SBIF Success Stories

Since 1999, the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) has supported more than 1,570 small businesses across Chicago in nearly every sector of industry and retail.

Nearly $118 million in grants have been distributed in that time, and each business owner the program has touched has their own story about how SBIF helped them start, grow, or save their business.

Here's just a few.

Supermercado Granados

1855 W. 47th St., Back of the Yards
Grant: $250,000

Supermercado Granados is a family-owned grocery store and restaurant founded by Mexican immigrants in 1990. A staple in the Back of the Yards community for more than 30 years, owner Emma Granados applied for a SBIF grant to complete much-needed upgrades to the space. Grant funds went toward a new storefront including windows and doors, new flooring, installation of a new walk-in cooler, buildout of an ADA-compliant restroom, and extensive electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work.

Platt Cases

4051 W. 51st St., Archer Heights
Grant: $99,700

A family-owned business based in Chicago since 1921, Platt Cases manufactures and sells high-quality, professional cases used for medical devices, tools, electronics, musical equipment and more. SBIF supported the installation of new roofing, a new HVAC system, and a new sprinkler system at their Southwest Side headquarters, which employs more than three dozen union workers.

"After 25 years in this location, a lot of our building systems were reaching the end of their life, particularly the roof and the air conditioner. I looked into the SBIF program to help finance the work and it seemed almost too good to be true."

— Daniel Platt, fourth-generation owner

Push Indoor Cycling

6315 S. Central Ave., Clearing
Grant: $14,454

Located near Midway Airport, Push Indoor Cycling is a fitness studio that offers spin, barre, strength training and yoga classes. Owner Raquel Prendkowski founded the business when she realized nobody else in her community offered a similar service. SBIF supported a small $20,000 project that completely rehabilitated the exterior façade, upping the curb appeal to match the fun, open vibe inside.

"This grant literally saved my business. We are now going on seven years strong, adding new classes, and most importantly, providing a fun, affordable, safe space for people of all fitness levels to feel good and live healthy in our community."

— Raquel Prendkowski, owner/operator

La Peña Restaurant

4212 N. Milwaukee Ave., Portage Park
Grant: $100,000

A Northwest Side staple serving Ecuadorian fare since 2001, "la peña" means a place where people have multiple choices when visiting: food, drinks, live music, poetry and dance, all at the same time. The restaurant used SBIF to significantly upgrade the façade with new, street-facing bi-fold windows and a new glass entrance.

"All of this work improved the restaurant’s reputation, image and customer service, giving us the ability to employ more people and give back to the community."

— Jaime Castillo, owner