Tag: NBW members

BIG grants strengthen local businesses along North Branch

In the past six months, seven neighborhood businesses in our service area received Business Interruption Grants (BIG) from the State of Illinois, bringing in a total of $355,000.

The award recipients are Bash Sports Academy, Calihan Catering, Gallery 1028, Goose Island Shrimp House, Hideout Chicago, Maplewood Brewing, and Metropolitan Brewing.

The State of Illinois made two rounds of BIG grants; North Branch Works staff fielded questions from our members, held a virtual meeting with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and encouraged as many of our members as possible to apply.

We’re thrilled to see financial resources coming to our member businesses during a time of tremendous need across Illinois. In some cases, these grants will help businesses survive the worst of the pandemic.

Even though these resources are flowing into our service area, it remains an incredibly important moment to support neighborhood businesses whenever possible.

And that’s another reason we’re working hard to expand our network of business members so we can foster mutually beneficial economic development that creates high-quality jobs and supports thriving businesses.

One of our top priorities remains to help our members obtain local, state, and federal grants. And we regularly do research and identify grants and other resources for business growth and development.

Receiving timely updates about resources, introductions to local businesses and nonprofits as well as help applying for grants are major benefits of joining North Branch Works as a member.

Stay tuned for information about the rollout of the second round of Paycheck Protection Program, which is expected to open to all businesses sometime during the week of January 18.

And start 2021 with the support of North Branch Works. Join us as a member, tap into our network of member businesses and nonprofits, and put our staff to work for you.

With questions and to join as a member, please contact Steve Simmons, 773-929-5552 x2226, steve@northbranchworks.org.

Connecting North Branch Works members to financial resources

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, steve@northbranchworks.org