Approximately 4,500 small businesses on the South and West sides applied for $5,000 emergency grants to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, city officials announced Thursday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on April 28 that the city would fund 1,000 grants with $5 million from foundations, individuals and businesses via The Chicago Community Trust in partnership with The One Chicago Fund.
“There is great need out there,” said Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareño, who said there are no immediate plans for a second round of grants.
City officials awarded 959 grants through a lottery to coffee shops, day cares and travel companies. Approximately 55% of the businesses that received a grant are owned by women, 45% by African American Chicagoans and 34% by Latino Chicagoans, officials said.
The businesses employ an average of two employees and have been operating for an average of 10 years, officials said.
The grants were designed to help businesses that are not eligible for other federal and state relief efforts, according to officials.
Lightfoot also created a $100 million Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund to help Chicago businesses weather the pandemic.