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South East Chicago Commission and Bank of America Renew Business Development Partnership

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

South East Chicago Commission and Bank of America Renew Business Development Partnership

CHICAGO (August 30, 2017) - The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) is delighted to announce a renewed grant partnership with Bank of America for SECC’s Business District Program for the third consecutive year. This funding will help the SECC, a City of Chicago Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC), provide technical assistance and build capacity of businesses through the Business District Program, within its five-community footprint on the mid-South Side: Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, and Washington Park.

“Bank of America’s investment will allow us to reach more individuals and families, helping them regain and maintain financial stability through access to strong and vibrant business corridors, which ultimately makes financial lives better in the Chicago area,” said SECC Executive Director Wendy Walker Williams.

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.
• Organizing Small Business Saturday events,
• 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).

The funding provided last year from Bank of America enabled the SECC to continue the work of the Business District Program by hosting five kick-off events for Small Business Saturday in November, focusing a spotlight on the nation-wide Shop Local Initiative. Shoppers were encouraged to “Follow the Beat of the Drum” alongside the SECC to various event locations where shoppers could listen and participate in live drumming from the Low End Theory Drum Ensemble, sample local fare from partnering restaurants, and enter to win gift certificates valued at $100 to spend at one of the five kick off event locations. SECC is already in the planning stages for Small Business Saturday 2018, which will be held this year on Saturday November 25, 2018.

About the South East Chicago Commission
The South East Chicago Commission is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works in collaboration with the University of Chicago and other institutions, businesses, and organizations to foster a spirit of community and to enhance the ongoing quality of life across the neighborhoods within its five-community footprint on the mid-South Side: Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, Washington Park and Woodlawn.

About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we help create around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships across sectors - including community and environmental advocate groups, as well as non-profits – in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.