CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The South Shore Chamber of Commerce––an organization focused on moving the South Shore community forward with effective programs that help strengthen local businesses, nonprofits and community-based initiatives––won a grant in a competition sponsored by Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) and organized by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago. The 2018 Neighborhood Change Seed Grant Awards were given out to winning applicants that participated in LISC Chicago’s Business District Leadership Network (BDLN) Program for innovative ideas that support community-based economic development in Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods.
As the grand-prize winner, the South Shore Chamber of Commerce will receive a $5,000 grant to help expand the South Shore Artisan Collective––a holiday seasonal pop-up retail space to showcase and support products and services from neighborhood businesses––to a year-round initiative with a more robust program for local artists and artisans.
“We’re thrilled to honor the South Shore Chamber as the grand-prize winner of this year’s neighborhood change grant competition. They’ve found a successful formula that works for their community, and we’re excited to help them expand it into something they can offer year round,” said Matt Kruse, head of social responsibility, Groupon. "We think all of the winning projects will go a long way to creating a vibrant atmosphere so businesses in these communities can thrive."
The winners of the 2018 Neighborhood Change Seed Grant Awards include:
Grand-Prize Winner ($5,000 grant)
- South Shore Chamber for the South Shore Artisan Collective – The collective will address several challenges in the South Shore community and surrounding areas. By curating a vacant retail space, they are reducing the blight along 71st Street. This will help drive traffic and buzz to the space, assist property owners with identifying viable businesses that add to the culture of the community and assist entrepreneurs with an opportunity to succeed with the assistance of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
Runner-up Winners ($2,500 grants)
- Edgewater Chamber of Commerce for The We All Live Here Photo Project – The photo project will help the Edgewater Chamber communicate the importance of art in the community. They anticipate over 10,000 people will be reached by the project at the "Edgefest Festival". Once the art project is installed in the commercial corridor the art project will help Edgewater affirm its identity by drawing attention to the wide-variety of people who live in Edgewater.
- DevCorp North dba Rogers Park Business Alliance for the "Vision Clark Street Plan" – The plan includes public art as the significant carrier of branding, marketing and beautification elements of the Clark Street commercial corridor. The planning process engaged the community at large and resulted in creating a plan that defines key goals of strengthening economic vitality in the corridor, which will be achieved through increased activity and enhanced physical conditions to attract and retain businesses and improve safety.
“We’re honored to have been chosen as the grand-prize winner and would like to thank Groupon and LISC for recognizing the positive changes that we’re bringing to our community,” said Tonya Trice, Executive Director of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. “The money from this grant will provide the necessary resources that will help us achieve our vision of transforming South Shore into a destination neighborhood, rich in culture with diverse businesses that will attract visitors from around the world as well as serve the needs of residents.”
LISC Chicago's BDLN Program brings non-profit, private and public sector leaders together to support training, education and capacity building to the growing field of commercial district practitioners in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Over the past three years, LISC Chicago trained approximately 50 community-based organizations on best practices in commercial corridor redevelopment and leadership development from across the City of Chicago through the BDLN Program.
“Congratulations to the 2018 winners – their ideas represent the unique characteristics of their neighborhoods and will ultimately help drive local economic development,” said Meghan Harte, executive director, LISC Chicago. “We are proud to partner with Groupon on the Business District Leadership Network Program and look forward to continuing our work with these business districts and others throughout the city to ensure our local businesses and commercial corridors are strong and vibrant across Chicago.”
About LISC Chicago
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago is the local office of the nation’s leading community development support organization, working in Chicago neighborhoods since 1980. With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. For more information visit, www.lisc.org/chicago.
LISC Chicago’s Business District Leadership Program is support by: Groupon; The Polk Bros. Foundation; PNC Bank; The City of Chicago, Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP); Associated Bank; and, Coro New York Neighborhood Leadership Center.
Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) is building the daily habit in local commerce, offering a vast mobile and online marketplace where people discover and save on amazing things to do, see, eat and buy. By enabling real-time commerce across local businesses, travel destinations, consumer products and live events, shoppers can find the best a city has to offer.
Groupon is redefining how small businesses attract and retain customers by providing them with customizable and scalable marketing tools and services to profitably grow their businesses.
To download Groupon’s top-rated mobile apps, visit www.groupon.com/mobile. To search for great deals or subscribe to Groupon’s emails, visit www.groupon.com. To learn more about the company’s merchant solutions and how to work with Groupon, visit www.groupon.com/merchant.