During these challenging times for businesses, our staff is working hard to identify city, state, and federal funding opportunities and help our members secure them.
Recently, we were thrilled to help two members successfully obtain $20k grants from the State of Illinois’ Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program. This grant will help the business cover the cost of having to suspend operations between March and April due to the pandemic.
Our staff did the research and determined our members were eligible. Then we contacted our members; we’re grateful they applied promptly. Along the way, we facilitated a connection between the business owner and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which proved valuable when the state later decided to extend the grant deadline, making it possible for them to apply.
It’s great to see state resources coming into our service area to support our member businesses. And we’re continuing to encourage and support members in applying for opportunities like Chicago’s Together Now Fund, which recently accepted applications from businesses and nonprofits for grants of up to $4,000 to cover operating expenses.
Another financial resource to keep in mind is our low-interest Small Business Loan program. We can make loans of up to $25,000 to startups and up to $50,000 to established businesses. And in some cases, we can loan larger amounts.
There’s nothing we’d like more than to support businesses right now with these resources. Please find more information about the loan program here, including the list of eligible neighborhoods.
One of the best member benefits we provide is our staff capacity to find grants and valuable opportunities for your business. We understand the demands of running a business likely consume all your time.
For this reason, we’d love to support you by doing research and advocacy on your behalf and connecting you to other businesses in the North Branch community so dollars are spent locally as much as possible.
And we’d be grateful for the opportunity to help your business secure funding like we did recently with the BIG grant. It’s a great example of the value of being a North Branch Works member.
If you’d like to join North Branch Works, please contact Steve Simmons, 773-929-5552 x2226, firstname.lastname@example.org