In October, North Branch Works received a grant from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) to help small businesses connect to available COVID-19 resources.
Known as the COVID-19 Small Business Support Program (CSBS), this initiative allowed us to hire three temporary staff to help with outreach and contact every one of the small businesses in our service area.
Over the course of the ten-week program, we carried out sixty-nine business consultations and reached out to the small businesses in our area twice, resulting in a total of 1,336 phone calls and letters.
And we connected businesses to open grant opportunities such as the City of Chicago’s Chi Biz Strong and Outdoor Dining Grant Programs.
The CSBS program also allowed us to help a member connect with Congressman Mike Quigley’s office, resulting in the business obtaining a $120,000 increase to its Emergency Injury Disaster Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The increase will allow the business to continue its operations through a slow period for its industry.
In addition, North Branch Works recognizes that many businesses need direct support immediately. As a result, we set aside funding to make grants to businesses.
Through a random drawing of businesses that consulted with us during the CSBS Program, we made four $2,500 grants. We’d like to recognize and congratulate our winners:
We’d like to thank BACP for the opportunity to participate in the CSBS Program. North Branch Works is especially grateful for the new connections we made to businesses in our area and our momentum heading into this year’s Neighborhood Business Development Center Program.
With questions and to join our growing network of businesses, please contact Steve Simmons at 773-929-5552 x2226 or firstname.lastname@example.org