CHICAGO – Thanks to the advocacy of Senator Mike Simmons and the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE) program, the Rogers Park Business Alliance will see $99,000 in grant funding to finance economic recovery efforts sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RISE program reimburses the costs local governments and economic development organizations incur while expanding local economic recovery efforts. These costs include salaries, research, outreach, and expenses related to administering recovery efforts.

“The efforts of Rogers Park Business Alliance to soften the economic impacts of the pandemic are a key part of the overall work being led by the community and small business owners to ensure existing businesses succeed, and new businesses are positioned for success,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “As the son of a long-time Rogers Park salon owner, I know firsthand how beautifully diverse Rogers Park businesses are and what they do for the block and larger community. I know this economic recovery grant will help ensure those businesses can thrive and hold on during this tough economic climate and do so in a way that preserves the character of these commercial corridors without gentrification and displacement.”

RISE empowers local governments to create meaningful plans with a focus on specific initiatives and investments that support recovery from the pandemic. The grants funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will help improve the quality of life for community members by taking a comprehensive approach to economic development through supporting the local workforce, improving affordable housing options and more.

“We are grateful for the grant in the amount of $99K which will allow RPBA and the City of Evanston to work together to facilitate a highly inclusive planning process,” said Sandi Price, Executive Director of Rogers Park Business Alliance. “The outcome of the plan will showcase an equitable shared vision that will chart a future course and assure the long-term resiliency of the Howard Street commercial corridor and communities on both sides of Howard Street.”

“Rogers Park is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago, and Howard Street exemplifies that from Lake Michigan to Western Avenue in its storefronts,” said Simmons. “It will take intentionality in economic planning to ensure economic recovery efforts are done for existing businesses on the Howard Street corridor, many of whom are Black, African, Latinx, and Caribbean-owned.”

For more information about the RISE program or its allocation to Rogers Park Business Alliance, please visit the DCEO website.

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