Lightfoot Announces Applications Now Open For $15 Million Business Rebuilding Fund 'Together Now'

WBBM Newsradio Staff
June 20, 2020 - 3:00 pm
Mayor Lori Lightfoot provides update following weekend unrest.

City of Chicago

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Saturday that the city is now taking applications for the Together Now fund to help businesses recuperate after devastating financial losses due to the pandemic and recent looting and damage from one violent weekend. 

Businesses that have experienced damage from the events related to the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd will be eligible for infrastructure grants of up to $10,000 to repair physical infrastructure damage. Businesses that have experienced at least a 25% revenue loss due to COVID-19 will be eligible for grants of up to $4,000 to cover operating costs that arose as a result of economic losses experienced due to the pandemic.
 
“Our small businesses play a critical role in contributing to the vibrancy of our city which is why it is essential that we offer them assistance during what may be the most difficult time that many of them face," Lightfoot said in a statement. 
 
The fund, which the mayor announced June 5, started out with an initial commitment of more than $10 million to address immediate needs of small businesses and received $1 million from Jewel-Osco. The fund is a collaboration between the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and One Chicago Fund and has since grown to over $15 million dollars in total, which will help over 2,500 small businesses.
 
To be eligible for either grant, businesses may not have more than 100 employees at any one specific location. Those applying for an infrastructure grant will need to provide proof of damage, including photos, repair quotes or any other available materials. Each business owner is eligible to apply for up to one infrastructure grant and one operational grant. Certain institutions, such as regional or national chain businesses, including franchises, branch banks and payday loan stores are not eligible.
 
To apply for the grant, visit the city's website
 
As Chicago continues to see a steady decrease in coronavirus cases, the city is reopening with restrictions, which includes indoor restaurant seating, nursing home visitation and trail openings. On Saturday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 634 new cases of coronavirus and 45 additional deaths, bringing the total cases to 136,104 and 6,625 deaths statewide.