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Program to boost Chicago jobs

Posted on March 22, 2015

The expansion of Chicago Anchors will boost Chicago jobs and small business revenue.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and World Business Chicago are expanding the Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) program to encourage Chicago’s leading institutions to support local small businesses growth in their neighborhoods.

The small businesses that participated in the CASE program saw an average increase in revenue of $804,000. CASE has the potential to drive up to $80 million in additional revenue to neighborhood small businesses and create nearly 250 full-time and 125 part-time jobs annually. The expansion will increase the number of committed institutions from 11 to at least 20 and double the number of small businesses helped.

Large institutions like hospitals, universities, cultural institutions and corporations spend billions annually on contracts and procurement.

Mayor Emanuel and President Preckwinkle launched CASE in March 2014 as a way to encourage these institutions to create jobs and economic opportunities in their neighborhoods.

This aligns with other programs Mayor Emanuel has launched, such as the Whole Foods workshops which are supporting small business growth across Englewood, as well as the Built in Cook Loan program, started under President Preckwinkle in 2013, which offers financial assistance to small businesses located in Cook County.

Mayor Emanuel has implemented a number of programs focused on spurring small business growth in neighborhoods across Chicago and ensuring that large institutions support small businesses in the neighborhoods that they serve. Examples of this include Whole Foods Englewood where approximately 150 small businesses participated in workshops to help them become Whole Foods suppliers. Whole Foods has committed to having at least 25 neighborhood businesses sell their product in the Englewood store; and the rebuilding of the Red Line’s South Branch which has created more than 1,500 jobs.

“The CASE program is revolutionary, in that it gives our local businesses an opportunity to work with each other. We may not be national in scope or have fancy marketing, but local businesses can provide even better service to our anchor institutions. Chicagoans should be doing business together, and this program helps facilitate that,” said Jackie Dyess of Inter City Supply.

“Our neighborhood assets play a major role in regional economic development. Anchor institutions spend billions a year on contracting and procurement of goods and services. CASE opens this door so that anchors can focus their spending on goods and services offered by local businesses. Given an anchor’s purchasing power, even a small shift can make a large impact,” said Nitika Nautiyal, CASE Executive Director.