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500 Small Businesses To Get $20 Million Through City’s Resiliency Fund

The fund is aimed at helping businesses that are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Laura Yepez, owner of Wicker Park Inn⁠, received a loan from the Small Business Resiliency Fund.
Candice C. Cusic Photography / Provided
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CHICAGO — More than 500 small businesses are set to get loans worth more than $20 million from the city.

The city announced Tuesday it has so far approved loans for 232 businesses and another 225 businesses are in the final stages of having their loans approved. The Small Business Resiliency Fund ultimately aims to give out at least $100 million to local businesses.

The fund is aimed at helping businesses that are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Business owners can get loans of up to $50,000 so they have cash on hand during the crisis. The deadline to apply was Friday.

The city is “concentrating on moving through existing application as quickly as possible,” according to the Mayor’s Office.

But thousands more business owners applied for the Small Business Resiliency Fund than there were spots available, meaning only a fraction of them will get the help they need.

RELATED: Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund Will Help Only A Fraction Of Businesses In Need

The fund is meant to supplement efforts from the federal government, and to particularly help undocumented business owners or people who don’t use banks and therefore didn’t have access to the federal program, according to the city.

But the federal program to help small businesses — dubbed the Paycheck Protection Program — has also received far more requests for money than it can supply. Local businesses said they felt shut out of the federal loan program.

Officials announced Tuesday a new fund will award $5 million in grants to 1,000 “microbusinesses” in Chicago.

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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