Saturday, October 17, 2009

'Black Wall Street' hit hard by sewer project

When Stephanie Hart was frustrated that a massive construction project outside her Brown Sugar Bakery was devastating to her business, her fans on Facebook turned out to be saviors for her South Side store.

"I told the Facebook fans my plight, and they responded," Hart said of her shop at 328 E. 75th, which is famous for its caramel cakes. "When I would say, 'This construction project is killing me,' many of the fans would come in. It was encouraging."

That extra business drummed up through the social media Web site, in part, helped Hart endure during the $1.5 million sewer-line replacement project that is scheduled to wrap up Friday.

But those businesses on 75th Street -- between State and Cottage Grove in the Grand Crossing neighborhood -- were hit extremely hard by the sewer-line prep work, which started in late July. Street parking was eliminated during the project, and even water service was cut off at one point, business owners said.

Hart said her bakery lost 30 percent of its revenues the first week after the city closed 75th. Business dropped 75 percent by the third week of the project. She is only now seeing business come back -- but slowly.
Read the whole thing. Read about the Black Wall Street project and what their involvement could mean for 75th Street's "Renaissance Row". In addition to the actions of BERA (Business and Economic Revitalization Association) and Ald. Lyle to help the businesses on 75th Street during this difficult time of sewer repairs.

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