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Thriving commercial corridors support local communities across Chicago and Cook County.  Prior to the pandemic, however, many corridors struggled.  As Chicago emerges from the pandemic and local communities confront a new economic landscape, a strong coalition of stakeholders is needed to advocate for policies and initiatives which will revitalize, empower and connect commercial corridors and neighborhoods.

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Words From Our Partners

For me, being a member of BSM and a part of this coalition, it hits everything that we’re searching for in our organization. Economic development is one of the key problems in our underserved communities. We all ride past blocks of vacant storefronts that could be useful in our communities if the right business was there.

 - Danielle Petty, Founder & CEO, L.T. Consultants, LLC, Secretary, BSM

 The fastest way to stop a bullet is a job, and so if we want these businesses to be in our communities and to hire our boys from the community, we have to make sure that they are able to be in our community. 

-Sydnie Monegan, Sgt At Arms, BSM

I’m from the community. I understand the issues. I’ve survived a lot of obstacles. I’m blessed to be a success story, and I owe to the community to give back and do whatever I can to make it better, so that’s why I wanted to be part of this.

-Michael Bempah, President, BSM

... I had lived in DC; I’ve lived in New York, and I’ve seen this shift of gentrification, aka urban renewal aka suburbanization, happen, and personally, I come from the West Side. I come from the West Side and I come from seeing it all, being a part of it, and the reality that the opportunities that exist are endless when we create them. 

-Shantae Edwards, VP, BSM

“It was imperative to join the Neighborhood Revitalization Coalition, as we understand that this is a collaborative city-wide effort. We hope that this partnership allows us to create stronger relationships with our property owners, so we can help address this issue together.”

 

- Nilda Esparza, Executive Director, Logan Square Chamber of Commerce

“When I think about small businesses on the south side, I think about how eager and energetic businesses are to find a commercial space and how many vacant properties that are vacant, that could be filled with that new energy.”

 

- Diane Burnham, Executive Director South East Chicago Commission

“Reducing the number of vacant storefronts in local neighborhoods is important, because vacant properties in commercial corridors reduce foot traffic which further reduce sales opportunities for existing businesses.”

 

- Felicia Slaton-Young, Executive Director, Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce

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