South Shore Neighborhood Development Corporation

Residents, community-based organizations, and small business owners are critical to increasing opportunities, especially in neighborhoods where development can be slow or harder to attract. The South Shore Neighborhood Development Corporation (SSNDC) will focus on rebuilding areas of Lake County, Indiana, to increase economic opportunity and mobility for residents. The SSNDC aims to engage residents in community problem solving, with neighbors, employers, public and private institutions making decisions together about investments in their block, town or region.

Small Business Education Course Scholarships

Strengthen your small business online presence
South Shore Neighborhood Development Corporation has partnered with Indiana University Northwest (IUN) to offer Gary, Indiana small business owners the opportunity to participate in free online courses to strengthen online presence and digital engagement.

To be eligible for a scholarship, the small business owner must meet with Donna Catalano for a pre-qualification meeting before October 1, 2022. 

Contact Donna today to schedule your meeting!

Awarded scholarships will cover 100% tuition for the following IUN courses:

NWI BizHub

Indiana is home to over 500,000 small businesses that support over 1 million jobs. Outside of Indianapolis, Northwest Indiana has the second largest business population in the state. NWI BizHub is a network of support available to aspiring entrepreneurs and  small business owners in Northwest Indiana. This new online platform builds upon previous research conducted by the NWI Forum as part of the Ignite the Region: A Regional Strategy for Economic Transformation.

NWI BizHub’s mission is to help small businesses in northwest Indiana thrive. It provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with free, easy access to the vital assistance, resources, and information they need—when they need it. The purpose of NWI BizHub is to create and sustain businesses and jobs through microbusiness development. This will be accomplished through the following strategies:

  • Increase the number of small businesses accessing small business development services.
  • Increase public awareness of microbusiness development.
  • Build the infrastructure of the collaborative.

NWI BizHub is managed by the SSNDC, in collaboration with Legacy Foundation, Crown Point Community Foundation, Unity Foundation of La Port County, Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Center of Workforce Innovations.

Find resources to build a better business at

Small Business Relief Fund Awards $50,000 to Businesses in Gary and East Chicago

Legacy Foundation and Indiana Black Expo partnered to establish the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund in response to the urgent need for assistance to sustain Gary and East Chicago small businesses. The South Shore Neighborhood Development Corporation managed the application process to award $50,000 to 17 small businesses located in the cities of East Chicago and Gary. The grants range from $2,500 to $5,000.

The awarded businesses cover a diverse set of industries, including beauty, food, retail, childcare, and construction, and auto.

Business NameIndustryGrant Amount
BMO Home Health Care, Inc.Healthcare$2,500
Boulevard ShrimpFood$2,500
Clean Paws Mobile GroomingPet Care$2,500
Comfortable ConversationsMental Health$2,500
Dialogue LLCBook Store$2,500
Harbor BarbersBeauty$2,500
J's Breakfast ClubFood$2,500
JMD ConstructionConstruction$2,500
Main Sporting GoodsRetail$4,000
Metro FoodsConvenience$3,000
Mother's Little TotsChildcare$2,500
Playboy Barber & Style ShopBeauty$5,000
Rudeone KustomzAuto$2,500
Shear CreationsBeauty$5,000
Sun Appliance RepairRepair$2,500
Triple T's Top Notch Homemade SandwichesFood$3,000
Uniquely Yours Beauty SalonBeauty$2,500

Lake County Eats Local

Lake County Eats Local (LCEL) is a program of the South Shore Neighborhood Development Corporation, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Promotional Program. Through land-based and “On-the-Go” farmers markets, LCEL aims to make fresh food more affordable and accessible to residents in East Chicago and Gary.

Legacy Foundation is collaborating with Purdue University Cooperative Extension of Lake County, the NWI Food Council, the City of Gary’s Department of Green Urbanism and Environmental Affairs, the City of East Chicago’s Departments of Parks and Recreation and Planning and Development.

Learn more about the farmers markets at

Hear From a Farm Partner: FAITH Farms

Now more than ever, it’s important that our communities have affordable housing that helps stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods. The SSNDC partnered with Lake County Redevelopment Commission and the Lake County Community Economic Development Department to construct affordable homes in the River Walk subdivision of  Lake Station, Indiana.

Moving Neighborhoods toward Greater Success

After working closely with five Lake County neighborhoods, Legacy Foundation, with input from community partners, determined that a county-wide community development corporation could help deepen resident engagement and move neighborhoods toward greater success in implementing plans. Initially, the South Shore Neighborhood Development Corporation will focus on the four Neighborhood Spotlight communities of Gary-Emerson, Gary-Miller, Griffith, and northwest Hobart, and the University Park area where Indiana University Northwest and Ivy Tech Gary are located.

We’re working with Thomas P. Miller and Associates to develop a 3-5 year strategic plan. TPMA assists clients all over the country to move the needle toward progress in the areas of education and workforce development, community impact, and economic development.

We’re here to help. Contact us with your questions.

Donna Catalano

Community Development Director