COOK COUNTY – On December 3, 2020, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development announced a $1 million award to the Southland Development Authority to assist south suburban businesses impacted by the pandemic as part of the countys Covid-19 Recovery Small Business Assistance program. 

The Southland Development Authority quickly developed a robust program to meet the immediate needs of businesses during this challenging time, and we are thrilled to provide this support,” Preckwinkle said. Although only operating for a year, the Authoritys work illustrates that it provides effective and strategic support for the south suburbs of Cook County.” 

Ongoing efforts at the Southland Development Authority prioritize job creation, economic growth, community engagement, and workforce development and investment around the Southlands diverse communities, which have suffered historically from long standing disinvestment, which can be accentuated by difficult economic conditions faced during COVID-19. 

By offering highly specialized and locally sourced support to businesses and operations owned by people of color, companies in critical sectors to the region — such as food manufacturing and processing, metals, machinery and equipment and logistics — and providers of necessary amenities to our communities like restaurants and health centers, the Southland Development Authority is uniquely positioned to use this key funding to positively impact the region. 

Business owners throughout the Southland, from D.A.s Deli and Dining in Calumet City and Poppin Plates LLC in Park Forest, have already benefited from the tailored business growth services and consulting provided at no cost by the Southland Development Authority. 

For Fershawnda Green, the owner of Poppin Plates, a grant received through the help of the Southland Development Authority has helped the company expand, attract new clients to its test kitchen and food incubator and weather difficult conditions brought on by an unprecedented pandemic.

Working with the Southland Development Authority gives me exposure to reach more people and helps me stay in the know,” Green said.

Diane Williams, a Southland Development Authority board member and Village of Flossmoor trustee, explained that the nonprofit coalitions helpfulness has been highlighted by the make-or-break business conditions brought on by COVID-19. 

The pandemic highlights the way the Southland Development Authority can quickly meet the needs of businesses in the south suburbs,” Williams said. We are grateful for this support from the county and we will ensure that these funds help position our businesses for success in the years, not just months, to come.” 

About Southland Development Authority 

The Southland Development Authority is a nonprofit business organization launched in 2019 by business, civic, and political leaders from around the Southland who recognize the potential of the regions people, businesses, infrastructure, and real estate. The Authority brings the resources and capacity necessary to achieve transformative and inclusive economic growth for the region. It focuses on investment in industry, workforce, housing, and communities.

We work steadfastly to connect Southland business owners, investors, and individuals with key resources to operate and thrive in the region, from equipping mid-size and small businesses in our Business Growth services Program with customized advice and consulting services, to helping local residents access the tools needed to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With a deep institutional knowledge of the Southlands people, markets, and history and our multifaceted, experienced team, the Southland Development Authority is a powerful partner for any individual, business, or investor.

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