STRATEGIES & PROJECTS
Business & Jobs Goal
We will support local businesses, attract new business, improve commercial corridors, and foster educational opportunities and job creation for residents.
Improve support for new and existing businesses
Increasing our local Small Business Improvement Funds (SBIF) through Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF) will provide more financial resources for small, locally owned businesses to make improvements to their stores and facades. Expanding the Belmont Central TIF west on Diversey Avenue will allow more of our local businesses to be served by the SBIF.
We will create a new Neighborhood Development Corporation to expand local business development and marketing. We will bring new resources to Belmont Cragin’s small businesses, focused on the particular needs of our local stores, services and restaurants. Additional efforts will include business networking programs targeted to small business owners to encourage peer-to-peer support and expanding resources for Latino-owned businesses.
Raise Belmont Cragin’s profile to attract new businesses and customers
Belmont Cragin will benefit from a higher retail profile. As one of this plan’s early-action projects, we asked local high school students to design a new streetscape banner to celebrate Belmont Cragin. More than 100 banners with the winning design, each sponsored by a local businesses or other institutions, now are located on all our major streets. Next, we will build new gateway signage welcoming visitors to our community at Grand and Narraganset and Grand and Armitage, with other options on Cicero at Diversey and Fullerton, as well.
To compete with strong retail districts in surrounding community areas, we will recruit new businesses with marketing sheets detailing the commercial strengths of the community, from residential buying power to high traffic counts.
Create new opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship for residents
Our residents need quality jobs in our community and more opportunities to launch their own businesses. Certainly attracting new businesses to Belmont Cragin will help provide more local jobs. We will also connect local businesses to local workers and youth looking for employment opportunities at new and existing companies.
A new entrepreneurship incubator will provide residents with resources and education to support their innovative ideas and empower them to develop locally owned businesses in their own backyard.
Improve our commercial corridors as a retail and dining environment
We can help existing companies and bring in new ones by making our business districts more inviting—improving the physical infrastructure and addressing public safety concerns. Physical enhancements to streetscapes, sidewalks and public spaces can include new pedestrian-scale street lighting, public art and safer pedestrian crossings. By bringing Divvy Bikes to Belmont Cragin we will increase foot tra c along our major corridors and o er another method of transportation to residents and visitors alike.
Busy streets are safer streets, and safer streets attract more shoppers—continuing to make them safer. Partnerships between the police, local store owners and other local stakeholders will incorporate pubic safety strategies into
the programs and projects that improve our commercial corridors.