Restoring Community Based Businesses:
- This program initiated by the Community Council in 2009 was designed to bring back locally based community businesses to Evanston. This is being achieved and will continue through the partnerships of members in and outside the community. A few of the most recent business additions include: Keystone Parke Building, Evanston Recreation Center renovation in 2010, Flavor of Arts Studio, Community Blend—a coffee co-operative—and coming soon Kings Experiential Learning Center—revitalizing the legacy of the original King Studio.
- The success measure will be 100% of the Northern Business District between Dana Avenue and the Five Points area being completely occupied with at least 40% of the businesses owned and operated by African Americans and/or Evanston residents by 2018.
Most recently, Evanston’s first worker-owner cooperative, Community Blend Café, which is “Brewing Coffee and Social Change at the Corner of Montgomery Rd. and Brewster Ave.” This cafe will provide local jobs to residents at a living wage, a third-place for residents and Cincinnatians alike to meet and congregate. The cafe will serve hot and cold coffee and teas as well as breakfast items, handmade sandwiches, salads and soups all at an affordable price—all of which was not previously offered in the community. This project is the result of collaboration with Interfaith Business Builders (IBB) under the leadership of Ray West. Evanston Community Council president, Anzora Adkins, has worked diligently with the IBB board as well as the worker-owners of Community Blend. The Evanston Employment Resource Connection has served as a business incubator while renovations of Community Blend were completed.
For more information on Evanston’s Neighborhood Business District Association and/or to get involved, please contact Evanston Community Council’s mainline at 513-281-2775.