city's small business bureaucracy.
"You burn too much of your time going from department to department," she said.
Morrison concurred in his remarks, wherein he reflected on his family's experiences in running a restaurant. "It is incredibly costly to get a business off the ground," he said.
Among services he said he'd like to see, he said, was a "small-business concierge," that would be able to easily explain and assist with licensing and other requirements for Cook County entrepreneurs. Like Lightfoot, he also supports government bid-incentives that would help LGBT small-business owners.
"Diversity can only have real value if we build a real culture of inclusion," Morrison said.
The Chamber has expanded its scope recently, offering resources services for across the state, not just the region; the April 9 event was its first keynote breakfast, said Executive Director Jerome' Holston.
Holston said that the event was "an opportunity for our members to hear from an elected official in our community, and provide an opportunity for someone else to have a new voice."