Diageo North America has committed to financially support recovery efforts for neighborhoods in the City of Chicago

Diageo has donated $2.5 million to help create more public space in underrepresented communities and small business areas disproportionately harmed by the pandemic.

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Rendering of community plaza in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, courtesy of Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago, in partnership with the City of Chicago, announced Diageo North America’s commitment of $2.5 million to support the City’s economic recovery plan. By improving public spaces for the communities to come together and safely socialize, the company will contribute to reactivate the vitality of the City and its economic engine.

Grant resources will be prioritized for neighborhoods with the greatest potential for tourism growth, and at least three-quarter of the funds will be spent on the South and West Sides of Chicago, with a focus on underrepresented communities and small business areas disproportionately harmed by the pandemic. Community-led place-based public way activations throughout the City have typically depended on an applicant’s capacity to fund proposed projects, and this grant will provide neighborhood organizations the financial assistance they require to implement their projects.

The funds donated by Diageo will be managed by Choose Chicago and dispersed independently through the non-profit neighborhood chambers of commerce for various projects intended to cover improvements for general outdoor public enjoyment, including traffic safety equipment, design costs (such as planters, lighting, umbrellas, architect and design planners fees), and surface treatments.

Proposals from neighborhood organizations to create public space on South and West sides will be accepted until April 15. Interested neighborhood organizations can find more information at www.chicagoalfresco.com