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Business

Garfield Park is a historic community located a short distance from Chicago's downtown area with available land for mid-sized developments, strong purchasing power and high population density.  We will continue to aggressively market the benefits of expansion to developers, retailers and entreprenuers.  

Business Development Objectives

  • RETENTION of our local businesses via direct services and capacity building workshops
  • REDEVELOPMENT of commercial properties and corridors via streetscaping, catalyst projects and remodeling grants 
  • REVITALIZATION of retail commerce via stronger business networks, attraction of national and regional retailers, and community marketing 

The GPCC’s strategic plan for the coming year is to work closely with existing and potential business owners to spur economic reinvestment in Garfield Park’s business corridors. The centerpiece of this plan is the Building a Better Kedzie program, which integrates technical assistance to local businesses with public safety and community building efforts that encourage connections between residents and local businesses.  

The GPCC began this effort in 2013 with the formation of the Garfield Park Business Alliance (GPBA) and leadership of several  beautification projects centered along the business corridor, including a mural at 111 N. Kedzie and island gardens, planters and hanging baskets.   Cleaning crews supported by the GPCC provide cleaning services on the Kedzie retail corridor throughout the year.   Renewal of the commercial areas of the neighborhood, which need attention after years of deteriorating infrastructure , is a a priority so that traveling the neighborhood is safer and more appealing. In 2014, the GPCC worked with the City of Chicago on a grant provided by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning to develop a "complete street" strategy along the Kedzie Avenue corridor.  Strategies focused on creating a more attractive neighborhood, increased access to CTA rail and bus facilities, and transformation of vacant and underutilized properties into more appealing locations for economic development.   Read the report prepared for CMAP on this process by clicking here.

To help inform business development planing, the GPCC has obtained extensive data, including information on resident buying habits, realities that affect the sustainability of businesses and the economics of the community.  A market assets study conducted by Metro Edge in 2010 noted that on an annual basis Garfield Park residents spend almost $100 million a year in ten retail categories. More than half (51%) of the annual spending is spent outside the community. These numbers indicate the importance of investment in viable local businesses and the need to build resident support during that process.

For more information or to obtain copies of community data sets listed below, please email GPCC Executive Director Mike Tomas at mike@gpcommunitycouncil.org

  • Community-wide demographics and trends 
  • Neighborhood asset information
  • Available lots, buildings and retail spaces
  • Buying power and retail leakage figures
  • Traffic counts for major streets
  • Average commercial space rental and purchase rates
  • Community tours and maps of historical sites 
  • Retail spending analysis

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