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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today hosted a discussion on small business and neighborhood economic development with more than three-dozen local business and community leaders. The roundtable took place at the 70,000 square-foot LEED-certified facility of Cedar Concepts, the country’s first and only chemical manufacturing company owned by an African-American woman.
“I believe the City that Works must work for everyone, which is why it is important to bring together neighborhood leaders to talk about how to create good-paying jobs and unleash more economic opportunities in every part of our city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I look forward to working with communities all across the city to help every resident of Chicago participate in our city’s economic growth and make sure that no neighborhood is left behind.”
During the conversation, Mayor Emanuel spoke about his concept of Thrive Zones and asked participants for their ideas on how to best bring economic growth to neighborhoods in all corners of the city. Discussion topics ranged from industrial development opportunities on the far south side, to supporting local food businesses in Englewood and emphasized the need to support small businesses, address vacant lots and properties, invest in infrastructure and parks, and attract quality jobs in fields like manufacturing across the city.
Earlier today, the Chicago Tribune published an editorial by Mayor Emanuel providing the details of the Thrive Zones idea to attract jobs and investment to hard hit neighborhoods through a mix of incentives including reduced taxes and red tape and additional assistance with workforce development, capital improvements, and exporting. The event addressed ways in which this might be implemented and participants discussed this idea among others for increasing economic growth in communities throughout Chicago.