All the information you need to submit your application starting October 7. 2022.
Who is West Side United?
West Side United (WSU) is a dedicated team partnering with healthcare providers, community organizations, residents, the faith-based community, businesses, government and others working together to coordinate investments and share outcomes with the purpose of reducing life expectancy gaps of up to 16 years between Chicago’s downtown and 10 West Side neighborhoods by 2030. WSU seeks to improve neighborhood health by addressing inequality in healthcare, education, economic vitality and the physical environment using a cross-sector, place-based strategy.
What is the West Side United Small Business Grant?
The West Side United Small Business Grant was piloted in 2018 with the goal of increasing economic opportunities in Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods by offering grants to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
In 2022 WSU intends to distribute $400,000 in grants to West Side for-profit businesses that seek to grow their businesses and strengthen their communities.
How much is the award?
West Side United will be awarding one (1) $10,000 grant to each selected business.
Who is funding the grant?
Funding is provided by the following partner organizations:
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- Anonymous Family Foundation
- JP Morgan Chase
- Lurie Children’s Hospital
- Molson Coors
- Northern Trust
- Rush University Medical Center
- Tito’s Vodka
Who is eligible to apply?
For-profit entrepreneurs and small businesses* located in the following 10 West Side neighborhoods:
- Belmont Cragin
- East Garfield Park
- Humboldt Park
- Lower West Side (Pilsen)
- Near Westside
- North Lawndale
- South Lawndale (Little Village)
- West Garfield Park
- West Town
*Revenue must not exceed $1 million annually.
How do I apply?
Applications will be accepted from October 7, 2022 through November 7, 2022. Eligible businesses are encouraged to submit their applications via the online application (available October 7, 2022).
What information should I have available to complete the application?
- Knowledge of the following:
- Previous funding received on behalf of your business (if applicable).
- 2021 Business net income
- 2021 Business revenue
- Copy of a valid photo I.D.
- Business bank statements from the second quarter of 2022 (April, May, June).
- Signed 2021 federal business tax return, or signed 2021 federal 1040 individual tax return with Schedule C included (all pages).
- A signed W9 tax form with date and signature (access a fillable form here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf).
I received an award in a prior year , can I apply again?
Yes, if you have received an award in previous years and complied with the requirements of the award, you are eligible to reapply.
When are applications due?
Applications are due on Monday, November 7, 2022 11:59pm CST.
How will WSU decide which applications to fund?
The following criteria will be used to evaluate submitted applications:
- Business identifies with one or more of the priority business categories. (See next FAQ for more information.)
- Proposed use of the grant funds, and alignment with WSU and anchor institutions mission and goals.
- Connection and commitment to the surrounding community.
What are the priority business categories?
This year, WSU will give priority to businesses in 12 different services:
- Legal services
- Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
- Janitorial services
- Repair and maintenance
- Landscaping services
- Real estate, rental and leasing
- Human resources consulting
- Marketing consulting
- Advertising and public relations
- Translation and interpretation
- Waste management and remediation services
- Hearing, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) contractors.
Although businesses and entrepreneurs within these categories will be given priority, applicants in other industries are welcome to apply.
How were the priority categories determined?
Priority categories were determined based on high impact and high urgency needs within the west side business community as well as WSU anchor partner institutions.
When will awards be announced?
Award announcements will be made on Friday, December 16, 2022. (Awards made before end of 2022.)
When will funds be dispersed?
Funds will be dispersed by the end of the year.
What if I need help with the application?
Our partner organizations have volunteers ready to provide assistance to businesses requiring assistance completing the application and ongoing technical support.
Can I share the information about the Small Business Grant?
Yes, please! We have several marketing items in both English and Spanish for use:
- 2022 Small Business Grant informational flyer (English)
- 2022 Small Business Grant informational flyer (Spanish)
- 2022 Small Business Grant information session flyer (English)
- 2022 Small Business Grant information session flyer (Spanish)
- 2022 Small Business Grant Instagram post (English)
- 2022 Small Business Grant Instagram post (Spanish)