Chicago restaurants hope new small business grants from Illinois will keep them open

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new round of small business grants were announced by Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago restaurant owners hope the money can help them keep their doors open as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on.

Governor Pritzker said the state would be taking applications for the second round of grants worth a total of $250 million Thursday.

At Bronzeville Wingz, their specialty is 30 different sauces. They've been open most of the last six months, but owner Nichole Jackson said it hasn't been easy.

"It's been a struggle, I will say that," she said.

Jackson hopes a grant from the state will allow her to keep the remaining staff without more cuts, and ultimately stay in business.

"The challenges that small businesses are facing in this pandemic are immense," Gov. Pritzker said as he announced the new round of grants. "Many have not survived. And so what we're trying to do is save as many as we can to support them in any way we can."

At Pearl's Place, the lunchtime favorites are still on the menu but lunchtime crowds just aren't the same as before COVID-19. Owner Darrell Green said a state grant from the first round of financial assistance for small businesses helped him survive, for now.

"We have to survive. We are doing our best to live up to that. That's our goal," Green said.
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