Advance Network

URW connects with small business owners at Chicago Concessions Symposium 

Chicago Department of Aviation hosts informational event for O’Hare opportunities 

Our mission is to be a catalyst for growth in our communities which is why we were eager to partner with the Chicago Department of Aviation on their O’Hare Airport Concessions Symposium where we gave small business owners dreaming of opening a shop at O’Hare some insight into what it takes to launch a business.  

More than 200 small business owners and local entrepreneurs attended the event in Chicago, where they had an opportunity to interact with our local URW team, network with key concessionaires, and receive information from CDA staff on the next steps. Attendees included restauranteurs, retailers, investors, suppliers, and other business professionals.  

Several government agencies also were on hand to guide entrepreneurs through the procurement and certification processes including becoming Airport Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certified. Master concessionaires also heard pitches from Chicago business leaders and provided insight into the process involved when opening an airport concession. 

ACDBE certification is a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) program designed to level the playing field for small businesses who wish to participate in contracting opportunities at airports.   

“It was very rewarding to meet so many energetic new business owners and local entrepreneurs throughout the event, “ said Sherain Thompson. “Through our Advance Network, we strive to introduce local, minority and women-owned businesses to the airport so we were honored to be a part of this symposium in conjunction with CDA. We are proud to support CDA on their efforts to increase diversity at the airport and look forward to the future at O’Hare.” 

Many of the participants who visited the URW table signed up for our Advance Network. The URW initiative supports diverse participation across our business, the airports industry, and the communities in which we operate. It is a catalyst for advancement and growth for people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and entrepreneurs and businesses from historically marginalized communities.  








With a global portfolio of premier consumer destinations–including airports, transit, and shopping centers—URW is uniquely positioned to help showcase brands at their best and connect local communities and organizations to our programs.