Thursday, April 20, 2017 || By Bridgette Chatman-Lewis || OPINION || @maywoodnews
“What does an economically segregated region look like? People living in affluent neighborhoods reap the benefits of good schools, low crime rates and access to public services while those priced out of those areas may have to travel further for access to services, work or school — if they can afford the trip at all,” according to CNN. “The result is the uneven distribution of wealth, which keeps poor neighborhoods poor and limits potential spillover effects of affluence.”
Recently it dawned on us that our firm may not be translating well in one of our adoptive communities: Maywood. As such we thought it important to let the public know why we do the work we’ve embarked on and how our work is related to wealth distribution.
Chatman Lewis Flaggs Group is a business strategy firm that focuses on economic growth initiatives and business turnaround strategies. We research and come up with innovative business models with strategic intent to grow the economy and communities at large.
We then hand off the plan to The Economic Growth Initiative, a nonprofit organization, to engage the community with transparent inclusion toward all economic growth plans.
The strategy is simple: Grow the area’s economic base, include the residents in the formative stages and work with youth to provide jobs and access to career paths that will be fulfilling and sustainable. This is all done in an effort to improve the lives of the underserved.
We accomplish our goals by partnering with some of the brightest minds in the market place to get the job done. We are laser focused when it comes to building up struggling communities such as Maywood.
We are not part of a government and remain apolitical. However, we reach out to government for support and understanding before we begin any work in hopes of growth, job creation and creating an aesthetic landscape in which the entire consumer trade area can participate.
What does that mean?
People within a five-mile radius of our consumer trade area will begin to shop and enjoy the amenities the town has to offer, including but not limited to housing, restaurants and entertainment. The village economy will then experience significant economic growth, which is often a key missing component in underserved areas.
How does this work?
By adding the much-needed goods and services the town lacks and including the residents in employment and service opportunities. Conformity to consumer needs in the trade area is also paramount to sustainable economic growth in underserved communities.
This is what has been offered by the initiative:
- A manufacturing plant to employ 150 people with a first right of refusal for residents of Maywood.
- A Quality Grocer installation. Five Pillar Program© – Holistic programs- Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Health and Fitness, Sports and Recreation, Career counseling for youth and the community at large.
- Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship classes.
It is important for the initiative to acknowledge Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins for her support of our firm’s growth initiatives for the Village of Maywood. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the community partners at the Global Business Center and the Maywood Public Library in allocating space for the Five Pillar Programs©.
Last, we’d like to thank the countless resident volunteers that work tirelessly to make the community a thriving one. We are simply in awe of, and most grateful for, the support.
Although it has been difficult to grasp the fact that a village that has been plagued with an anemic economy for decades continues to struggle economically, we are grateful for the mayor’s support and look forward to improving the local economy.
As we continue our works to ‘give back’ and deliver on our planned growth initiatives for the village, we welcome you to join our efforts and build up this struggling community.
How will we accomplish our goals?
With the resident’s support and our equity partners, we should be able to make several economic installations to improve and grow the local economy. We have published a survey: “How WE can improve Maywood” (March 2017).
Back in 2016, the survey was sampled across all four village zones (1-4). The people have stated what they desire and need and we listened. Whatever happens in the village affects the 24,100 people and how they live their lives.
This survey aligns with our firm’s research over the past five years. It is our goal to work with all who would like to see this village move forward and grow economically.
We especially welcome volunteers to join us and we are available to answer questions you may have.
You can read the survey results by clicking here. Contact the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org. VFP
Bridgette Chatman-Lewis is the founder of Chatman Lewis Consulting and the Economic Growth Initiative.