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The latest news and hot topics impacting our local south side communities.

PNC Grant to SECC Expands Small Business Access and Resources

Friday, September 30, 2016

PNC GRANT TO South East Chicago Commission EXPANDS


The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) announced a new $10,000 grant from PNC Community Development Banking through the PNC Foundation for its Business District Program.  The SECC is a City of Chicago Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC) and this funding will help provide technical assistance and build capacity of businesses within the SECC's five-community footprint on the mid-South side: Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, Washington Park and Woodlawn. This funding will enable the SECC to cover administrative and program costs to expand work with local small businesses to promote economic development.

PNC’s investment will help us reach more individuals and families and help them achieve financial stability through access to strong and vibrant business corridors,” said Wendy Walker Williams, SECC Executive Director.                   

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and we share SECC’s mission of creating an environment where small businesses can thrive and grow,” said Tony Smith, head of Community Development Banking for PNC Bank in Chicago. “This grant will help SECC to continue to attract new businesses to long underserved communities and enable new and aspiring businesses to flourish.”

SECC’s Business District Program activities include:

  • - Conducting business consultations with small businesses looking to start up or grow, help refer businesses to financial counseling, business planning, access to training and resources, and applying for City licenses and permits.
  • - Facilitating skills development for small businesses such as marketing City programs, arranging for local experts to speak at workshops, and hosting networking events.
  • - Providing economic development support in business corridors (e.g., helping to fill storefront vacancies and marketing TIF programs and projects.)
  • - Playing an active role in driving neighborhood safety efforts by convening small businesses and Chicago Police Department (CPD)/Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) representatives.

The South East Chicago Commission serves five footprint communities including Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, Washington Park and Woodlawn.  The SECC works diligently to deliver high quality programs, initiatives, events and engagements that improve the places and spaces we live, learn, work, and play. For more information, visit:

 The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture.

Please contact the South East Chicago Commission at 773-324-6926 or via email at to learn more about the Business District Program.