Tag Archives: Business

Berwyn Community Divided About Video Game Poker

By Natalie Rodriguez

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Years after video game poker was approved, Berwyn residents are still conflicted about the machines. Steve Wallon, longtime homeowner in Berwyn believes that video game poker damages the community.

“This hurts a community’s image, especially for Berwyn, by attracting a certain crowd that is not desirable to young families or new home buyers,” says Wallon.

Alderman Ted Polashek, who is currently running for mayor against incumbent Robert Lovero, said he feels the same way. According to Polashek, although there are ordinances for the signs, their presence still affects the community’s image.

“You’re selling Berwyn as a great community for your family and as you’re driving down you got some gambling casinos are really right next to each other,” said Polashek. “You got one down a hundred feet from another one, or two hundred feet from another one and they got neon signs in there blinking and it’s like Pottersville in some areas of town.” Continue reading

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Berwyn business is booming

Existing businesses are improving and new businesses are opening all across Berwyn. In August, Mayor Lovero said  business development would be something to keep an eye on in Berwyn, and he was right.

“There were approximately 50 businesses that opened in 2013,” said Business and Licensing Supervisor Anthony Perri. 

This success can be attributed to business assistance provided by Berwyn Development Corp. Total investment in TIF areas, including Roosevelt Road, Harlem and Cermak, Odgen Avenue and the Depot District, rose from $4,135,141.74 in 2007 to $8,330,957.23 in 2012, according to Development Executive Director Anthony Griffin.

“There is a comprehensive approach set by the city of Berwyn that allows business to start up and improve,” said Griffin.

Berwyn Development Corp. has a number of programs and services to help with improving commercial areas and stimulating business growth, including TIF financing, commercial loans, micoloans, site location assistance, and technical assistance. 

“There have been more restaurants opening, giving Berwyn a more diverse food culture,” said Berwyn resident Iridian Hernandez. “It’s also good that Berwyn has more places to shop, and hopefully that will attract more young people to the community.”

“We take great pride in helping existing business adapt to new trends and helping new businesses open,” said Griffin.

All of the projects completed in 2012 include Meijer, Big Guys Sausages, Wing Boss, The Vitamin Shoppe, Verizon, Play N Trade, Off the Traxx, Karasek Park, J.D. Byrider, Lou’s Pizza and Beef, Collision Centers of America, Start the Party, Capri Ristorante & Catering, Bounce Sportsplex, Reel Art, Riddles Comedy Club and Chipotle.

For updated information on current and completed projects, visit http://www.berwyn.net/economic-development.

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Berwyn’s Microloan Program waiting to be used, but that’s not stopping business development

By Lauren Reiniger

Berwyn’s Microloan Program was approved by Berwyn City Council on May 28, became available Aug. 1, but has yet to be used.

“We are continuing to talk to a handful businesses about the program, but none have the reached the point of a submitted application,” said Anthony Griffin, Berwyn Development Corporation executive director.

The program, designed to promote growth and business in Berwyn, provides loans between $1,000 and $10,000 for start-up and established businesses.

Although the Microloan Program is still waiting to be put into action, Berwyn’s business development is still in progress.

“We have processed a handful of TIF and loan applications this year. We are also busy working on infrastructure improvements in the Depot and land acquisition for future development opportunities,” said Griffin.

To date, the businesses in the Depot that have completed TIFs include Reel Art (commercial), Off the Traxx (restaraunt), and Riddles Comedy Club (commercial).

More information about Berwyn’s Microloan Program can be found at http://www.berwyn.net/business-assistance/mircroloan.

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SCORE to offer help for local businesses

By Anthony Garcia

Starting up a new business isn’t easy, with customer service, marketing and dozens of other tasks. But Berwyn startups now have help.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., SCORE, a Chicago resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration will be offering free business counseling to anyone interested.

SCORE will offer a variety of tips including how to begin a plan of attack for startup businesses and offer help to existing businesses seeking to further grow and expand. SCORE will also give feedback to people who want to showcase product or service. Continue reading

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