by Ray Hayes

With the help of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other Chicago officials, small businesses throughout the city are getting financial help. While this may be a voter grab to boost support for the upcoming 2019 mayoral election, it is still a great step forward. Chicago’s mayor awarded $5 million in grant money to over 50 entrepreneurs located on the city’s South and West sides “aiming to promote business growth”.  The $5 million grants are part of the mayor’s $16 million “Retail Thrive Zone” initiative which uses tax-increments to increase financial support to the city’s most neglected neighborhoods on the South and West sides.

Entrepreneurs are not only getting a financial backing but are also getting mentoring, networking opportunities and new “pop up retail spaces.” The initiative is reported to generate as many as 650 new jobs and 1,500 temporary construction jobs.

As I said in my podcast the other day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to help curb the violence plaguing the city by creating jobs and new opportunities for the underrepresented communities.  I truly applaud the mayor and I hope to see more initiatives take place within the city. The new grant gives hope to those business owners who thought they couldn’t succeed because they lacked financial resources and support. Although, crime is ridiculous and there taxes upon taxes emerging almost every day, there is still hope at the end of the tunnel for the city of Wind.