ALBANY PARK — The Albany Park Chamber of Commerce and North River Commission are supporting neighborhood businesses opening for Phase 3 with three new programs.
Bridge to Rebuilding Fund is for rapid assistance to small retail businesses in East Albany Park rebuilding after months of closure or slow business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund has an initial amount of $50,000 which will be granted by lottery to 10 eligible applicant businesses in $5,000 grants.
Eligibility includes the types of business, number of employees and whether they already were granted payroll protection from the government or other small business association funds. National franchises are also not eligible.
To view eligibility criteria and to apply click here.
Applications are due by noon June 16. Grantees will be announced on June 18.
The $50,000 amount was given by a donor who asked to remain anonymous. The commission is accepting matching donations to double the funds for the Bridge to Rebuilding Fund
“We love this opportunity and it just came together Wednesday for businesses to get help that may not have help otherwise,” said Thomas Applegate, executive director of the North River Commission. “The anonymous donor is interested in the vibrancy of the district for everyone.”
The Albany Park Chamber is also using funds that would have otherwise gone to summer events like Lot Jams to help businesses apply or renew sidewalk cafe permits to expand seating capacity safely during Phase 3.
“Now that we’re in Phase 3 we’re trying to help rebuild the neighborhood,” said Dalia Aragon, economic development coordinator at the chamber. “Helping cover the fees for patio permits in a rebate will make a big difference for a lot of the businesses in our SSA.”
The chamber will reimburse the $600 permit fee, but Aragon said rebate funds are limited. For more information on eligibility criteria for the sidewalk cafe permit fee rebate program and to apply click here.
The Sidewalk Cafe Permit Fee Rebate Program is limited to businesses located within the Albany Park & Irving Park SSA #60 boundaries which are:
- Montrose Avenue: Central Park to 2650 W. Montrose Ave.
- Lawrence Avenue: Kimball to 2901 W. Lawrence Ave.
- Kedzie Avenue: 4907 N. Kedzie Ave. to Irving Park Road
- Kimball Avenue: Lawrence to Leland
- Irving Park Road: Spaulding to Sacramento
The chamber is also offering reimbursement for the cost of boarding up a business, or the owner’s insurance deductible, up to $1,000 maximum payout.
The grant covers labor and materials to board up storefront doors, doorways and windows to prevent property damage or protect your property if it was damaged due to looting and located within SSA #60.
This grant covers “do it yourself” board ups as well as contractor services for preventative and retroactive board ups.
“We’re asking businesses to keep their receipts and send photos of before and after the board up if possible so we can see what it looks like,” Aragon said. “We’re also encouraging businesses to let us know their timeline for taking the board down because while we want them to be protected, boarded up windows and doors can create unwelcoming feeling in the neighborhood.”
For more information and the application click here.
North River Commission will also host a 7 p.m. Tuesday digital community meeting to talk about rebuilding in Albany Park, North Park and Irving Park as the state continues to reopen in Phase 3. For more information on that event and to RSVP click here.
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