Schaumburg economic leaders foresee growth, offer business grants

A Schaumburg small business grant program, a proposal for a new 370-unit apartment building and plans for future road improvements were among the news Tuesday at the village's midyear economic update.

With 2020 unfolding quite differently from the way it was envisioned in January, the need for the midyear update provided to the Schaumburg Business Association was perhaps greater than in years past.

Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said these have been especially challenging times for a village and community so tied to the economy. Local sales tax losses have been about $4 million per month since the severe impacts started in March, he said.

Nevertheless, his 20 years of experience in Schaumburg and the fact that so many businesses were experiencing unprecedented highs before the pandemic give him cause for hope, he said.

"This is a very tightknit and resilient community," Frank said. "We're optimistic we'll get through this even stronger."

With Green Joe Coffee recently opening near the intersection of Schaumburg and Springinsguth roads and other new businesses on the way - such as an Amazon grocery store, Peppa Pig World of Play Indoor Play Center at Woodfield Mall, Perry's Steakhouse & Grille outside the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg and a Blue Martini Lounge just north of it - Frank said the village's entrepreneurial spirit hasn't been claimed by the pandemic.

But the village is also hoping to help through a Schaumburg small business grant program, which Frank said is an initiative of Mayor Tom Dailly. The new program has $100,000 allocated to it, and small businesses can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to stay relevant and alive amid the changed economy.

A Schaumburg small business loan program has already existed, with the new Purple Me Green science store at Woodfield Mall receiving a two-year loan of $15,000 to build itself up.

Much of Tuesday's update concerned the progress of the 225-acre Veridian development on the former Motorola campus at the southwest corner Algonquin and Meacham roads, and the planned 23-acre entertainment district surrounding the Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center on the east side of Meacham.

Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said the first residents moved into the new 260-unit Element at Veridian apartment building last week. The Finger Companies have recently proposed a 373-unit apartment building on the north side of Algonquin Road at Old Plum Grove Road, across from the Veridian's forthcoming Harbor Chase assisted living and memory care facility. Three vacant office buildings will be demolished to make way for the apartments.

Fitzgerald added that about 50 restaurants in the village have applied for either new or expanded outdoor seating in recent weeks as a result of the rules imposed by Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Another product of the reopening is an occupancy calculator developed by the village that businesses can use to determine their level of safe capacity during the pandemic based on both their size and business type.

Schaumburg Transportation Director Karyn Robles discussed recent and planned road improvements, particularly ways for Meacham Road to bring together the major redevelopments north of the I-90 tollway.

A rendering of a proposed pedestrian bridge over Meacham Road, bearing the area's planned 90 North District branding, was revealed Tuesday.

Robles also addressed planned improvements to the traffic flow on National Parkway, including a new roundabout at the intersection of American Lane.

Improvements already underway on Woodfield Road include widening sections from five lanes to seven and installing traffic detection technology. Robles considers the expediting of this work to be the only good thing to come out of the pandemic.

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Schaumburg Economic Development Manager Matt Frank, seen here at an earlier Schaumburg Business Association event, was among the village officials who provided association members with a midyear economic update via a Zoom meeting Tuesday. Daily Herald file photo, 2016
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