The Division Street Business Development Association

The Division Street Business Development Association

Our mission is the economic, social development and growth of “Paseo Boricua”, the heart of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago along Division Street west of Western Ave. In addition, we work to increase the capacity of individuals in the field of business and commerce who seek to enhance their participation in the economic structure of our community and the City of Chicago.

Our motto of “Development without Displacement” focuses on bringing new businesses and jobs that help to add to the evolving continuity of Paseo Boricua while introducing businesses that have been here for decades to a new generation.

Our guided tours are showcased on the homepage and our photo gallery gives you a colorful look at many of our annual events. We hope that these images and descriptions will make it very clear why you should visit Paseo Boricua!

DSBDA services help individuals navigate and apply for programs such as the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) and business loan programs. Our Fast Trac to Business Planning classes for new entrepreneurs and existing businesses has helped to establish 8 new business in the past four years on Paseo Boricua.

I am a second generation Puerto Rican who was born and raised in Humboldt Park. I grew up watching this neighborhood evolve from one with sparse resources and City services into a community filled with thriving cultural institutions and continuous business development.

In 1995, the Paseo Boricua Gateway flags were inaugurated to usher in a period of economic growth without displacement. It is evident that our hard work and years of planning have yielded the results that have made Paseo Boricua a model for other ethnic commercial corridors.

Since 2000, the number of Puerto Rican Restaurants has grown from 3 to 10 delicious venues, and we look forward to doubling that number in the next decade, making the Paseo an internationally renown center for Puerto Rican cuisine. My goal is to grow the existing small businesses and market the universal appeal of the Puerto Rican culture for all to enjoy.

With the recent opening of the new Institute for Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC), we now have the only Puerto Rican art and history museum in the United States. IPRAC serves as yet another anchor that is drawing visitors from around the country to our neighborhood. With all its unique offerings Paseo Boricua is truly a treasure amongst Chicago neighborhoods.

Working together, we can make Paseo Boricua as vibrant a commercial strip as Chicago’s other ethnic centers such as Chinatown, Little Village, Devon Avenue, and Greek Town. To sum it up, the work of DSBDA is about business but it’s also a labor of love.

¡Buen Provecho!

Eduardo Arocho, M.S.

For more information go to http://www.paseoboricua.org/

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