So Long Kickstarter, South Side Projects Can Now Get Neighborhood Investors 

June 27, 2016
Sam Cholke

GRAND BOULEVARD — The developer trying to revive the Forum has decided crowd-funding won’t work for redevelopment projects on the South Side, and is now relying on changes to federal regulations to fund the project.

Bernard Loyd has spent five years trying to fund the revival of the Forum building at 318 E. 43rd St. and is now looking to a breed of small investors newly on the scene to help him move forward.

Loyd saved the 119-year-old building right before it was about to be demolished in 2011, and has struggled to cobble together enough donations, investments and tax subsidies to get his $25 million vision of a community hub with art and performance spaces, a coffee shop and other small retail shops. 

Where other bold visions would turn to Kickstarter or another crowd-funding platform to rally lots of small donations to get the project started, Loyd said it’s not a realistic option for projects like his.



Urban Juncture Capitalizes on New Crowdfunding Law for Bronzeville Businesses 

June 8, 2016
Karis Hustad

Bernard Loyd has always wanted Urban Juncture, his Bronzeville-based culinary incubator and theater space, to be an organization for the community, by the community.

So when the JOBS Act crowdfunding laws, which state anyone can invest in a business through equity crowdfunding portals, went into place May 16, he was among the first to launch a campaign for people to invest in Urban Juncture.

Community projects at Urban...

"Previously you had to be rich to make an investment in a startup company," he said. "The reality in our community is that the vast majority of folks don’t fit into that category."

With equity crowdfunding, however, "anyone can invest," he said. "We can now do it online and reach an audience that we never before could have reached," he added.

Urban Juncture was selected as one of 20 featured crowdfunding projects to launch on Wefunder, a Y Combinator-backed crowdfunding portal that recently went on an 11 city tour searching for projects for their site. As a selected project, Urban Juncture received additional mentorship and resources from Wefunder, as well as help developingUrban Juncture's project site.

Initially Urban Juncture is seeking to raise $100,000 to fund renovations on The Forum, an abandoned theater on 43rd street in Bronzeville that was once a center for social, political, and civic events. Loyd wants to see its purpose as a center for community engagement on the south side restored.


Invest in Urban Juncture

Bronzeville Jerk Shack is Serving Chicago's Very Best Jerk Chicken 

March 7, 2016
Michael Nagrant

It will probably be a few years before we really know if Kanye West is a misunderstood genius or certifiably crazy. What I do know—or at least have on good authority—is that despite evidence against it, West is a nice guy. “I know there’s a lot going on and people think Kanye’s gone off, but when I cooked for him on the Yeezus tour, he was the nicest guy ever,” said Pierre Johnson, executive chef of Bronzeville Jerk Shack.

As a former Live Nation concert chef, Johnson also went on tour with the likes of Macklemore and One Direction. The Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, who grew up in Bronzeville and attended Dunbar High School, found his current occupation through an odd twist of fate while touring with 1D in 2014.



State Launching Initiative Aimed at Helping Minority Entrepreneurs 

January 19, 2016
Mike Krausner

The state is launching a new initiative this spring,at little taxpayer cost, to create more opportunities for minority entrepreneurs starting in three cities, reports WBBM’s Mike Krauser. 

CBS logo.png

Governor Bruce Rauner says things are pretty bleak for minority entrepreneurs so he is creating something called ADME, or Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship. 

“We want to be a one stop shop where an entrepreneur can come and get the introductions for financing, for mentorships, for training, for board members, for support,” he said.



Bronzeville Jerk Shack Serves Up Economic Empowerment on MLK Day

January 18, 2016
Ted Cox

BRONZEVILLE — The new Bronzeville Jerk Shack restaurant has had success this holiday season with a special of sweet-potato bread pudding, but it's offering a different special for Martin Luther King Day: a big, healthy helping of economic empowerment.

"We wanted to celebrate MLK Day," said Bernard Loyd, founder of Urban Juncture and its Bronzeville Cookin' project, which aims to spur development at the southern edge of Bronzeville through community and rooftop gardens, restaurants and a business incubator. "Our project is all about economic development, and of course that was a big focus of Dr. King."




CDFI Fund Impact Blog: Local Impact of CDFIs in Milwaukee and Chicago | November 30, 2015

Bean Soup Times: New Jerk Shack Offers Bronzeville Authentic Jamaican Flavors | November 16, 2015

South Side Weekly: This Side of Kingston | October 21, 2015

Chicago Architecture Foundation: Meet Our Site Host: Bernard Loyd of The Forum in Bronzeville | October 2015

LISC Chicago: Booming Bronzeville: QCDC Helped Create a “Good Problem” and Works on Even Better Solutions | October 10, 2015

CCLF News: Bronzeville JerkShack Opens, Latest in 51st Street Revitalization | September 2015

Streetsblog Chicago: Bronzeville Bikes Rolls on with its Mission to Encourage South Side Cycling | August 31 2015

DNAinfo: A Garden Grows in Bronzeville, and Now Restaurants, Too | June 15, 2015

The Chicago Advocate: In Chicago’s Bronzeville a New Wave of Resurgence is Picking Up Steam | March 2, 2015

American Bicyclist: Bronzeville, IL; Growing bicycling from the Grassroots Up | March 2015



Streetsblog Chicago: Active Trans Celebrates Cool regional Transpo Projects at its Yearly Gala | October 23, 2014

SECC, Metropolitan Planning Council: MPC Celebrates “Big” Plans that Come in all shapes and Sizes | October 7, 2014

South Side Weekly: Open Forum, Soon | November 25, 2014

South Side Weekly: Best of the South Side | September 29, 2014

Streetsblog Chicago: Bronzeville Bikes Promotes New Shop with “Spoketacular” Bike Party | August 8, 2014

The ChainLink: Our Newest Bike Store and Best Use of Shipping Container | July 13, 2014

Crain’s Chicago Business: A Bike Hub in Bronzeville, Thanks to a Shipping Container | June 18, 2014 Checkerboard City: Is Bronzeville Chicago’s Next Business Mecca | April 29 2104

Chicago Tribune: How Texting Technology is Reviving a Building from a 1973 Hit Film | January 6, 2014



DNAinfo: Revival of Bronzeville’s Forum Would Restore Building to It’s Former Glory | December 23, 2013

Huffington Post: The Forum in Bronzeville Has Big Plans Including a Café, Art gallery, and Performance Venue | December 18, 2013

Chicago Patterns: 43rd Street Bronzeville Walking Tour, Part 3: The Forum | December 17, 2013

"Vocalo's By the Way" Metropolitan Planning Council: Bronzeville Public Spaces | November 8, 2013

South Side Weekly: Bronzeville - Best Blast from the Past | September 24, 2103

Streetsblog Chicago: 600 Youth Bike Apprenticeships Help Spread Benefits of Divvy Citywide | August 20, 2013

WBEZ: Englewood, Bronzeville waits for Mayor’s Opportunity Plan to Pay Off | August 6, 2013

Metropolitan Planning Council: MPC Neighborhood Leaders Demonstrate How to Create Active Healthy Communities | August 1, 2013

LISC Chicago: Bikes Deliver as Vehicle for Community Development | July 30, 2013

WBEZ: Seeing Potential Amid Chicago Neighborhood Blight | July 5, 2013

Streetsblog Chicago: CDOT Provides an Update on Efforts to Ensure Divvy System is Equitable | June 19, 2013

The Chicago Weekly: At This Juncture | May 2, 2013



Grid Chicago: Bike Share, Not White Share: Can Chicago’s Program Achieve Diversity? | November 22, 2012

Chicago Defender: Can City’s Bike Share Program to Be Boom for Bronzeville | November 2012

Lakefront Outlook: Bronzeville Cookin’ on Rise | August 8, 2012

TimeOut Chicago: Space in Between Contest | July 17, 2012

WBEZ: Developer Seeks Second Act for Bronzeville’s Historic Forum Hall | April 23, 2012

Time Tells Blog: The Forum in Time Tells | February 2012



Lakefront Outlook: Forum Building to be Spared from Demo | August 3, 2011

WBEZ: A Temporary Stay of execution for Bronzeville’s Historic Forum | June 7, 2011

WBEZ: The Unfunny Thing That’s Going to Happen to the forum / Demolition Planned for Decaying Bronzeville Landmark | June 6, 2011

Lakefront Outlook: Teardown in works for Forum Building | May 11, 2011

Zestor Daily: Gardening in Bronzeville | March 24, 2011

WBEZ: A Bronzeville Culinary Journey | March 4, 2011



Metropolitan Planning Council: Sowing Pacemaking Seeds in the Bronzeville Community Garden | December 20, 2010

Chicago Sun-Times: Simmering in Chicago | June 2, 2010



Chicago Tribune: Building in the Wary City | December 27, 2009

Chicago Tribune: Culinary Oasis Slated for 51st Street | November 27, 2009

Lakefront Outlook: Bernard Loyd’s Big Idea on 51st | November 25, 2009

City of Chicago: Restaurants on the Menu for Bronzeville Site | November 10, 2009