NASCAR Chicago Street Race

NASCAR Street Race brings economic boost for Chicago's small businesses

The Bronzeville Winery crew was among those hard at work, showing racing fans what their South Side restaurant has to offer.

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Thousands of NASCAR fans spent their weekend in downtown Chicago, raking in big dollars for restaurants, hotels and other local businesses.

As early as 9 a.m. on Sunday, racing fans made their way to the Loop and Grant Park ahead of the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, eating, drinking and spreading their dollars.

"We just killed it," said Lamar Moore, a partner with Bronzeville Winery. "I mean, we sold a lot of food, which is amazing too."

Moore's crew at the winery was hard at work, showing racing fans what their South Side restaurant has to offer.

"Hopefully people will say, 'Hey, I saw them at NASCAR and then come to our restaurant,'" he said.

Exposure, like that from the street race, can be life-changing, especially for small businesses.

"It means a lot just getting our faces out there, getting our family business out there, just being in the environment," said Bria Price with Josephine's Southern Cooking in Chatham. "It’s really fun for us."

The longtime Chicago family-owned business is selling loads of corn and nachos -- both hot commodities on this summer Sunday.

"With the sun out and everything, people really get a taste for Eote corn in the summer, so we get a lot of business...and don’t sleep on the nachos and the tacos," said Samuel Love with Josephine's. "So it’s definitely booming not being raining like last year."

The head of the Chicago Loop Alliance said getting many local businesses involved in the NASCAR Chicago Street Race was a strategic move.

"All of the hotels are full, restaurants are packed," said Michael Edwards, president and CEO of the Chicago Loop Alliance. "Everybody is having a great time."

The goal has been to give fans a true taste of Chicago – and give local businesses a boost in exposure and profits.

"One of our strategic priorities is to have the Loop as everyone’s neighborhood," Edwards said. "So you need to be intentional about that, so we went out and invited about 20 vendors from the neighborhoods to show their food their artistry their talent."

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