Cook County Increases Funding of the 2023 Source Grant to Support 3,000 Small Businesses
Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Cook County will provide an additional $10 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the 2023 Cook County Source Grant program, bringing the total amount available to assist small businesses to $50 million. This increase will allow the County to award a total of 3,000 grants to small businesses in Cook County, 500 more than originally possible. All grant applicants will receive an email communication regarding the status of their application on Friday, December 15, 2023.
“Cook County’s small businesses continue to face unprecedented challenges in the post-pandemic economy, and the 2023 Source Grant—now with 25% more funding than originally planned—will help them thrive,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “As small businesses are the backbone of our economy, I consider this a direct investment in the vitality and future of Cook County.”
In response to small businesses' need for capital, Cook County developed the 2023 Source Grant program and opened the application portal on July 19, 2023. The portal closed on August 25, 2023, after the program received more than 16,000 applications. Cook County’s grant administrators, the Women’s Business Development Center and Allies for Community Business, informed the County as they approached completion of the review process that the number of eligible applications greatly exceeded the available funding. In response, Cook County identified an additional $10 million in ARPA funds to support small businesses.
Businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees, operating in Cook County prior to 2020 and earning at least $20,000 in annual revenues were eligible to apply. Cook County prioritized businesses located in suburban Cook and those in the following sectors hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic: Arts & Entertainment; Childcare & Social Assistance; Hospitality, Food & Tourism; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing. Lastly, Cook County committed $800,000 to support businesses owned by veterans.
The Cook County Small Business Source, launched at the onset of the pandemic, strives to support, grow, and elevate small businesses through one-on-one business advising through its network of over 50 business service organizations, webinars, and a library of resources to support every business from a start-up to the seasoned entrepreneur.
To learn more about The Cook County Small Business Source or the 2023 Source Grant visit cookcountysmallbiz.org.