Related Midwest, in collaboration with Magellan Development, Sterling Bay, Clayco, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and Chicagoland Association of General Contractors, announced the creation of a program to guarantee capital for minority- and women-owned businesses in the construction and professional services industries. This first-of-its kind cross-industry effort represents an innovative initiative to increase diversity and inclusion in the development and construction industry by breaking down barriers to capital for small businesses and providing financial and operation support services.
Through this effort, businesses that are awarded loans will also receive valuable mentorship and advisory services, such as management, technical, financial and contract procurement assistance, in addition to loan and bond packaging services provided by Related Midwest, Magellan Development and other sponsors. The loans, supported by CIBC, Chicago Neighborhood Initiative (CNI), Liberty Bank, Providence Bank & Trust and Wintrust Bank, are offered as lines of credit, feature competitive interest rates and will be awarded in various amounts depending on the scope and size of the small business.
“This fund represents the first time that so many industry partners have come together to pursue a common goal of activating the talent and business capacity that exists in our industry, but has been held back by a lack of access to capital,” said Don Biernacki, senior vice president of construction at Related Midwest. “I’m thrilled that major industry players are coming together to invest in small businesses and ensure that we do our part to create a more inclusive industry. Access to capital will increase these businesses’ ability to compete for valuable business opportunities, and we’re proud to invest in their success.”
“At Magellan, we’re constantly seeking new ways to collaborate with like-minded businesses to advance growth opportunities for minorities and underrepresented groups in the Chicago area,” said David Carlins, president of Magellan Development Group. “This Pilot Program enables local talent to receive the opportunities they deserve. We are thrilled to be included.”
On August 15th, Related Midwest and its industry partners hosted “Paving a Path to the Future,” a fundraising event to kick off the fund and announce the first seven loan recipients, which were all minority-owned businesses and included three women-owned businesses. The event raised more than $700,000 and brought together 600 people including small businesses, contractors, laborers and developers to network, partner and collaborate. Photos from the event are available here.
"Never before in our industry has there been an initiative that will have such a big impact on the landscape for women- and minority-owned businesses," said Don Finn, business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "This is the kind of opportunity that would normally be called 'once in a lifetime,' but we're going to make sure that it becomes more frequent for more small businesses here in Chicago, and that's what's so remarkable about it. IBEW is proud to be a sponsor."
“As Sterling Bay continues to expand its footprint in Chicago, we’re committed to increasing the number of job opportunities available to minority- and women-owned business owners who share this city with us,” said Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay. “We hope that this joint partnership we’ve forged to build a first-of-its-kind loan fund will set an example and help further the building industry’s progress in embracing diversity and inclusion in all facets of the business.”
“At Clayco, our team believes in creating opportunity to cause upward mobility for the entire Chicago community and is honored to be associated with such esteemed partners in this effort,” said Clayco CEO Bob Clark.
About Related Midwest:
Related Midwest, the Chicago office of Related Companies, is the preeminent developer of luxury condominium and rental homes, affordable housing communities and mixed-use properties in Chicago. Known for its architecturally significant, market-defining projects, including 500 Lake Shore Drive, OneEleven and Landmark West Loop, Related Midwest is also recognized for its progressive leadership in five-star property management, historic preservation, environmental sustainability and community hiring.
The company’s current projects include One Bennett Park, a Robert A.M. Stern Architects-designed ultra-luxury residential tower in Streeterville, with an adjacent park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; and Lathrop, a historic mixed-income riverfront community on the North Side. Related Midwest is also planning two of Chicago’s most anticipated developments: 400 Lake Shore Drive, located on the site of the former Chicago Spire project in Streeterville, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan; and The 78, a 62-acre, mixed-use neighborhood development — one of the largest real estate projects ever conceived in Chicago — that includes a half-mile of river frontage between the Loop and Chinatown. In the West Loop, the firm has proposed a luxury condominium tower at 900 W. Randolph St., in the neighborhood's Fulton Market District, as well as a mixed-use tower at 725 W. Randolph Street. To learn more, visit www.relatedmidwest.com.
Kiera S. Ellis