January 20, 2022

31 Small Businesses Awarded $14.4 Million In Grant Funding

Chicago Recovery Plan initiative will help revitalize neighborhood commercial corridors

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced, a South Chicago record store, an Austin supermarket and a Greater Grand Crossing museum are among 31 finalists for more than $14.4 million in small business grants being allocated through the Chicago Recovery Plan. 

"Over the years, the City’s grant programs have given Chicago's homegrown entrepreneurs and businesses the resources they need to thrive and serve their communities," Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said. "I am proud to continue this work into 2022 with the announcement of a new cohort of grant finalists, who will undoubtedly bring meaningful, long-lasting change to the neighborhoods they reside and work in. My team and I want to extend a hearty congratulations to each of the finalists and look forward to seeing how they use their grants to grow and enhance their businesses." 

Preliminary grant amounts range from $24,090 to $2.5 million and will be used to finance workplace improvements involving interior buildouts, exterior renovations, energy efficiency enhancements, and other upgrades valued at more than $22.3 million in total costs. 

The projects were selected from more than 180 proposals submitted during an open application period last year. Finalists were determined by a City of Chicago evaluation committee based on project readiness, viability, location, applicant experience, neighborhood needs, and other factors.

Fourteen of the projects are food-related, 10 provide community or personal services, three are retail-oriented, three have mixed uses, and one is a cultural entity. More than half of the awardees are located in community areas prioritized by Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West neighborhood revitalization initiative.

“These grants are specifically intended to help businesses meet their goals for growth while also supporting the recovery of neighborhood retail corridors with active and engaging uses,” Alderman Pat Dowell, 3rd Ward said.
“From restaurants to retail, these projects are what Chicago needs to keep moving forward,” Alderman Michael Scott Jr., 24th Ward said. “Financial support from the City will help ensure their success benefits residents in my community and others like it.” 

The finalists and grant amounts include: 

  • Angel Of God Resource Center, 10810 S. Halsted St., Morgan Park, $250,000 
  • Black Planet Products, 107 W. 95th St., Roseland, $66,748 
  • Conscious Plates, 820 E. 63rd St., Woodlawn, $178,336 
  • Diaz Group Office Space, 5100 S. Damen Ave., New City, $250,000 
  • Dior Realty, 834-40 E. 87th St., Chatham, $851,150  
  • El Nuevo Guadalajara, 4350 S. Ashland Ave., New City, $50,325 
  • Exa MD Urgent Care, 200 E. 75th St., Greater Grand Crossing, $250,000 
  • Fatburger, 825 E. 87th St., Chatham, $1.02 million 
  • Floating Museum, 949 E. 75th St., Greater Grand Crossing, $250,000 
  • Food Hero, 2412 W. Cermak Road, Lower West Side, $250,000 
  • Gomez Tires & Wheels, 1934 W. 51st St., New City, $54,725 
  • Ivory Dental Specialists, 8344 S. Halsted St., Auburn Gresham, $42,350 
  • La Lena Restaurant, 3756 W. North Ave., Humboldt Park, $243,375 
  • Leavitt Laundry, 2145 W. Cermak Road, Lower West Side, $67,224 
  • Nonie And Belle's Coffee Shop, 1906 E. 87th St., Avalon Park, $206,065 
  • Nova Driving School, 5550 W. Fullerton Ave., Belmont Cragin $225,000 
  • Osito's Tap, 2553 S. Ridgeway Ave., South Lawndale, $141,471 
  • Plant Chicago, 4459 S. Marshfield Ave., New City $575,000  
  • Plates On Purpose, 3008 E. 92nd St., South Chicago $250,000 
  • Policy Kings, 353-63 E. 51st St., Grand Boulevard, $2.23 million 
  • POTLUC, 6004 W. North Ave., Austin, $250,000 
  • Record Track, 2804 E. 87th St., South Chicago, $250,000 
  • Renew Lawndale, 3140 W. Ogden Ave., North Lawndale, $2.58 million 
  • Roots Southern Cuisine, 633 E. 75th St., Greater Grand Crossing, $120,000 
  • Slab Bar-B-Que, 1922 E. 71st St., South Shore, $248,182 
  • Soul City Chicago, 5713 W. Chicago Ave., Austin, $2.5 million 
  • Taqueria Los Alamos, 2416 W. Cermak Road, Lower West Side, $250,000 
  • The Beauty Experience, 1511 W. 79th St., Auburn Gresham, $250,000 
  • Third City Café, 5534 W. North Ave., Austin, $247,500.00 
  • Ujamaa Cooperative, 1914 E. 79th St., South Shore, $250,000 
  • Unique Dollarz, 11115 S. Michigan Ave., Roseland, $24,090 

The grants are being allocated through the City’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) and other Chicago Recovery Plan funding sources. Administered by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the NOF program allocates voluntary fees paid by downtown construction projects to foster economic development along key West, Southwest and South side commercial corridors. Created in 2016, the program has selected more than 275 grant projects to date. Grant amounts for selected projects are subject to change as plans are finalized, and potential bonuses for local hiring and other factors are determined. 

Recipients of grants of $250,000 or less will have access to pre-qualified design, subcontracting and financing specialists that help with business plans and work scopes. For grants more than $250,000, a new application process enables streamlined access to multiple City funding sources. 

Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Recovery Plan is an ambitious $1.2 billion strategy for equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that supports thriving and safe communities.  

“The Chicago Recovery Plan provides access to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and other funding programs, resulting in a more efficient review process involving City support for private neighborhood investments,” DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox said. 

The Chicago Recovery Plan anticipates three community development grant application rounds in 2022, with application deadlines of Monday, Jan. 31, Thursday, March 10, and a third date to be determined this summer. For additional application details, including a recent informational webinar about the key grant program, visit Chicago.gov/ChiRecoveryGrant

More information about the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, including a complete list of grant awardees and finalists from today’s announcement and prior rounds, is available at www.neighborhoodopportunityfund.com