The adaptive reuse of the 18,000 sq. ft. Illinois Alcohol Company Building into the new home and expansion of an established small business incubator, West Side Bazaar. The move will allow the incubator to support 60% more businesses annually, from 15 to 24 tenants and provide access to commercial goods and services for over 120,000 customers annually. The space will also become a community hub providing affordable conference rooms and event space for community events, such as family receptions and non-profit functions.
- Provide a business anchor on the West Side, creating equitable paths to entrepreneurship and business ownership;
- Provide minority and women-owned enterprises with life-changing capital in dollar ranges not offered by any other community development financial institution in Western New York;
- Support businesses being incubated through WEDI programming and provide crucial wrap-around services to support businesses to sustain and grow;
- Enable emerging entrepreneurs from ethnic and racial minority communities to open small businesses and create jobs in their neighborhoods and communities;
- Create equitable and inclusive development, combating gentrification/displacement – planting a stake in the ground for grassroots development in the community;
- Attract surrounding neighborhood residents and tourists to patronize businesses led by minorities, women, and low-income business owners, creating a ripple effect and spreading the economic benefits in the community – advancing and creating self-sufficiency;
- Provide MWBEs with transformative financial credit, eventually allowing them to borrow greater sums of capital from larger CDFIs and then banks.