The Chicago Blackhawks and United Airlines today announced a multi-faceted expansion of their long-standing partnership. Beginning with this evening's season opener, the United logo will appear on the team's home and away helmets for the 2020-21 season. This first-ever decal is emblematic of a shared commitment to Chicago's West Side and an exciting moment to be able to offer new initiatives centered on community impact.
Recognizing the difficult burden the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put on the business community, the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation will launch a small business grant recovery program, "Support West" supported by United as the program's inaugural corporate partner. This program will award one-time $5,000 grants for working capital purposes to minority-owned small businesses located in West Side neighborhoods with fewer than 10 employees.*
Video: United helmet decal, 'Support West' partnership
"The Chicago Blackhawks and our Foundation place great importance on serving our local community, especially our neighbors on the West Side," said Danny Wirtz, Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Blackhawks. "Together with United, a long-standing partner to our home arena, this unique blend of on- and off-ice elements propels our vision to 'reimagine the potential of hockey' forward with programs that seek to assist in long-term recovery and elevate the economic corridors of West Side communities surrounding the United Center."
Support West will serve as the sister program to One West Side, which is also generously supported by United and focuses on financial investment and leadership development for West Side nonprofits in partnership with A Better Chicago. Launched in September 2020, One West Side will invest at least $2 million over the next three years in Chicago's West Side, fueling programs and services that enable Chicago's youth to thrive at all stages of life. The initiative is currently serving its first cohort of five organizations deeply embedded in their communities with exceptional leaders poised to expand their impact.
"As Chicago's Hometown Airline®, it is critical to United to support the many struggling businesses that so many communities, United customers and United team members depend on. We are pleased to partner with the Blackhawks to channel our resources to better ensure that the small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic remain a valuable part of our city when we emerge from this pandemic." said Rahsaan Johnson, Director of Global Sponsorship Activation at United.
The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation will open the Support West grant process on Monday, February 1 through Sunday, February 28. Interested and eligible small businesses should visit Blackhawks.com/Foundation at that time to apply, with selection slated to begin in March 2021.
*Additional, specific eligibility requirements will be posted to Blackhawks.com/Foundation when the grant application opens