Nearly seventy people attended our Fall Gala at the Hideout in a strong show of support for North Branch Works’ mission of advocating for small, industrial, and manufacturing businesses.
Following live music entertainment by the Lawrence Peters Outfit, our program featured dynamic remarks from Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward), and Ald. Michele Smith (43rd Ward).
Ald. Waguespack highlighted the valuable role North Branch Works has played in protecting land zoned for manufacturing and industrial uses.
Our work positions the city to attract new companies that create head-of-house hold jobs that don’t require advanced degrees and builds wealth in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
In his remarks, Ald. Burnett talked about how North Branch Works serves an important voice for businesses and neighborhood stakeholders within our service area.
He joked that our staff is relentless in pushing him and the City of Chicago to complete infrastructure improvements that benefit businesses and strengthen economic development. As an example, Ald. Burnett pointed to the recent filling of potholes on N North Branch Street on Goose Island.
We are especially grateful to Ald. Waguespack, Ald. Burnett, and Ald. Smith for attending and speaking at the Fall Gala. Our ability to carry out our mission depends upon having strong, thoughtful, and informed leaders like them.
And our Executive Director, Jonathan Snyder, delivered remarks celebrating our accomplishments this year.
They include helping bring in nearly $1 million in grants to businesses through state and city programs, carrying out 800 consultations with over 200 businesses, and helping seniors remain in their homes by upgrading them through our Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors Program.
In addition, Tammy Phillips, President and CEO of Howe Corporation, spoke about the importance of workforce development funding. Howe Corporation is a fourth-generation, woman-owned business that manufactures essential refrigeration equipment in the Elston Avenue Industrial Corridor.
During the pandemic, Tammy shared that Howe Corporation relied upon the City of Chicago’s TIFWorks and TIF 50/50 to bring on much-needed staff in jobs that pay living wages.
Following Tammy, we heard from Ken Meyer, Acting Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). Acting Commissioner Meyer discussed the essential role that city delegate agencies have played in delivering support services to businesses during COVID-19.
Indeed, North Branch Works is honored to have recently received a grant from BACP’s COVID-19 Small Business Support Program and excited about how it will help us serve more businesses.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the Fall Gala as well as Tim and Katie Tuten of the Hideout for hosting and Calihan Catering for providing mouth-watering food and desserts.
North Branch Works will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2022. Stay tuned for more events and opportunities to support our service area as a great place to work and do business.