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The City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is making $5 million available as small business grants through an eight-week application round that opens today.
Entrepreneurs and non-profit groups on the South, West, and Southwest sides are eligible to apply for grants up to $250,000 to start or grow their businesses at www.neighborhoodopportunityfund.com. The application period closes on Friday, Nov. 6.
To help applicants prepare for the application round, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) hosted multiple, bilingual webinars this summer. Two additional informational sessions on the application process will be held online this week at the below times and dates.
The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund program was created by DPD in 2016 to allocate zoning fees from downtown construction projects toward commercial corridor improvement projects on the West, Southwest, and South sides.
Grants may be applied toward costs including building rehabilitation, new construction, design, site acquisition and preparation, technical services, local hiring subsidies, and other expenses.
An application round for the program this spring generated 325 applications. Thirty-two selected finalists from the round are moving forward with a variety of projects collectively valued at $12.6 million.
To date, the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund has committed $57 million to more than 220 project finalists.