A small business community in Chicago continues to thrive amid all the impact of the Coronavirus.
Andersonville. Originally established as 19th-century enclave for Swedish American immigrants looking to resettle after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. This thriving small business community is located on Chicago’s North Side and registered as a national historic neighborhood. It has also been recently recognized as one of Chicago’s coolest neighborhoods, as most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods, and a prime example of a thriving modern brick-and-mortar small business community.
With approximately 300 businesses located within a 1.5-mile radius, Andersonville is typically always popping—from bustling boutiques and busy coffee shops, to old-school bars and new-school eateries. There are locally owned grocery stores and bakeries, indie art stores and bookstores, drag brunches and poetry readings, community fundraisers and a seasonal farmer’s market that feels more like a weekly street party.
So, how did this small business community thrive?
First, it was all hand-on deck!
"I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep small businesses open. If they close, it negatively impacts everyone. It does not help landlords to have empty storefronts, and it hurts our city to lose revenue. And most importantly, these businesses are the backbone of our community. We need to do everything we can to support them through this period.” Says Alderman Harry Osterman, whose 48th Ward jurisdiction includes much of the Andersonville business corridor as reported by Forbes.
Second, constant communication and strong sense of community unity.
Osterman continues to explain that they have all the necessary conversations and do whatever is needed to support the Andersonville small business community. “A big part of living in Andersonville is having great small businesses that hire local residents, support local initiatives, and donate to local non-profits. We are deeply linked in our community with the success of our businesses. We’re in it together. We really are.” Osterman adds.
Businesses are down, unemployment rates have gone up and there are more coming. It is getting more and more difficult as they days roll by like this, knowing a vaccine for this pandemic hasn’t been discovered yet, but stories like this give us hope that we indeed can get through all this. The question is, how will you thrive in your own little way while on waiting for this pandemic to end?
Share your stories with us, we’d love hear from you.
About the writer: Shaura Cuyan writes about all the hottest Real Estate trends and predictions for Summit VA Solutions! She has previously written for a number of freelancing gigs and writes her own blog on lifestyle and current issues. She is a Graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication, taking up her Masters in Development Communication.