Plant Chicago is piloting the first local circular economy network for small businesses. If your small business is looking to engage in the circular economy, read on!

Small Business Support

Plant Chicago’s Local Circular Economy Leaders Network is a support network for small businesses interested in working with and learning from each other to co-create and cultivate a local circular economy* in Chicago.

Network businesses are setting and working toward goals around energy & water management, food recovery & organic waste diversion, circular packaging, circular ingredient sourcing, local community involvement, and more! Stay tuned on Plant Chicago’s blog and social media sites to learn more about member businesses and what they’re working on in 2020.

The network is currently a pilot program, working only with small food businesses on Chicago’s southwest side. If your small business is interested in the local circular economy but doesn’t meet these exact criteria, you still have options!

Download our Local Circular Economy for Small Business toolkit here. If you’re interested in getting the toolkit as a printed booklet to use for your business or organization, or if you have questions or comments about the toolkit, please email

Contact us about a Local Circular Economy for Small Business workshop. Availability and pricing vary. Please email Liz Lyon, Plant Chicago’s Small Business and Circular Economy Manager, at to learn more!


*What is a local circular economy?

A local circular economy is a collaborative practice sustained by the local circulation of materials, nutrients, knowledge, and economic value. Values of equity, transparency, diversity, and inclusion define its success.

In a local circular economy, business activities should regenerate natural ecosystems, address the needs and aspirations of local community stakeholders, and increase human knowledge and capacity to sustain this new economy into the future.

Looking for more details on how businesses can participate in a local circular economy? See a more comprehensive list of circular economy-aligned business practices here.