When a bank serves up loans—with a side of financial coaching - Metropolitan Planning Council

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When a bank serves up loans—with a side of financial coaching

Dr. Latasha Taylor and her mother, Marilyn Sturden, opened Flammin restaurant with the help of CIBC’s Shantel Hampton (center)

This profile begins a series that highlights the work of government, business and community leaders in creating a more equitable and inclusive Chicago region. Each of these stories is featured in "Our Equitable Future"—two dozen recommendations to advance equity MPC released in response to the 2017 Cost of Segregation findings

As an assistant principal of a Chicago vocational school, Dr. Latasha Taylor interacts daily with young people eager for jobs. These days, Taylor offers jobs directly—thanks to Flammin, a restaurant she opened in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood in October 2017 with her mother, Marilyn Sturden.

“I have employed six part-time workers from the Chicago Public Schools system. I also employ… recent graduates who live in this area code, 60619,” Taylor says. “Some of them don’t have families, so we are like their extended family. It gives them hope to be an entrepreneur one day themselves.”

Taylor and Sturden opened Flammin with the help of CIBC Bank USA, formerly The PrivateBank, which was acquired by CIBC in 2017. CIBC continued The PrivateBank’s commitment to investing in communities through loan products for people who might otherwise have trouble accessing capital, people like Marilyn and Latasha. Flammin’s famous Kool-Aid and fried mustard catfish, the beautiful interior and glistening kitchen equipment, were all made possible thanks in part to CIBC’s investments in Chicagoland entrepreneurs.

Shantel Hampton is a Relationship Manager in community small business lending with CIBC. As a child of an entrepreneur, Hampton says that her work with CIBC improves people’s lives, which strengthens the fabric of society.

“Small businesses make up the majority of all businesses in America,” Hampton says. “If we can give owners the… capital they need to start and grow, we’re going to give jobs to people. We’re going to help people own their homes and go to school. It’ll change the economic structure of an entire community.”

In Chatham, that’s true for Flammin: The restaurant offers employment, a safe gathering space and a vibrant storefront that anchors the restaurant’s small stretch of 75th Street. And of course, mouth-watering ribs.

Explore more of the stories in this series.

Who's advancing equity right now? This 5-minute video will inspire you:

Skyler Dees, owner of Skyler Dees Catering Company and Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund entrepreneur

Illinoisans are taking tangible steps toward a more equitable region, from Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb to Raul Raymundo, CEO of The Resurrection Project. See change in action in this short video, sponsored by CIBC, a bank that invests in communities through specially-designed loan products and programming for people who might otherwise have trouble accessing capital. Two Chatham restaurateurs featured in the video, Dr. Latasha Taylor and Marilyn Sturden, launched Flammin restaurant with help and ongoing coaching from the bank. 

MPC thanks CIBC US for generously sponsoring this video.


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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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