The National Main Street Center recently announced it has selected the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association (MPBHBA) to participate in its Chicago UrbanMain program.

The MPBHBA will receive technical assistance and capacity building to foster community-driven economic development in Beverly/Morgan Park. This work is made possible by support from Groupon.

UrbanMain, a program of the National Main Street Center, is designed to help restore economic vitality and promote quality of life for residents in under-resourced older and historic neighborhood commercial districts. The program utilizes community-driven economic development tools and services to bring sustainable growth back to these traditional neighborhood centers.

The UrbanMain Chicago team will work with the MPBHBA over 18 months to develop and implement community revitalization strategies.

“The Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association is honored and thrilled to work with the National Main Street Center and Groupon as part of its UrbanMain program,” said Caroline Connors, executive director of MPBHBA. “With the technical services offered by UrbanMain, we hope to build the capacity of the MPBHBA and create innovative strategies for increased economic growth and development in the community.”

For nearly 40 years, the MPBHBA has worked to support small businesses and strengthen the economic vitality of their commercial corridors. In collaboration with other businesses, community groups and elected officials, the MPBHBA has worked to create a more active local commerce destination for their neighbors in the city and suburbs.

However, the decline of brick-and-mortar retail businesses and increased competition from neighboring suburban municipalities have posed challenges for the community’s Western Avenue corridor.

The Beverly/Morgan Park UrbanMain program will focus on strengthening the Western Avenue corridor’s role as an economic engine for the community.

“This area is known for the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade once a year, but it also has a range of activities, diverse architecture and some great destinations,” said Dionne Baux, director of Urban Programs at the National Main Street Center.

“I want residents to feel like they don’t need to leave the neighborhood to access amenities. I was really impressed by the MPBHBA’s dedicated staff, business owners, residents, community organizations and political leaders who are willing to work collaboratively to make Beverly/Morgan Park a destination in Chicago, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”