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(WTTW News)

A newly released five-year plan to invest in Chicago’s roads, bridges, bikeways and other infrastructure needs is a welcome shift away from short-term, less comprehensive projects, some analysts and city officials say.

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Momentum Coffee and Coworking is among the first businesses announced for Black Shop Friday. (Momentum Coffee and Coworking / Facebook)

“Black Friday has been around for a long time, but what has been missing is the Blackness,” said the creators of the program, which encourages people to support Black-owned businesses in Chicago this holiday season.

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Andersonville bar and restaurant Hopleaf (WTTW News)

It’s been a solid eight months since government leaders in Chicago and Illinois began asking residents to limit their activities due to the coronavirus. A new round of that took effect in the city on Monday.

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(Photo by Iris Wang on Unsplash)

Since February, nearly 2.2 million women have left the workforce, according to the National Women’s Law Center. What’s behind what some have dubbed the “she-cession” — and what are the long-term implications of the exodus?

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Bethany Barbouti, left, and Jackie MacCartie opened Eco & the Flamingo this year in Lincoln Square. (Courtesy of Barbouti)

Starting a business during a pandemic sounds like a gamble, but it’s one that some intrepid entrepreneurs are willing to take. How they have adjusted their plans — and are moving forward.

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A cobbler in his mid-80s inspires a shoe repair dynasty that spans three generations.

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Jeri’s Grill in Lincoln Square is one of many restaurants in Chicago that have closed during the pandemic. (WTTW News)

Chicago officials say they’re trying to help small businesses survive what appears will be — as President-elect Joe Biden put it — a very dark winter.

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A 25-minute drive southwest of the Loop, the West Lawn community is home to many essential workers and has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the city.

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(Jürgen Polle / Pixabay)

A proposal from the Chicago Federation of Labor that union officials contend could save the city of Chicago between $195 million and $272 million will not avert a property tax hike and layoffs in 2021, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said Tuesday.

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West suburban Geneva has been under tightened coronavirus mitigations for nearly two weeks, with some business complying with the rules and others defying them, including serving diners indoors.

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A bartender mixes a drink at the Chicago restaurant 14 Parish. (WTTW News)

Struggling restaurants and bars would be able to apply for $10,000 grants from the city under the plan Mayor Lightfoot unveiled at a Thursday afternoon news conference.

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Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Thursday Sept. 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington about the CARES Act and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. (Drew Angerer / Pool via AP)

The Fed announced no new actions after its latest policy meeting but left the door open to provide further assistance in the coming months. 

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Illinois Sens. Sara Feigenholtz and Don DeWitte talk about the governor’s decision to halt indoor dining and bar service in regions where coronavirus rates are surging.

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Kenosha, Wisconsin, just over the Illinois border, became the epicenter of violent unrest this summer after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. A few months later, Kenosha is in the midst of early voting – and it’s a hotly contested county.

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(WTTW News)

Airline layoffs, travel bans, quarantine orders – it’s been a calamitous year for the travel and tourism industry. Chicago’s independent travel agencies, scattered in storefronts across the city’s neighborhoods, have been anything but immune.

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In this Sept. 2, 2020 file photo, a customer wears a face mask as they carry their order past a now hiring sign at an eatery in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Applications for unemployment aid fell 40,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said. They fell in 30 states, including big drops in California, Florida and Texas. But claims rose significantly in Arizona, Illinois and Michigan.