Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund Helps Open Fresh Catch Fish Eatery in Gresham Community

Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund Helps Open Fresh Catch Fish Eatery in Gresham Community

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Grand opening of Fresh Catch Fish and Seafood, a one stop fish shop introducing healthy alternatives to the Chicago Gresham community partially funded by VEDC and the Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund (CBOF). Fresh Catch Fish opening created 15 new full-time jobs. Complimentary food and drinks will be served.


2:00-4:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Fresh Catch Fish and Seafood, 1345 W. 87th St., Chicago, IL 60620


VEDC, a leading non-profit lender to small businesses, in partnership with the UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs initiative, have formed the Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund which has provided a $200,000 small business loan to Fresh Catch Fish and Seafood to support growth and job creation. VEDC and CBOF help businesses like this farm raised, fresh seafood eatery that do not qualify for traditional small business bank loans. After injecting all his savings into his new company, owner Samer Salem needed funding to finish tenant improvements and purchase equipment. He received the necessary financing from VEDC CBOF to open his business which has created jobs and enhanced the community’s economic viability.


Alderman Howard Brookins, Jr. – Elected in April 2003, Alderman Brookins is currently serving his third term in the 21st Ward. Throughout his 12 years of service, he has consistently supported his constituents. He views his duty as Alderman is to help improve the quality of life in the 21st Ward.

Roxanne Nava – As the Chief Small Business Officer for the City of Chicago, Roxanne Nava – brings a decade of experience supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs at the state government level, serving as the Director of the Illinois Financial Institutions and formerly as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, where she focused on creating consumer protection legislation and led Opportunity Returns, a regional economic initiative that drives job attraction and retention, respectively.

Samer Salem – Owner, Fresh Catch Fish and Seafood. An 18 year veteran of the family-owned business world, Samer is opening his own enterprise within the same shopping center as his father and brother in Chicago’s Gresham community.

VEDC is a leading non-profit small business lender that is changing the way small business lending is done by making it more accessible and impactful. With a 38 year history of supporting small business owners, VEDC’s goal is to create and sustain jobs and small businesses in the communities they serve.

In 2012, VEDC partnered with UBS to create the Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund (CBOF), to provide loans of $50,000 to $250,000 to qualified small businesses in the Chicago area. The effort is a component of UBS’s Elevating Entrepreneurs program, a flagship philanthropic initiative of the firm and a portfolio of nonprofit partnerships and philanthropic programs committed to bringing the right resources to the right entrepreneurs to help spur economic growth.

VEDC’s national operations are headquartered in Los Angeles and include offices in California, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Utah, and the New York serving the Tri-State area.


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