A budget stalemate at the state government level has resulted in the elimination of 28 positions at Choose Chicago. The bureau’s president and CEO, Don Welsh, announced the cuts Oct. 9 as the failure of state legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner to reach agreement on a budget acceptable to both has frozen $7.2 million in funds.
The job cuts include layoffs of 15 full-time employees, nine part-time employees and four temporary staffers, represent a 26 percent reduction in headcount at the office to 78 employees, 70 of whom are full-time. Welsh also announced the closures of Choose Chicago’s offices in Mexico and Canada.
The state provides about 40 percent of Choose Chicago’s $30 million annual budget. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority contributes 30 percent, with the city funding and private donations making up the balance.