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Sneed exclusive: Mayor plans to clear road for small businesses

Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to make the path smoother for small businesses. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

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Snip. Snip.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is running with scissors.

Sneed has learned he plans to launch a task force to cut red tape stunting the growth of Chicago’s small businesses.

• To wit: The task force will be a first out-of-the box mayoral role for former U.S. Senate candidate Andrea Zopp, who will serve as co-chair with Business Affairs Commissioner Maria Guerra in an effort to cut the city’s unwieldy stranglehold on small business and job opportunities, according to a mayoral source.

“The mayor plans to take big steps for small business by cutting what gets in the way,” said a mayoral aide.

The announcement follows news last week the city launched a website that put all city license applications online for the first time.

Sneed hears the mayor also plans to announce a move that will reduce the number of days to issue sign permits for the city’s businesses by up to 80 percent, down from months to a few weeks.

The creation of the task force, which was sparked by the recent ridesharing brouhaha, will be mandated “to review the process for starting and operating a business and identifying unnecessary roadblocks,” the source said.

“It will also review the process of applying for a city job,” the aide said.

Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th), Emma Mitts (37th) and Pat O’Connor (40th) will also serve on the task force.

Top tip!

Sneed is told Hillary Clinton just penned in a morning rally in Springfield on Wednesday, before she heads to Chicago for a fundraiser at the North Shore home of Laura Ricketts.

OPINION

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Mercy, please . . .

A little mercy may be on its way for Bonnie Liltz, who was sentenced to four years in prison last May for the “mercy” killing of her disabled daughter, despite pleas for leniency from her family.

• To wit: Sneed has learned Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office will not stand in the way of Liltz being released on bond from the Logan County Correctional Center when her attorney files an appeal of her manslaughter sentence with the Illinois Appellate Court. Criminal Court Judge Noel Greenblatt, who sent her to prison, denied her appeal last week.

“We do not intend to file a motion objecting to her release on bond,” said a state’s attorney source.

• Backshot: Liltz, who has battled ovarian cancer and other serious illnesses, told the court she felt she needed to take the life of her 28-year-old severely disabled daughter, Courtney, in order to save it.

“If I am dying, what’s going to happen to Courtney?” said Liltz, who had botched a suicide attempt after drugging her daughter, a victim of cerebral palsy and severe cognitive defects, whom she adopted when she was five years old.

Despite the Cook County state’s attorney recommending four years of probation and mental health counseling, Liltz was given a prison sentence.

“This case has been wrenching,” said the source. “Liltz is so sick she may not make it through the appeal process.”

A Jarrett Jot . . .

Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s BFF and top White House Senior adviser, is telling everyone: “There’s no place like home.”

A hidden message, perhaps?

A move back to Chicago?

A mayoral mantle in her closet?

She and Mayor Emanuel were a don’t invitem item at the White House.

Stay tuned.

The Royal Hothouse . . .

Blimey! What’s a British tabloid reporter to do now that Prince Harry has been keeping his clothes on and doing good deeds, and nary a negative word spills forth on Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her hubby, Prince William?

Here’s what.

Focus on what is being dubbed the “Kensington Palace Love Triangle” involving Kate’s top “Girl Friday,”who just got dumped by Kate and William and Harry’s media adviser, who is hot and heavy with Prince Harry’s assistant — who has been described as a blonde bombshell.

Oh, gads!

I spy . . .

Actor Sean “Never Back Down” Faris and his fiancee dining on breakfast tacos at the Local Chicago; Chicago native/former NBA Detroit Piston and the WNBA’s New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer, spotted at Harry Caray’s in Rosemont on Thursday night.

Sneedlings . . .

Twitter twaddle: Searching for first daughter Sasha Obama’s Twitter account now that the nation’s first father just let the cat out of the bag? Why not? Everybody else is.

Saturday’s birthdays: Tom Hanks, 60; O.J. Simpson, 69, and Fred Savage, 40. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Antonio Brown, 28; Jessica Simpson, 36, and Adrian Grenier, 40.

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