CTA to fund local marketing support for businesses affected by $2.1 billion RPM construction projects

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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) says it will fund marketing services for local businesses affected by the Red-Purple Line Modernization (RPM) construction projects.

A CTA statement says The Open for Business Program aims to support small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and major attractions or entertainment venues impacted by CTA’s RPM Phase One Project.

The statement didn’t outline the program’s cost. The RPM projects are expected to cost $2.1 billion, with the first phase being designed and built by the Walsh-Flour Design-Build Team.

Open for Business participants can apply for this program to be included in marketing efforts, including campaigns developed by the CTA. The campaigns will increase the visibility of the local businesses and encourage people to shot, eat, play, and explore in the communities within the RPM project area.”

“While the RPM Phase One Project will significantly benefit the local economy, CTA recognizes that the long-term construction may pose challenges to the small businesses, nonprofits, and major attractions or entertainment venues within the project’s footprint and wants to help minimize negative impacts. This program is another way that the CTA is addressing construction impacts to communities in the project footprint.”

Areas covered by the program include:

  • Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project boundaries (see map at tinyurl.com/LBMMFootprint): Devon (North) to Leland (South) and Lake Michigan (East) to Clark (West)
  • Red-Purple Bypass Project boundaries (see map at tinyurl.com/RPBFootprint): Newport up to west side of Red Line tracks (North) to Barry (South) and Clark (East) to Seminary (West).

The CTA says the program will fund:

  • Traditional advertising (i.e., in-station signage, community and other signage, community newspaper ads)
  • Digital marketing (i.e., website banners, digital ads, email, influencers)
  • Social media (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • The directory listing on the consumer-facing website
  • Print materials (i.e., brochures, flyers, posters)
  • Public meetings and public relations.

A business or non-profit is eligible if:

  • It is located within one of the RPM Phase One Project areas
  • It is a small business, nonprofit organization, major attraction or entertainment venue
  • Its primary function is not to promote, sell, rent or use any product or service that would be considered “Prohibited Advertising Content” as defined in the CTA Advertising policy
  • It completes and submits the application and other requested documentation

Registration for the program began on OCt. 7. “Marketing efforts and campaigns will begin soon after and will have a hyperlocal focus. As the program expands and construction impacts become greater, marketing efforts will expand to more neighborhoods and will eventually go citywide.”

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