Economic Growth Takes Off in Corcoran

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Have you been by Imbue Yoga on 35th Street in the past few weeks? If you have, you’ll notice a freshly painted and revitalized storefront, funded in part by a matching grant from Corcoran for businesses that want to make small physical improvements. This grant is just one piece of a new committee focused on laying the groundwork for businesses to plant, seed, and grow in the neighborhood. I’m on the committee that’s helping with this effort. (And you should be too.) Here’s what we’re up to.

The group has developed a series of five strategies to carry out over the next two years. These are: Build relationships (community development corporations, business associations, stakeholders), recruit retail businesses for the new development rising on the corner of Lake and Hiawatha, solidify relationships with businesses already in Corcoran, increase community engagement and support of neighborhood businesses, and cultivate business success on the 23rd Avenue and 35th street node.

We also envision a neighborhood environment that nurtures entrepreneurial ideas no matter the economic level. With the help of the Neighborhood Development Center, 12 participants have recently completed a business-training program that is specifically targeted to low- and moderate-income residents who want to learn the skills needed to successfully start and operate their own business.

As a community that is already home to many businesses with roots in the community (notably the Farmer’s Market), we are uniquely positioned to be an incubator for business success. At our last committee meeting, a local artist came with the idea of starting a Corcoran Art Crawl. From this idea, to home-based business, to startups, to the farmers market, to the local Mercado, to a bricks and mortar storefront, all this is happening in Corcoran, right now.

Celebrate with us at CNO as our first business class graduates on Tuesday, July 12, from 6-8p.m., or join us at our next committee meeting on Thursday, July 21, 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization. 

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