The International Marketplace had a successful year, hosting many events to engage the community in politics, business, planning for the future, and beautification.
The Chamber is 184 memberships strong, including 20 new memberships.
The Chamber hosted a Town Hall with State Senator Barbara Washington, a meet and greet with State Representative Michael Johnson, and the ceremony for State Representative Ingrid Burnett’s Horace Mann award.
They also hosted an opportunity to meet other local elected officials in June.
They hosted community engagement opportunities for the City of Kansas City, Mo. and other government agencies, including for ballot questions, feedback on changes to I-70, quarterly safety and security meetings, and a listening session in collaboration with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce on the Kansas City Police Department’s police chief search. The Chamber participated in the Imagine Downtown discussions, and worked on streetscape beautification throughout the neighborhood.
With monthly luncheons and coffee events, the Chamber kept members engaged and provided networking opportunities.
Improvements along Independence Avenue were evident. A successful round of the Facade Improvement Program helped businesses like Prospect Center’s new front windows, and businesses like Lina’s Nails, Ted’s Barber Shop, and a new retail space with improved signage.
Along the Avenue, the Chamber and Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (CID) improved accessibility by installing ADA ramps, fixing sidewalks and replacing curbs. Excited about the future of transportation on the Avenue, the Chamber looks forward to the Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor Project, which will connect Kansas City, Kan., to Independence via Independence Avenue. RideKC Bikes were installed at Independence and Woodland in partnership with Jerusalem Farm and the Chamber.
They expanded beyond the Avenue to clean up and complete placemaking projects in alleys throughout the neighborhood, remove transient camps, and clean up illegal dumping.
Dedicated to helping all sorts of small business owners, the Chamber collaborated with Northeast Arts KC for a self-guided Open Studio Tour throughout Northeast in April and celebrated the Economic Growth Gallery’s (EGG) grand reopening.
The EGG, located at 2659 Independence Blvd., began incubating the Northeast News as they transitioned to a nonprofit model. The space also hosted a small business pop-up on Small Business Saturday, and a holiday market in December, featuring local small business owners.
The Chamber is invested in the future of Northeast’s parks. They supported the Kansas City Design Center students who worked on creative visions for the Kessler Park reservoir, and Hoxie Collective, who was tasked with creating a Master Plan for Kessler Park. Glass artist and architect Hasna Sal’s work is permanently installed in the renovated Independence Plaza Park thanks to a $30,000 grant from the CID. Her work, much of which is based on the experiences of trafficked individuals in Northeast Kansas City, was on display at the EGG for the month of November.
The Chamber, CID, Titan Security staff and community mourned the death of North Kansas City Police Officer Daniel Vasquez. The 32-year-old officer served Titan Security on the Avenue before joining the force in 2021.
In September, the Chamber hosted its 10th Annual International Marketplace Taste and Tour with more than 14 stops and a variety of food from all over the world.
The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce supports a variety of local and immigrant owned businesses in the Historic Northeast and beyond. For more information, visit nekcchamber.com.