Building Self-Reliance to Create Thriving Communities

Community Desk Chicago works with nonprofits, community developers and entrepreneurs on Chicago’s South and West sides to assemble the necessary capital, expertise and other resources to increase real estate development in their neighborhoods. We believe all Chicagoans deserve to live in healthy and holistic communities with access to jobs, education, housing, retail and other baseline amenities.

Small Business Growth

Many small businesses start out at home, in a shared space, or with short-term leases. Making the leap to purchasing a brick-and-mortar space can be overwhelming. Our Budgets and Bricks program supports small businesses in making that transition.

Neighborhood Revitalization

Local business districts in under-resourced areas often struggle to overcome blight while avoiding gentrification. Our CorridorLive! program works with local leaders to activate these properties with the services and amenities local residents desire.

Community Wealth Building

Owning commercial real estate is one of the best paths toward building wealth — but it’s out of reach for many individuals. We are working to implement shared ownership models that enable residents to overcome this barrier by pooling their resources.

Nonprofit Capacity Building

The nonprofits that best understand the community’s goals often have little to no experience in navigating real estate development projects. Our Neighborhood Developers Initiative provides coaching and technical support to fill this gap and build local capacity for future projects.

Projects Supported
Communities Served
Capital Raised
Capital Unlocked

“I grew up on the South Side. I’m opening my bakery in Avalon Park because I see the opportunity and believe small businesses can thrive.”

- Maya Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies

“Black entrepreneurs and small developers are often excluded from investment opportunities. The Desk advocates to change that.”

- Deon Lucas, E.G. Woode

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