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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

More Than 30 South, West Side Businesses Awarded Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grants

The application period ended in February and was the first overseen by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. More than 325 businesses applied for funding.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot with 345 Art Gallery owner Corry Williams, who received a Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grant in 2017.
Pascal Sabino/Block Club Chicago
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SOUTH SHORE — The 2020 cohort of Neighborhood Opportunity Fund awardees was announced Tuesday, with 32 South and West side businesses receiving a total of $5.4 million in funding.

The grants range from $37,000 to $250,000 and will allow businesses to do rehabilitation and construction projects. Awardees include:

A full list of awardees is available on the fund’s website. The businesses must put finishing touches on their project plans and finalize costs before receiving the funds.

In addition to the grants, the city offers assistance to businesses in contracting, permitting, financing and other needs that arise as the construction projects progress.

The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is intended to spur investment in historically neglected neighborhoods. It’s funded by zoning fees from dense Downtown developments.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has remade the program, founded under Rahm Emanuel in 2016, into a driving force behind the Invest South/West initiative.

The application period ended in February and was the first overseen by Lightfoot. More than 325 businesses applied for funding.

RELATED: After Rahm’s ‘Smoke And Mirrors,’ Lightfoot Claims Neighborhood Opportunity Fund As Her Own

The “Lens On Lightfoot” project is a collaboration of seven Chicago newsrooms examining the first year of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration. Partners are the BGA, Block Club Chicago, Chalkbeat Chicago, The Chicago Reporter, The Daily Line, La Raza and The TRiiBE. It is managed by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

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