CHICAGO (WLS) —

The city of Chicago just announced a big boost to 50 entrepreneurs for them to open businesses in certain neighborhoods, areas being called retail thrive zones.

Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer Andrea Zopp joined ABC7 News This Morning to talk about the new plan.

The city awarded about $5 million in grants to entrepreneurs and small business owners to help re-energize retail strips in neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides, so that the economic growth seen downtown is shared at the neighborhood level, Zopp said.

These economic centers in Austin, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Chatham, Englewood, South Shore, West Humboldt Park and West Pullman saw significant commercial activity in the past, but it died down over time.

This money is meant to help business owners expand and renovate their spaces, create new jobs, drive retail activity back to these areas and strengthen the entire neighborhood, Zopp said.
These businesses include neighborhood grocery stores, barber shops, restaurants, beauty supply stores and fashion…