WSU Launches 4th Small Business Grant Program

West Side United and Allies for Community Business announced today the launch of the fourth Small Business Grant Program. With a larger grant pool than ever before, West Side United plans to distribute $450,000 to 45 West Side small business owners.

Small businesses located in ten West Side neighborhoods including Austin, Belmont Cragin, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Lower West Side (Pilsen), Near Westside, North Lawndale, South Lawndale (Little Village), West Garfield Park, and West Town are eligible to apply. Small businesses in hospital-serving industries including but not limited to catering, custodial, patient transportation, and security will be prioritized. Prioritization will also be given to community-serving retail businesses.

“Our 4th Grant Pool warrants an urgency to provide support to businesses whose core operations have been compromised due to challenges presented by COVID-19. We look forward to offering our support to West Side Businesses to build back stronger, and to provide start-up funding to owners presenting to new ideas that fill gaps that have surfaced due to COVID-19,” said Ayesha Jaco, Executive Director of West Side United.

Since 2018, the Small Business Grant Program has disbursed $1,000,000 in grant funds to 70 West Side businesses. West Side United seeks to enrich the vibrancy of the West Side by continuing to invest in small businesses.

Allies for Community Business, a nonprofit located in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood, continues to serve as the Small Business Grant Program administrator. Allies for Community Business offers capital, coaching, and collaboration serves to entrepreneurs throughout Illinois, but prioritizes businesses located on Chicago’s West and South Sides.

“The impact of the pandemic on Chicago’s West Side businesses has been devastating,” said Brad McConnell, CEO of Allies for Community Business. “Working with West Side United to provide grant funds to businesses serving their communities will support the West Side’s recovery and growth.”

Support for the Small Business Grant Program comes from JPMorgan Chase, Rush University Medical Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Northern Trust, Thorley Foundation, Wintrust, Molson Coors, and Tito’s Vodka.

“Small businesses are facing historic challenges gaining access to capital and other resources needed to keep their doors open. West Side United’s Grant Program will help support an inclusive recovery for small businesses across Chicago’s West Side,” said Curtis Reed, Greater Chicagoland Region Manager, Middle Market Banking, for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking. “At JPMorgan Chase, we are committed to giving underserved small businesses the support they need to grow and build a more inclusive economy.”

“Our hospitals and partners acknowledge the relationship between economic vitality and health, and the importance of investing directly in our under-resourced and minoritized communities as part of our mission,” said Mary Kate Daly, Vice President, Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Lurie Children’s Hospital. “Our ultimate goal is to integrate more small businesses from disinvested communities into our supply chain to promote sustainability.”

Applications for the Small Business Grant Program are due on October 31, 2021, and the grants will be announced by December 15, 2021. West Side businesses are encouraged to apply at Businesses looking for more information are welcome to attend one of 4 upcoming virtual information sessions.

About West Side United

West Side United’s vision is to improve neighborhood health by addressing inequality in healthcare, education, economic vitality and the physical environment using a cross-sector, place-based strategy. Partners include healthcare providers, education providers, the faith community, business, government and others working together to coordinate investments and share outcomes. Learn more at

About Allies for Community Business

Allies for Community Business (A4CB) believes that entrepreneurs from any background can start and grow businesses that create generational wealth for their families and communities. A4CB’s mission is to provide the capital, coaching, and collaboration entrepreneurs need to grow great businesses in their communities. As a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution located on Chicago’s West Side, A4CB prioritizes Hispanic/Latinx, Black, women, and low-income entrepreneurs throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond. Learn more at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.