CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a grant award through the city’s Recovery Plan Community Development program.

The program is designed to assist business owners with building costs such as storefront upgrades, construction, or renovation.

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

“I’m a gardener. We’re tilling the soil. Planting the seeds, watering it,” Lightfoot said. “Starting to see the first sprouts break through the ground. I want to be here to reap that harvest.” 

Funding for 26 projects were announced across nearly two dozen city neighborhoods, 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 just the first round of grant awards and includes:

  • 26th Street Sugar Shack, 630 W. 26th St., Bridgeport 
  • 5 Rabbit Cervecería, 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 Commercial Center, 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 & Old-Fashioned Donuts, 7104 S. Jeffery Blvd., South Shore 
  • Lindo Michoacan, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave., Albany Park 
  • Magnífico 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 Ave., Grand Boulevard 
  • Soul Veg City, 1536 E. 75th St., South Shore 
  • Sputnik Coffee, 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 
  • World Leaders Learning Youth Development, 5906 W. North Ave., Austin 
  • Yu & Associates Collaborative, 3121 N. Halsted St., Lake View 

According to a release from the mayor’s office, 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 months ahead with construction expected to be completed in the subsequent 18 to 24 months.

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

“Every few years there’s a huge spike in violence and we throw massive amounts of police resources at it and it comes down but then it comes back again a couple years later. Same spike, down, massive police resources. What’s the definition of insanity? By doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” Lightfoot said. “Insanity is only focusing and putting, frankly, the burden on our police department to solve all of our historic wrong and social issues. We’ve got a different strategy and a different approach.” 

Watch the press conference in its entirety below: