A Greater Chatham Initiative program

Our Impact

FoodLab 1.0 and 2.0


Cohort Members
0 %
Increased Employment
Community Partners
+ Awarded in Funding
New Websites Created
0 %
Increases in Revenue

Black-owned businesses are the foundation upon which the South Side of Chicago was built. When these businesses stay in the neighborhood, culture stays in the neighborhood. Strengthening community.


Our 2020 impact at a glance:

  • We served 16 food businesses on the Southside
  • Our businesses employed 179 employees
  • 100% of our businesses are led by Black founders
  • 93% PPP Applicants -To- Recipients ratio
  • FLC businesses accessed $1.75m in PPP & EIDL loans
  • The average wage at FLC businesses is $14.38/hr.


To achieve our vision where Black-owned business owners increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in their communities – in 2021, we’re building the right business ecosystem that can mitigate the effects of structure obstacles. We’re also investing in our team, bringing in the staffing, resources, and structure that can shape our work and add to our impact.


Lem’s Bar-B-Q, the oldest Black-owned barbecue restaurant in Chicago, has survived with a 70 year history powered by community and family. The takeout-only stand never had to close any part of the business due to the coronavirus restrictions, but did cut its hours, and found out they can make almost the same amount of money.