Chicago - My Kind of Town
It may sound corny, but it's true - Chicago is my kind of town. It's also a lot of other people's kind of town. While it's far cheaper to live and work there than the west or east coast, that's not saying much.
Especially when it comes to business. The money grubbing Illinois government charges such a fortune in business taxes that many have gone screaming off to Wisconsin. Maybe that's why so many of their governors wind up in the slammer. Not that corruption doesn't exist everywhere, but Illinois enjoys the distinction of having the most of their fearless leaders in jail - to the tune of 4 of its last 7 governors!
But it's true what they say about the Midwest. When I was downtown once, I stood on a street struggling with a map. Someone walked up and instantly helped me. And no, it wasn't a vendor who wanted my money. Turns out, everyone was so helpful that I never did need to look at that map.
I could see that rents in commercial spaces anywhere in Chicago had skyrocketed. Despite the tax situation, many companies still need an office there because of its central location and business potential.
For new businesses, the best thing to do is get a virtual office. I got a nice space right on Wacker Drive overlooking the river for just $50 a month. So now I have a serious business address and when I need to take a meeting, I can get a private office for as little as $10 or a conference room for $15 in the same building!
Oh, and by the way. I tried the same experiment in L.A. and stood on a busy street with a map. Guess what happened? Not one single person stopped to help. I rest my case. So before you decide that the Windy City is too cold -- understand that it is also very cool. If you get a virtual office - you'll be able to afford a prestigious address in the hub of the Midwest - and that can't be bad!