Did you hear what’s brewing in Chicago? Starbucks Coffee Company announced a $10 million investment to drive economic opportunity in the city’s underserved communities. The funds, which are slated to help finance more than 500 loans to support small businesses and create jobs, will be disbursed among four community lenders with expertise in those neighborhoods, and LISC Chicago is one. The investment “will deliver clear benefits to residents, while making our neighborhoods safer and stronger,” said LISC Chicago ED Meghan Harte.
As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, we checked in with Sandra Flores, owner of Azukar Coffee, a small business percolating on the South Side of Phoenix that shows just how important a local gathering place can be to a neighborhood.
The deputy director of economic development for PathStone Corporation and a LISC Rubinger Fellow, Javier E. Zapata-Rodríguez has an insider's view on how the fallout from hurricane Maria has shaped economic development in Puerto Rico, the imperative of supporting small business on the island, and how Puerto Ricans have galvanized to build resiliency for themselves, two years after the megastorm made landfall.
We are shining a spotlight on Detroit's nearly 100-year-old Mexicantown neighborhood, where residents and entrepreneurs who trace their roots to Mexico and other parts of Latin America have kept culture and small business alive and well through the city's highs and lows. (Top: Mural by Mexican-American artist Victor "Marka27" Quiñones; photo by Erik Howard, courtesy Detroit Metro Times)
JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank announced on Wednesday that it will invest $9.1 million in minority-owned small businesses in Chicago neighborhood through its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund. LISC will continue to guide program mentorship, alongside our partner Acción Chicago. LISC senior director Steve Hall emphasized how the fund can help transform communities and forge opportunity: “It’s important for safety. It’s important for quality of life. And it really impacts the youth of those neighborhoods," he said.