TINLEY PARK, IL [November 28, 2021] – In a significant advancement for community engagement in the South Chicago suburbs, the Southland Development Authority (SDA) announces the acquisition of a prestigious $750,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

This grant, to be distributed over three years, enables the SDA to further develop and enhance its community engagement system. This initiative aims to synergize residents, municipal development entities, and nonprofit and community-based organizations with economic activities and development efforts in the Southland area.

“The MacArthur grant will expand the Southland Development Authority’s ability to reach out to small businesses, manufacturing companies and municipalities in the Southland to spur collaboration aimed at rebuilding the Southland economic engine. The Southland has suffered from disinvestment for many years, the MacArthur grant will assist in SDA efforts to turn that around with vibrant companies, abundant job opportunities and quality places to live. Integral to this effort is our commitment to community engagement. We plan to involve local voices in shaping these developments, ensuring that our actions not only boost the economy but also resonate with the people who call the Southland home.” reported Bo Kemp, CEO of SDA.

SDA acknowledges the crucial role small, minority-owned businesses play in the Southland’s growth. It is committed to positively influencing their operations and long-term vitality through personalized consulting services. These services connect clients with industry experts and opportunities to expand their business reach.

SDA has employed Southland residents to boost the effectiveness of its Business Growth Services (BGS) team. This team specializes in offering tailored engagements and opportunities with established business leaders. It also provides assistance in business planning, operations, financial management, and other areas.

The team has been instrumental in connecting clients with unique opportunities to promote their products to new audiences. It has also supported retail businesses with marketing, operations optimization, business planning, and networking opportunities, significantly impacting the Southland region.

With the expansion of the community engagement system, the BGS team is set to increase SDA’s regional presence. It will continue to attract new clients throughout the Southland, from Blue Island to Chicago Heights. As more entities in the Southland become aware of the services offered by SDA and hear success stories from its partners, the region is expected to draw new partners, investors, and customers to its businesses and communities.

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 region’s people, businesses, and real estate. Our mission is to bring the resources and capacity needed to achieve transformative, inclusive economic growth for the south suburbs with a focus on investments in the Southland’s communities, industry, housing, and workforce. 

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 Southland’s people, markets, and history and our multifaceted, experienced team, the Southland Development Authority is a powerful partner for any individual, business, or investor.

About the MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.