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Chicago’s New Fund to Rebuild Its Neighborhoods

Chicago’s New Fund to Rebuild Its Neighborhoods: The Together Now Fund

As Chicago begins to reopen, calls to help rebuild local businesses has led Chicago officials to create a new business support fund, dubbed the Together Now Fund. In collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and One Chicago Fund have launched the fund to raise financial support from certain Chicago-based philanthropies, corporations, and individuals, all of which will be granted to entities that will in turn make grants to small businesses across the City. The fund will aim to provide financial grants to businesses that have suffered greatly from the impacts of COVID-19, as well as the events that took place on May 29, 2020.

How to Qualify

In order to qualify for the Together Now fund program, you must (1) own or operate a business or not for profit in Chicago with no more than 100 employees, and (2) have experienced economic hardship and loss due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020 (i.e. at least 25% revenue loss) or have experienced damage or theft from the events on the weekend of May 29, 2020 and beyond. It is important to note that part-time employees or Independent contractors do not count toward the requirement to have 100 or fewer employees.

What can the grant be used for

The grants are meant to provide small businesses and not-for-profits in Chicago with the resources they need to reopen and continue to operate. Two grant types are available: physical infrastructure repair grant and operational cost support grant

  • The infrastructure grant must be used to repair physical infrastructure damage (e.g., broken window, door, security gates, interior walls, or building mechanicals) that was experienced as a result of the events on the weekend of May 29, 2020 and beyond.

  • The operational cost grant must be used for necessary operating cost needs (e.g., replenishment of inventory) that arose as a result of economic losses experienced due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020.

Grants may not be used for severance pay, workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime, property taxes, legal settlements, expenditures that will be reimbursed through another federal program, or reimbursement to other parties for goods or services previously donated. Each business owner is eligible to apply for up to one infrastructure grant and one operational cost grant.

How much you can receive

Recipients of infrastructure grants will receive up to $10,000 via bank transfer for damage or theft from the events on the weekend of May 29 and beyond, and recipients of operational cost grants will receive up to $4,000 via bank transfer to help recover from economic loss experienced due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020.

How to apply

Applications are currently open and will be accepted online from June 20, 2020 through June 29, 2020. You can apply online via this link: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/f55dbf3f68c84b938764b46a469551bf

How grants will be distributed

Grants will be distributed after the application deadline through a lottery system. Funds will be allocated equitably across the City based on economic loss experienced due to COVID-19 and damage or theft experienced from the events on the weekend of May 29 and beyond.

For more information, contact Stefano Rosenberg at (312) 888-2000 or stefano.rosenberg@rkglobal.com

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