Lightfoot announces $33.5 million in Chicago stimulus plan community development grants

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a grant award under the city’s recovery plan community development program.

The program is designed to help business owners with construction costs such as storefront upgrades, new construction or renovations.

The deadline for the first round of grant applications was January 31, 2022 while the second round deadline was March 10, 2022.

“I am a gardener. We plow the ground. Plant the seeds, water,” Lightfoot said. “Starting to see the first shoots breaking through the ground. I want to be here to reap this harvest.

Funding for 26 projects was announced in nearly two dozen neighborhoods across the city, totaling more than $33.5 million in investment. The projects were chosen from approximately 600 grant applications submitted with individual grants ranging from $42,000 to $7.25 million.

This is only the first round of grants and includes:

  • 26th Street Sugar Shack, 630 W. 26th St., Bridgeport
  • 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, 1901 S. Sangamon St., Lower West Side
  • Austin Harvest, 423 N. Laramie Ave., Austin
  • Back of the Yards Algae Sciences Food Facility, 1400 W. 46th St., New City
  • Blue Tin Productions, 3055 W. 63rd St., Chicago Lawn
  • Bronzeville Sustainable Mall, 4131 S. State St., Grand Boulevard
  • Carnitas Uruapan, 3801 W. 26th St., South Lawndale
  • Chico’s Oven, 3023 E. 83rd St., South Chicago
  • Emmett Street Market, 2914 N. Emmett St., Logan Square
  • Esperanza Health, 4720 S. California Ave., Brighton Park
  • Friend Health, 700 E. 63rd St., Woodlawn
  • Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Loop
  • Humboldt Park Health, 2933 W. Division St., West Town
  • Jeffery Java and Old Fashioned Donuts, 7104 S. Jeffery Blvd., South Shore
  • Lindo Michoacan, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave., Albany Park
  • Magnifico Coffee Roasters, 3063 N. Milwaukee Ave., Avondale
  • Muddy Waters Mojo Museum, 4339 S. Lake Park Ave., Kenwood
  • Overton Center, 221 E. 49th St., Grand Boulevard
  • PODER Learning Center, 3357 W. 55th St., Gage Park
  • Soul City Kitchen, 5021 S. Wabash Avenue, Grand Boulevard
  • Soul Veg City, 1536 E. 75th St., South Shore
  • Sputnik Cafe, 4743 S. Talman Ave., Brighton Park
  • The Revival, 906 S. Wabash Ave, Loop
  • Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation (West Side Health Authority), 5500 W. Madison St., Austin
  • Youth Development Learning from Global Leaders, 5906 W. North Ave., Austin
  • Yu & Associates Collaborative, 3121 N. Halsted St., Lake View

According to a statement from the mayor’s office, the selections were based on business readiness, viability, location, design, neighborhood needs, community impact and other factors. The final design and scope of each project will be finalized in the coming months and construction is expected to be completed within the next 18-24 months.

As Lightfoot prepares for re-election, public safety remains a top priority. The mayor is betting the city will be safer when her administration’s community investments materialize.

“Every few years there is a huge spike in violence and we put huge police resources into it and it goes down, but it comes back a few years later. Same peak, down, massive police resources. What is the definition of insanity? By doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” Lightfoot said. “The madness is only to focus and place, frankly, the onus on our police department to fix all of our historical wrongs and social problems. We have a different strategy and a different approach.

Watch the press conference in full below:

Norma P. Rex