Our Stories

10.30.2019 -

This Is What Closing the Skills Gap Can Look Like

Chicago, like so many cities in the U.S., has jobs that need filling, and would-be workers who need the skills to build careers. A must-read article from Chicago’s WBEZ dives deep into how community organizations like the Jane Addams Resource Corp, our longtime partner and manager of a LISC-backed Bridges to Career Opportunities program, connect people with the technical and soft skills needed to land, and grow in, good, 21st-century manufacturing jobs.

Starbucks Invests in Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Spirit, With Help from LISC

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.

Opportunity Zones Reality Check

Ensuring that Opportunity Zones investments benefit the people who live and work there was the crux of a recent roundtable led by LISC and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. An article on Medium.com by LISC’s George Ashton III and the Fed’s Adrian Franco describes the insights—and important takeaways—from community and economic development leaders on the front lines of helping stakeholders shape Opportunity Zone activity in their areas.

9.26.2019 -

Entrepreneurs of Color Fund Expands its Footprint in Chicago

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.

9.25.2019 -

The Beauty of Small Business, in Chicago’s Largest Latino Neighborhood

We continue our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and Latino entrepreneurship with the story of Lulu Medina, owner of Salon LaRouge in Chicago and a tireless advocate for emerging small businesses in her community.