For the second consecutive year, My Block My Hood My City (M3) is providing multiple options for Chicagoans to receive relief in an effort to offset the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. M3 will be awarding grants totaling $1 million for multiple classes of individuals and organizations with an emphasis on establishments located in the South and West side neighborhoods of Chicago.
“The pandemic has been tough on everyone throughout the city of Chicago. My Block My Hood My City was able to initiate multiple relief funds throughout the pandemic to help small businesses” said Jahmal Cole, CEO and Founder of My Block My Hood My City. “We see that many of these businesses are still struggling and we are thrilled to be able to continue to provide help specifically for those on the South and West sides of Chicago.”
The Small Business Relief Grant is the largest effort from M3, totaling $500,000 focused on helping small businesses who have struggled to stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to be eligible, small businesses must be registered with the IRS and the State of Illinois with a revenue cap of $1 million providing services or products that have a positive impact in the community. Priority will be given to businesses located on the South and West sides of Chicago, BIPOC and women owned businesses, businesses that offer direct pro bono services for the community and with a proven track record or social capital. The Small Business Relief Grants will total up to $25,000 per request. Applications will open April 30, 2021 and will close on May 30, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
Along with the Small Business Relief Grants, My Block My Hood My City continues to give back to the Chicago community through the Community Help Grant Program which totals $150,000. M3 is awarding rapid release community help grants to any person, block and/or organization that supports ongoing initiatives and direct services to Chicago residents and contribute to the overall wellbeing of Chicago residents. The Community Help Grants are reviewed and funded on a rolling basis and are available for up to $10,000 per request.
In 2021, My Block My Hood My City will also continue the #HittheHood Grants which were initiated in 2020 following the peak of civil unrest throughout Chicago as a result of the death of George Floyd. The peace grants, totaling $150,000, will be awarded to help any person, block and/or organization that wants to find creative solutions to curb violence during summer holidays where crime typically peaks throughout the city of Chicago. The goal is to fund up to $5,000 per request or event and assist in providing resources for #HitTheHood.
Lastly, My Block My Hood My City is setting aside $200,000 for the “I Gotchu Scholarship Fund”. At this time, this scholarship is only available to current Explorers and Alumni.Our scholarship will provide $3,000 in wraparound support per school year for as long as the Explorer is pursuing postsecondary education or vocational training.
A Small Business Relief Grant Informational Session will be held on Friday, May 7 at 12 p.m. for any interested parties. Grants will be awarded in late August.