December 12, 2018

City Council Approves $1.72 Million in Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grants for Latest Round of Local Businesses


City Council approved a plan today to provide an Austin performing arts center and a Bronzeville provider of private salon suites for beauty professionals with $1.72 million in funding as part of the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grant program.

“Our goal is not just for one part of Chicago to grow, but for all of Chicago’s neighborhoods to grow together,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Investments in neighborhood businesses don’t just create jobs; they create a sense of community. At the end of the day, that’s what the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is all about.”

Catalyst Circle Rock Elementary School, 5608 W. Washington Blvd., will receive $1 million to rehab a vacant auditorium into the Glen & Lonni Kehrein Center for the Arts. The project includes a 1,000-seat theater that will serve as a performance venue for the school and other organizations. Total project costs are estimated at $2.5 million.

Bronzeville Salon Suites, 80 E. Pershing Road, will receive a $720,000 grant to construct a threestory, 6,500-square-foot building with 18 fully equipped salon suites to enable established beauty professionals to become independent business owners. Total project cost will be $1.6 million.

As the centerpiece of Mayor Emanuel’s equitable development initiatives, the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund uses voluntary payments from downtown development projects to support neighborhood commercial corridors in low- to moderate-income communities on the South, Southwest and West sides.

To date, the City has awarded $20 million in grants to nearly 100 local businesses and neighborhood organizations across Chicago through the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. Funding for projects that exceed $250,000 requires individual City Council approval.

More information is available at

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