Belia Rodriguez for 49th Ward

Local Economy

El Sabor Poblano - Rachel Bires

We are fortunate in Rogers Park that our local economy is mostly made up of independently owned businesses, which means most of the money spent in Rogers Park stays here to help our community grow and thrive. While we want to draw new businesses into the community, we also want to support entrepreneurship and nurture new business owners from within Rogers Park. There are a number of things we can do to help create a vibrant economic corridor that stays true to the spirit of Rogers Park.

Entrepreneurship has been the force that has allowed me to truly be the master of my own life. It has afforded me a freedom that I could never have working for someone else.

Belia Rodriguez

What Can We Do?

Rogers Park has many talented people living within its boundaries. There is an endless supply of people with dreams to open their own business. Let’s help make those dreams come true. 

  • Work with commercial realtors to draw in new businesses that would be a good fit for the community.
  • Support opportunities for entrepreneurship:
    • a shared commercial kitchen space
    • a galleria that can offer retail spaces to craftspeople and artists
  • Promote job training and apprenticeships with local businesses:
    • Electrical & HVAC training with Tesla Training Center
    • Stylists education and licensing with Legacy Barber College
    • Entry-level construction training
    • Controlled Environment Agriculture (i.e., vertical farming)
  • Support and work with economic development organizations
    • Support economic development plans
    • Partner closely to ensure plans can be achieved
    • Secure additional funding sources from city and state governments
  • Support responsible development that is mixed use and balanced
    • Augment market-rate housing to add more customers with expendable income
    • Advocate for new development with commercial spaces that are built for economic demand, such as restaurant infrastructure
  • Promote Rogers Park at the city level, including marketing the positive aspects of Rogers Park, drawing in local press to highlight our community, and advocating for more positive programs.

A vibrant local economy does not happen without a concerted effort between residents, local and city leadership, and neighborhood stakeholders, like property owners, economic development organizations and committed volunteers. We can grow Rogers Park from within.

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B49 Pride