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North Lawndale's Principle Barbers wins Bears Small Business All-Pros Grand Prize

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Bobby Price considered himself more of an artist than an entrepreneur.

After he started working as a barber, the two identities began to meld. The West Side native worked in several shops that combined the purpose of the traditional barbershop with a stylish aesthetic, turning the stores into a rallying point for the local community, especially those, like Price, who were interested in creating art.

"Being a creative, I loved design and style," said Price. "I had not seen a barbershop, other than salons, that would aesthetically appeal to me in any way. I imagined a barbershop the way I would do it."

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Price's Principle Barbers, located in North Lawndale, will receive another boost as the Bears Small Business All-Pros initiative's grand prize winner. The business will receive a $100,000 marketing partnership with the Bears and a technology assessment provided by Proven IT.

Principle Barbers offers razor shaves and haircuts, but also acts as a venue for community meetings and musical performances.

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Principle Barbers is currently a one-person operation, with Price handling business and haircutting responsibilities. However, Price has his eyes on expansion. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he was working on filling out a full staff of barbers. While the subsequent shutdown has slowed the process, Price said that the community had rallied around his business, and he remains optimistic.

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Price chose North Lawndale because he felt that the community needed a business like Principle Barbers to encourage creativity and neighborhood pride.

"It's mainly our goal to create an aesthetically appealing shop and community-created space that invites outside-in," said Price, "but within areas that are predominantly underserved or overlooked."

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Nine additional Small Business All-Pros will receive digital and social marketing exposure through Bears assets during a week in the regular season, including 4P Industrial Cleaning Corporation, Barbee Tax Consulting, LLC, Bark Bark Club, Boco Services, Inc., Colfax Corporation, Jus Sandwiches, Lillstreet Art Center, Small World Bar & Grill and Thalia Hall. Minority- or women-owned businesses represent seven of the ten All-Pros.

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