New grants for small businesses hurt by COVID-19

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The city of Chicago announced this week a new Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program that will distribute $5,000 grants to as many as 1,000 businesses.

Businesses must have no more than four employees and operate in low- or moderate-income areas of the city that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and could most benefit from a grant. The grant must be used for working capital such as payroll, rent, personnel expenses, insurance or taxes.

Applications are available now and will be open until 5 p.m. Monday, May 4. Grants will be distributed via a lottery, with winners equitably distributed across eligible community areas based on population.

Other criteria a business must meet in order to apply for a grant:

  • Less than $250,000 annual revenue
  • Be in business for one year
  • Have experienced a 25% decrease in revenue due to COVID-19

Applicants must upload the following documents (clear and legible pictures will be accepted):

  • A business bank statement from 2020 that includes the business address and business name
  • A valid business license dated 05/01/19 or earlier
  • A valid identification card (driver’s license, CityKey, etc.)
  • A completed W9 form

On May 11, grant recipients will be chosen and notified of their acceptance; city officials say funds should be received within two business days.

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