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Support West was initially created to support minority owned small businesses on the West Side that were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The burdens of minority owned businesses existed prior to the beginning of the pandemic but were highlighted and significantly exacerbated by the economic impact of the shutdowns and the downturn of the economy. Because of the success and feedback from grantees, the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation plans to continue to support minority owned small businesses on the West Side by providing $5,000 grants through the Support West program.

Our goal is to shore up the economic corridors of West Side communities through financial resources and marketing support providing long-term recovery assistance to these neighborhoods.

The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation looks forward to featuring and awarding additional Support West grant winners in Fall 2022. Check back at a later date for more information.

Spring 2022 Cohort

Five local Black-owned businesses were selected, including:

  • 345 Art Gallery is a beautiful space located in East Garfield Park in the middle of a thriving art community. It was designed to create and showcase art by artists, Chicago Public School students and others as well as provide an aesthetically pleasing multi-purpose space for private events.
  • Art West curates arts and cultural experiences to elevate the West Side art community. In addition to offering educational workshops, virtual festivals, and curated events, they are responsible for developing the Art West Gallery Tour, which explores local galleries and highlights the rich history and culture of Austin, North Lawndale, East and West Garfield Park.
  • Bitoy's Sweet Treats is one of the few African-American owned gourmet sweet shops serving Chicago, offering hand-crafted gelato, popcorn and confections. Launched in 2015, Bitoy's Sweet Treats builds upon a family legacy of 50+ years in entrepreneurship, economic development and philanthropy. 
  • Muse Coffee Studio is more than a coffee shop. For creatives by trade or creatives at heart, Muse is a place, a setting, a source (and yes, a coffee shop) for the acknowledgement, appreciation, and amplification of culture through creative expression.
  • Taylor's Tacos Taylor's Tacos is a pop-up catering company that specializes in authentic street style tacos with a whole lot of soul! It is 100% female, black, and lesbian owned. They believe in curating universal experiences through interaction, connection, and quali-TAY ingredients. Taylor's Tacos truly believes that tacos create community one deliciously good taco at a time.

Eligibility 

To be eligible for a grant, businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Located in a West Side neighborhood, where businesses have a particular focus on serving one of the following locations: Austin, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Near West Side, North Lawndale, West Garfield Park, or West Town.
  • 10 or fewer employees
  • Owned and operated by a business leader of color
  • Less than $250,000 annual revenue
  • In business for at least one year
  • Willing and able to participate in programming with mentors and professional development beginning in February 2022 and ending in September 2022

  • Cocina Fusion is a full-service catering company based out of the Austin neighborhood that offers an expansive selection of delicious menus including Latin & American fusion, traditional Mexican and more for weddings, corporate, non-profit and other social events.
  • Finding Justice: A Flower and Vegetable Garden is a farm-site that aims to provide the West Garfield Park and Austin neighborhoods with fresh produce at a fair price to give way to a better quality of life in an area with limited access to these goods.
  • Millennial Enterprises is a small janitorial company based in the Near West Side that is working with the Chicago Housing Authority and developers to expand their scope to interior finishing and other post-renovation services.
  • Onnie Music is an independent record label based out of North Lawndale that specializes in the genres of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel, delivering some of that old Chicago soul with every track. In addition, Onnie Music assists local artists with their video production needs as well as creates music workshops for academic purposes.
  • Studio 27 Beauty Supply, Inc. is a beauty supply store located in the Near West Side that offers its customers an experience beyond the product, including on-site beauty services such as make-up application, brow shaping, and professional hair styling. The store also provides a summer program for local teens and helps other beauty entrepreneurs network through on-site events.