Mission & History
Mission & History
Who We Are
The Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) markets Berwyn regionally and nationally as a prime business and leisure destination. We are here to promote Berwyn’s energy and culture to visitors and residents and to create unique development opportunities for business.
The BDC is a public-private partnership with the City of Berwyn that provides chamber services and economic development to all segments of the Berwyn community. The BDC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization that serves business and individual members. The BDC focuses its efforts on those activities that will improve the overall climate for local businesses and residents, in addition to encouraging the development of new commercial venues and employment opportunities. The BDC continually strives to develop new programs, services and special events that promote Berwyn businesses and the community.
History of the BDC
In the 1970's, the Berwyn Business Development Commission (Commission) was established by a group of civic-minded business owners for the purpose of creating a better Berwyn. The commission's efforts were focused on land development and local business promotion. Among these efforts, the "Better to Buy and Save in Berwyn" campaign was launched. This was a unified effort by Berwyn business owners to display decals and promote business. However, budget constraints limited the reach of the organization.
After more than a decade of research into growing the scope of the organization, the Commission founded a Local Development Corporation in 1983, and thus, the BDC was born. The BDC's first official meeting was held in February 1984. As the organization matured, it became clear that funding would need to be secured at the local level in order to bring development projects to fruition. In 1987, the Cermak Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district was established, and by the end of summer 1988, the BDC had received 501(c)(3) status. Eventually, the other three commercial corridors established TIF districts, including Ogden Avenue (1993), the Depot (1997) and Roosevelt Road (1997). The Board's tripartite goal for these districts was to increase real estate tax revenue, sales tax revenue and employment opportunities.
The BDC evolved out of the vision of a group of concerned citizens, and by bringing that vision to the table, those founders launched a movement that has improved the Berwyn community. Our momentum has been a result of each generation of residents and business owners maintaining that original vision and sense of cooperation. Though the faces and products may have changed over the years, the mission has remained the same.