South East Chicago Commission (SECC), with presenting sponsor The Allstate Foundation, will host its 5th annual regional economic development symposium focusing on economic growth and prosperity of small businesses.

The business community continues to face a variety of challenges from inflation and rent increases to concerns about supply chains, the labor market and public safety.

The 2023 SECC Southside Connection Symposium focused on opportunities for business development, changes in the local marketplace, and investments in regional commercial corridors.

Chicago entrepreneurs, business executives, property owners, investors, practitioners and policy leaders attended the Symposium at The DuSable Museum.   PRESS RELEASE #seccsymposium2023

Meet and Greet

The 20223 SECC Southside Connection Symposium began with casual meet and greet networking and a light continental breakfast provided by Nicole Jordan Catering to jumpstart the day.

Keynote Conversation

Owning and operating a business takes strategy, planning and management BUT to truly grow your business, it takes VISION. Attendees were invited to look beyond their current business stage and listen to two entrepreneurs that grew from start up to multi-million dollar businesses. 

This year’s keynote conversation “Pathways to a Multi-Million Dollar Business,” featured Kim Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder, CurlMix and Marc Brooks, CEO & Founder, Hyde Park Hospitality. who unveiled a practical roadmap to grow business from startup to market leader making critical decisions and overcoming complicated challenges as a owner.

Executive Leadership Panel

Are you ready to take it to the next level? Attendees were invited to explore and discover time-tested business and marketing frameworks to help maximize their business potential and profitability. Experts shared insider tips and practical steps for businesses of any level to help them scale and grow!

Following the keynote, the executive leadership panel presented, “Fundamentals Needed to Scale Your Business,” focusing on how companies position their brand to access capital and essential resources for their business to succeed. Kenya Merritt, Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago moderated the engagement featuring, Daryl Newell, SVP, Community Development Banking Market Manager, PNC Bank, Terrand Smith, Founder and CEO, 37 Oaks and Dr. C. Adam Callery, Managing Director, Sagesse Lumier.

Expected Attendance
Business Districts
1 +

Special Thanks To This Year's Sponsors

SECC is a Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC) granted by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.  As an NBDC delegate agency, SECC provides assistance in the development of small businesses in Chicago, serves as liaison between local businesses and the City of Chicago, and delivers local business development services.