Last week at the Roscoe uniform services company an exciting event took place where over 40 companies came together in the spirit of networking and in the effort to raise awareness and membership of the Lawndale Business Renaissance Association or LBRA. LBRA was started at the beginning of this year with the efforts of Bernard Jennings with the mission to revitalize businesses in the once vibrant and robust Lawndale community. In the words of the organization, “The focus of the organization is to bring new businesses to the area and the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Through this focus existing and new jobs will be created making the overall community healthier. This task will be accomplished through the use of city, county, state and federal programs and incentives.”
As of today, there are 35 member companies (and growing) with a combined $1B in annual aggregate gross sales and over 6,000 employed individuals. That’s a lot of bang! The Chicago mat company has resided in the Lawndale community since 1926 and is highly invested in its well-being. Therefore, we are proud to be involved, (President Jim Buik is Chairman of LBRA) in such a worthy organization; one where family businesses have a place to meet, connect, build relationships and create a network of trust.
Jennings stated that LBRA was brought together by businesses themselves, supporting each other and focusing on their wants and needs as part of the business community. This united front provided a collectively larger and stronger voice. This was highly beneficial in securing a 501C(3) status as a nonprofit organization. The event held at the uniform rental company last week was also to present Congressman Danny Davis the “Business Community Service Award” for his crucial role in helping LBRA secure nonprofit status.
The work of the Executive Committee in helping start the organization has awarded them the “Donald Buik/Sam Flowers Visionary Award” for their hard work. Tom Glass, Eric Lindsay, Gary Birnbaum and Jim Buik will all receive this award named, in part, for Donald Buik who was a champion of LBRA’s predecessor. It has now come full circle with the uniform services President and son Jim Buik continuing this important work for businesses in the Lawndale community. Jennings is also presenting the “Volunteer of the Year” award to wife Valerie Jennings for her efforts and involvement with LBRA.
In the coming year, Jennings wishes to continue the work started this year with continuous growth and retention of businesses leading to more job creation and, in effect, improving the economic picture of the Lawndale community. If you are interested in joining LBRA, the organization wholeheartedly welcomes new members and those who want to support its mission. It provides business assistance in the following areas:
- Site Selection
- Business License issues
- City services
- Business Certifications
- SBIF- Small business Improvement Fund
- Streamline TIF
- Real Estate Tax Abatement
- New Market Tax Credit
- TIF Works
- Employee Tax Credits
- Participation loans
- Industrial Revenue Bonds
- Enterprise Zone Incentives
- Empowerment Zone
- Foreign Trade
Contact the Chicago Uniform Company if you want to learn more about our involvement in the organization or would like to do business with a company invested in its local community.