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Dear Chicagoan,

I am reaching out to inform you of the latest City of Chicago program to support small businesses and nonprofits. Announced today, the Chi Biz Strong Grants Program and Outdoor Dining Grants Program will provide over $20 million in grants to Chicago’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

The Chi Biz Strong Grant Program will provide grants of $5,000 or $10,000, based on annual revenue, to small business and nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 from lost revenue or increased costs.

To help bars and restaurants, the City of Chicago also launched the Outdoor Dining Grant Program targeted towards Chicago’s restaurants and bars that continue to face significant challenges due to COVID and need assistance with the purchase of outdoor furniture, pandemic-related signage and personal protective equipment. This program will provide grants of $5,000 to eligible businesses.

Applications are available now and will be open until Friday, November 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Grants will be disbursed via a lottery and based on eligibility and prioritization criteria. 

The City of Chicago will host informational webinars on the following dates to assist applicants in preparing their application:  

Register for a webinar by clicking on the above date of the webinar or visit The webinars will be recorded and available for later viewing at

You can find details on the grants below. To apply and learn more, please visit To streamline the process for applicants, the Chi Biz Strong Grants and Outdoor Dining Grant Program will be available through a single application.

For-profit business criteria:

Required Documents (For-Profit Businesses)

Non-profit organization criteria:

Required Documents (Nonprofits)



The Chi Biz Strong Grant is funded under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). The Outdoor Dining Grant Program is funded under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act and CRF. The programs are administered by BACP with support from Allies for Community Business, which will also assist organizations that would like help completing the application.

These grant programs build on the success of over $100 million in City pandemic relief funding for businesses across Chicago’s neighborhoods and central business district —the largest amount of relief funding provided by any US city. These grant programs will help promote an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing critical financial relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the city in both the neighborhoods and the downtown area.

I want to thank all of you for your perseverance as we shift our focus to recovery. Your City government will continue to fight for our small businesses and we will continue providing information and resources to during our road to recovery.


Kenneth J. Meyer BACP Acting Commissioner