From August to November of last year, our community rallied against the COVID-19 pandemic to support the restaurants on Vanderbilt Avenue. We helped 22 businesses stay open through the crisis, and they in turn brought back an estimated 67 jobs to workers who had lost income. But the best part of all was opening Prospect Heights' "main street" to bring everyone out for dining, relaxation, and socially-distant fun.
Let's do it again this year! We are planning improvements that will make the program safer, sustainable and more fun. We’re also looking for ways to extend the economic relief opportunities from the Vanderbilt Avenue open street to other constituencies. To that end, we expect to hire resources to marshal the event, and add an events program for artists hoping to earn income on the avenue. We also need to purchase equipment (barriers, signage) and supplies, and plan to launch with a communications campaign with direct mail to all of the neighborhood.
So, while last year's program was a shoestring affair run by a committed group of volunteers, this year, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council needs to raise funds to help launch the spring 2021 season of Open Streets: Restaurants on Vanderbilt Avenue. Your generous support can help make this another memorable year for the Prospect Heights community!