City money came from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) and federal CARES Act funding. Other funding came from private donors and small pin pad donations at Jewel checkouts.
Businesses that “experienced damage from the events related to nationwide unrest and protests” could receive up to $10,000 in grants to repair physical damage. Those that “experienced at least a 25 percent revenue loss due to COVID-19 were also eligible for grants of up to $4,000 to cover operating costs,” the city said in a release.
Only businesses with fewer than 100 employees qualified. Regional or national chain businesses, including franchises, branch banks and payday loan stores were not eligible, nor were cannabis dispensaries, pawn shops, adult entertainment venues or junkyards.
“From an unprecedented public health pandemic to national civil unrest, Chicago’s smallest businesses have faced a one-two punch that has devastated their business and the surrounding communities as well,” Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar said in the city release. “With the Together Now fund, we’re building on our efforts to provide our neighborhood business owners and local entrepreneurs with the resources they need to survive. By lifting up our small businesses, we’re ensuring they can continue to hire and build wealth in our neighborhoods.”
The city did not release a list of awardees or the number of businesses who qualified for money to repair looting damage. There will be a second round of funding focused “on awarding grants in community areas that received a disproportionately low number of eligible applicants during the first round,” the city says.