Greater Chatham Initiative

Our mission is to strategically invest in the Chicago Communities of Chatham, Greater Grand Crossing, Avalon Park, and Auburn Gresham, so that they can re-emerge as communities of opportunities and choice.


The Greater Chatham Initiative was born from a comprehensive plan for economic growth and neighborhood vitality (The Plan). Our mission is to strategically invest (consistent with The Plan) in the Chicago communities of ChathamGreater Grand CrossingAvalon Park, and Auburn Gresham so they can re-emerge as communities of opportunity and choice. 

Historically, the Chatham neighborhood’s residential and economic stability has been both a beacon and an anchor for Chicago’s south side, which bodes well for Chicago as a whole.

In recent years, Greater Chatham has been confronting new challenges: the number of middle-income jobs in the US economy has shrunk, including middle-wage public sector jobs, with a disproportionate impact on the African-American middle class; the aftermath of the national foreclosure crisis is painfully evident in Greater Chatham’s “frozen” housing market; and the area is experiencing the in-migration of a lower-income, lower-skilled population looking for higher-quality housing options and better quality of life.

The Greater Chatham Initiative is an organization charged with developing and driving the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to revitalize the Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing neighborhoods on Chicago’s south side.

In 2016, our organization authored a plan to spearhead a new approach to integrated neighborhood and regional development, tailored to the assets, dynamics and economics of the new, 21st century economy.

Residents often identify not only with “Greater Chatham” or one of the four community areas but also with the many and varied “neighborhoods” within them, including West Chatham, Park Manor, Marynook and Chesterfield.

Services Provided

Accelerators and Incubators

  • Accelerator

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Feasibility Studies

Economic and Site Development

  • Revitalization
  • Site Location Assistance

Events and Community Building

  • Neighborhood Fairs and Festivals

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training
  • Real Estate Finance

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Apprenticeship
  • Workforce Incentives
  • Workforce Training

Libraries and Research

  • Business Research Resources

Management Issues

  • Leadership/Professional Development

Manufacturing, High Tech, Life Sciences Development

  • Manufacturing Development

Marketing and Sales

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Demographics/Census Data
  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Website Development


  • Peer Mentoring

Networking and Associations

  • Geographically Based
  • Industry Specific

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

  • Strategic Planning

Operations and Logistics

  • Quality Improvement (Supply Chain, Six Sigma)

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • African-American Business
  • City Business Issues
  • Women’s Business Issues


  • Coworking
  • Site Location Assistance

Technical Assistance

  • Website Development


  • Budget, Cash Flow and Financial Statements Training
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
Primary Contact
Nedra Fears
7822 S. Dobson Avenue
Lower Level
Chicagi, Il 60619
(773) 644-1451