Chicago’s new grants program aims to help local businesses survive – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – A $ 20 million boost to businesses still trying to recover from the pandemic.

CBS 2 policy researcher Dana Kozlov reports from Hyde Park about a new Chicago grant program aimed at helping more businesses survive and compete.

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Federal dollars are behind the new program called Chi Biz Strong, which will provide grants of $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

It’s the day to launch Nikkita Randle’s rebranded Twisted Eggroll business. But Kenwood Chief’s post-pandemic plan isn’t just about restoration. It is also entering the world of e-commerce.

“I said now was a good time to do some consumer good,” Randle said.

Randle launched Twisted Eggroll in 2015 and said catering and pop-up kiosks have taken off. Then came the closing.

“Literally day after day everything kept getting canceled until March 15th I made the decision, like hey we’re going to end this week and we’re going to have to go ahead and stop”, Randle mentioned.

March 17, 2020 was her last day of work. The abrupt stop left him with bills but no income. But a 2020 low-interest $ 10,000 loan from the city helped her tackle the problems.

“Make sure the payroll was evenly distributed across all of these types of things, so that was pretty much the majority of that money, and it really helped me keep my credit score and all of that intact with my. business, ”Randle said.

“Last year, we paid $ 69.2 million to 5,987 beneficiaries.

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Chicago Department of Commercial Affairs and Consumer Protection Acting Commissioner Ken Meyer is now hoping that a new round of $ 20 million grants called Chi Business Strong, aimed at small businesses and non-profit organizations lucrative, will help boost trade even more.

“Maybe this is a small business that literally had to shut down during stay-at-home orders that needs some extra money to get back into place,” Meyer said.

Meyer said federal dollars were the root of the current loan and grant program. Randle believes the town loan made that revival possible.

“Absolutely don’t hesitate,” Randle said.

The city also announced a $ 2 million outdoor dining grant program, which would provide $ 5,000 in grants to small restaurants and bars to expand outdoor dining.

In a press release, the city of Chicago detailed the program and what it takes to participate:

Applications are open until Friday, November 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. To apply, visit Grants will be awarded in December to ensure businesses and nonprofits receive this much-needed relief as quickly as possible.
The City of Chicago will be hosting information webinars on the following dates to help applicants prepare for their applications:

• October 26 at 1:00 p.m. in English for for-profit companies
• October 26 at 4:00 p.m. in English for non-profit organizations
• October 27 at 10:00 am in Spanish for for-profit organizations
• October 27 at noon in Spanish for non-profit organizations
• October 28 at 10:00 am in Mandarin for profit / non-profit companies

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To register and learn more, visit The webinars will be recorded and available for later viewing at

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