A blueprint to honor urban businesses in “people’s collective memory”

City of Evanston planner Cade Sterling (left) and council member Claire Kelly (District 1) at the Legacy Business Planning meeting in September. 29 at the Civic Center. credit: Matt Simonette

City organizers and potential participants in the traditional business plan for September 9. The scope of the new initiative will be discussed at the Evanston Civic Centre on the 29th.

The program applies to both Celebrate and ensure long-term stability Established Evanston businesses and organizations, been discussed for several months. Community members can nominate possible traditional businesses Via Google Forms.

Owners and representatives from Bennison’s Bakery, Hecky’s Barbecue, Chiropractic First, Belgian Chocolatier Piron and Cahill Plumbing attended last week’s meeting to brainstorm ideas for the plan and determine the amount of allocation to be sought from the City’s Future Council.

City officials developing the group are: City Council Members Clare Kelly, District 1 and Melissa Wynne, District 3; Conservation Commissioners Carl Klein and Suzi Reinhold; Economic Development Manager Paul Zalmazek; and Urban Planner Cade Sterling. Kelly, Klein, Reinhold and Sterling all participated in September. 29 meetings.

“The business became part of the collective memory of Evanston,” Sterling said at the meeting. “…some people define a community by the business there.”

Sterling said the program is designed to celebrate Evanston’s long-standing business history and provide financial and/or strategic assistance to business owners who need it.

Kelly said the city has allocated $100,000 to start the program. Sterling said he believes the $500,000 grant over the next few years will be sufficient to provide financial assistance to five to 10 businesses as well as promotional services for other players.

Kelly said businesses will be encouraged to nominate themselves for the award. To be eligible for consideration, the business must have been in business for at least 20 years.

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