Cook County offering $40 million grants to small businesses

Cook County will award $40 million in grants to small businesses early next year with funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, officials announced Tuesday.

Small businesses are eligible to apply if they have been operating in Cook County prior to 2020 and have fewer than 20 full-time employees. While open to all small businesses in the county, the program will prioritize suburban companies, businesses owned by veterans and those businesses in sectors deemed hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic: arts and entertainment; child care and social assistance; hospitality, food and tourism; retail trade; and transportation and warehousing.

Businesses can submit applications beginning Thursday through Friday, Aug. 18 at Grants of $10,000 or $20,000 are available, depending on the applicant's annual revenue.

"Cook County's small businesses have faced unprecedented challenges since the onset of the pandemic. The 2023 Source Grant will help them reset and thrive," county board President Toni Preckwinkle said in Wednesday's announcement. "I'm proud that this program will provide not only the funds small business owners need but also the business coaching critical to sustainable growth."

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