Cook County in Illinois unveiled a substantial $50 million grant initiative, part of the Cook County Small Business Source program, to inject vitality and sustainability into the small business sector.
Fifty-four small businesses from Arlington Heights, IL, have been selected to receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000, to "foster resiliency in the post-pandemic economy," according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's office. With more than 16,000 applications reviewed, the selection process was rigorous, involving a lottery to ensure fairness and transparency among the pool of eligible applicants.
Among the businesses awarded, 60% are located in suburban areas, with a focus on sectors deemed priority, such as arts and entertainment, childcare, hospitality, retail trade and transportation. The program also extended its support to 45 veteran-owned businesses.
"Small businesses have shown a unique tenacity and staying power in surviving the pandemic, and they are important assets to our community," Preckwinkle said.
The grants are intended for a range of business expenses, including payroll, operating costs and inventory acquisition, though they exclude capital improvements and personal expenses.
Funding for this grant program originates from the American Rescue Plan Act, with Cook County allocating $50 million from a received $1 billion pool. The initial plan to distribute $40 million was expanded due to the overwhelming interest from the business community.
For more information and a full list of grant recipients, visit the Cook County Small Business Source website.