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Mayor Johnson expressed his excitement for the program, saying, "Through the Small Business Storefront Activation Program, property owners will be able to build relationships with potential tenants, and entrepreneurs will have the ability to access pop-up spaces in prime locations and explore new markets. So we are extremely excited to expand this program that will drive growth in our neighborhoods by activating commercial spaces and supporting small businesses, which are part of the backbone of our city's economy."
The COVID-19 pandemic has left significant increases in commercial corridor vacancy rates across the City. Brick and mortar businesses that rely on foot traffic to drive sales were particularly affected as commercial corridors across the city saw major reductions in economic activity. The Small Business Storefront Activation Program seeks to provide rapid relief to small businesses by designing and implementing activations in vacant storefronts on commercial corridors.
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Kenneth J. Meyer, BACP Commissioner, said "As the post-pandemic economic recovery continues, we want to reinvigorate the interest in shopping local by activating storefronts in our neighborhoods. By continuing our efforts, we will help local entrepreneurs and property owners create vibrant commercial corridors that encourage Chicagoans to support local businesses."
The RFP grantees will negotiate short-term leases for move-in ready vacant storefronts, source local small businesses for storefront activations, manage preparation and operations for the space, provide ongoing support to small businesses operating pop-up stores, as well as assist them with business coaching.
The RFP submissions must be completed by October 13th 2023. Those interested can register for a pre-submittal conference taking place on October 3rd 2023 at 11:00 a.m CST which is optional but highly encouraged. For information about the RFP and pre-submittal conference visit Chicago.gov/BACPrecoveryplan or view it on City's eProcurement website under RFP #9649.
The Small Business Storefront Activation Program is part of The Chicago Recovery Plan which amplifies federal funding to create an equity-based investment strategy that catalyzes a sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic across all 77 neighborhoods of Chicago city investing holistically in communities hardest hit by pandemic supporting equitable economic recovery across city . To learn more about BACP's Recovery Plan efforts visit Chicago.gov/BACPRecoveryPlan
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