It’s not official just yet but Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce executive director Cathy Yen was surprised to learn last week that the chamber could be in line to get a one-time grant of $100,000.

Yen told Wednesday Journal that the Chamber requested assistance from the village in establishing back-office infrastructure and an online presence for 11 business districts in Oak Park and River Forest. That includes all the business districts outside the Downtown Oak Park (DTOP) Special Service Area along Lake Street.

Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb mentioned the grant during his talk before the Oak Park Business and Civic Council at the Carleton Hotel on May 5.

Yen said a data warehouse would contain contacts and information currently held by business owners on a volunteer basis. She said the grant will help create the database within the Chamber’s existing software.

“By creating this data warehouse, we’ll capture all the necessary data for efficient communications in a way that’s sustainable,” Yen said.

The one-time grant still must be approved by the Oak Park Board of Trustees.

— Tim Inklebarger

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