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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

UChicago Grants $680,000 To Help Nearly 200 South Side Small Businesses Survive Coronavirus Shutdown

A Child's Place Academy, Sip & Savor and Gorée Cuisine are among the businesses that will receive help.

Businesses along 71st Street in South Shore.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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HYDE PARK — Nearly 200 South Side small businesses will receive grants of up to $7,500 from the University of Chicago to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, the university announced Tuesday.

The grants, which can be used for operating expenses and direct support for employees, will be issued in the coming days.

“Small businesses are crucial to the stability and vitality of our shared community,” vice president for civic engagement and external affairs Derek Douglas said in a statement. “We want to help ensure that the South Side’s commercial corridors rebound after this public health and economic crisis ends.”

Recipients who signed agreements for the funding as of Tuesday include:

All 182 businesses who received a portion of the more than $680,000 in funding are independently owned or franchised businesses with no more than three locations.

Grants were given to businesses with an open physical location, and consideration was given to businesses that could “demonstrate a history of being a community asset.”

Eight economic development organizations, including the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, the Woodlawn Chamber of Commerce and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, also received funding.

“The University of Chicago has done a phenomenal job responding to this crisis for communities of color,” South Shore Chamber executive director Tonya Trice said in a statement. “This pandemic hit so fast and the stay-at-home orders also happened so abruptly that no one really had a plan, so this will give the businesses an opportunity to cover essential expenses and hopefully support their employees.”

The South Shore Chamber is the service provider for Special Service Area #42, which is developing a neighborhood stimulus plan to use $123,000 in available funding for businesses hard-hit by coronavirus.

The next virtual meeting on the South Shore stimulus plan is this Saturday, at 9 a.m. April 25.

Last week, the University of Chicago awarded $310,000 in grants and rent relief to its small business tenants and $400,000 in assistance to community-based nonprofits on the South Side.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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