Excerpts from TBT News
TOP NEWS: Support for Funeral and Burial Costs From the Illinois Department of Human Services: The Department of Human Services is offering support for funeral and burial costs for low-income families. People who were receiving certain assistance programs qualify for IDHS’s funeral and burial program if a person’s resources and all other sources of payment are less than the DHS standard payment rates. The qualifying assistance programs are: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Cash, Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled Cash, All Kids Assist, Parent/All Kids Assist, All Kids Moms & Babies, Family Assist, AABD Medical and General Assistance Foster Care/Adoption Care. Application forms are available on the IDHS website and should be mailed to the IDPH Funeral and Burial Unit. For more information visit the IDHS website or call 217.785.4216.
South Side Leaders Call On Walgreens To Open Coronavirus Test Site There: The South Side of Chicago has seen some of the highest rates of positive test rates in any community in the Midwest. The 60617 zip code has been one of the hardest-hit zip codes in the state in terms of positive tests and deaths. However, there is still a lack of access in this area and it is important that we do whatever we can to confront this virus. Walgreens has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Abbott Laboratories to offer testing at 16 store locations across the United States. I was proud to be joined by State Representatives Curtis J. Tarver II and Marcus C. Evans, Jr. and Chicago Alderman Greg Mitchell to ask Walgreens President Richard Ashworth that Walgreens use their former store in the South Deering neighborhood of Chicago that closed in November 2019 to provide testing. – Content Curated By State Rep. Kam Buckner.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareno announced a new $5 million Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program to provide grants to up to 1,000 microbusinesses in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that have been impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. The program will award businesses with grants of $5,000 which will be distributed via lottery.
Applications are available today and will be open until Monday, May 4. To apply, visit www.chicago.gov/recoverygrant. To ensure much-needed relief is provided to businesses as fast as possible, grants will be all awarded by May 11. “Our small businesses are fundamentally rooted in, hiring in and building wealth in Chicago’s neighborhoods – which is why we need to ensure our local entrepreneurs most-impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have the resources and supports they need to survive this unprecedented moment of economic hardship,” said Mayor Lightfoot.
Designed for businesses that may not be able to obtain funding through federal and other financing programs, the new $5 million grant program will support businesses operating in low- and moderate-income communities with four or fewer employees by providing funds to be used for working capital. These micro businesses represent more than half of all Chicago businesses, are more likely minority or immigrant-owned, and have expressed to the City difficulty accessing federal support through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
“Chicago’s small businesses are fundamental to the economy and character of our city,” said Rosa Escareno, BACP Commissioner. “Many of our businesses have been left out of other financial options because they lack lending relationships or are unable to take on debt. This investment means that microbusinesses in critical areas of the city will have the cash they need to navigate this crisis.” Eligible businesses must have four or fewer employees, less than $250,000 in annual revenue, and experienced a 25 percent decrease in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Additionally, all eligible establishments must be in business for at least one year of the grant disbursement and must be located within a low- or moderate-income area of the city, defined as any Community Area with at least 65 percent low- or moderate-income individuals. “The city’s grant program gets vital money into the hands of our most vulnerable businesses during a time when every dollar counts. We are happy to play a role in this process,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League.
“Microbusinesses, in particular, are falling through the cracks and many of them are in danger of not surviving this crisis. I am pleased to see the City stepping up to make a real difference for these businesses,” said Pat Dowell, 3rd Ward Alderman and Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Government Operations. To learn more about the grant program and to apply, please visit www.chicago.gov/recoverygrant.
Navigators are specifically trained by the SBA to help businesses navigate federal assistance. BACP will be hosting a series of webinars for business owners looking to learn more about the Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program. To learn more and to register for a webinar, please visit chicago.gov/businessworkshops.