Chicago, Jewel pledge millions toward Together Now Fund to support small business; city announces emergency alert system for businesses

Chicago curfew remains in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mayor Lightfoot says

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Friday, June 5, 2020
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new supports for small businesses Friday, and the city of Chicago will be rolling out a new program to provide emergency alerts to businesses.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More help is on the way for Chicago businesses.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Jewel-Osco and community partners Friday morning in announcing new supports for small businesses. Those include the launch of Together Now: Chicago's Fund to Rebuild Our Neighborhoods.

In collaboration with The Chicago Community Trust, the city is launching the Together Now fund to unite money raised by Chicago's philanthropies, corporations and individuals to be disbursed to small businesses and nonprofits throughout the city that experienced damage as a result of violent protests over the past week. The fund is starting out with an initial $10 million city commitment to address immediate needs of small businesses, and Jewel is the fund's first donor.


"We thank Jewel-Osco for its commitment and partnership in making reopening a reality for businesses throughout the city, as many of Chicago's businesses are struggling from the compounded impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from damages to their properties during the events of the past week," Lightfoot said. "Getting our businesses back on their feet is vital to moving our city forward and restoring vibrancy and hope in our neighborhoods."

In addition to a $1 million donation, Jewel is also launching a pin pad campaign at all 37 Chicago locations. When checking out, customers will be prompted to donate select dollar amounts, $1, $3 or $5 to the Together Now fund. This campaign will run through July 31, with the potential for expansion based on additional need throughout the city.

The $1 million contribution comes after several Jewel-Osco storefronts were damaged over the past week. The company spent the past several days repairing the damage and has already reopened multiple storefronts, including the 95th Street, 87th Street and Woodlawn locations. The King Drive store reopens Saturday.

Customers at 64th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue who once lived in a food desert are now relieved their Jewel location is open again after some serious damage.

When businesses apply for assistance from the fund, multiple factors will be taken into consideration. While businesses throughout the city will be eligible, allocations will be made with an equity weighting to account for a disproportionate impact felt in particular neighborhoods throughout the city. Black and Latinx business owners are more frequently uninsured or under-insured and living in communities that have faced decades of disinvestment, both of which will be considered in the decision-making process, the city said.

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The city of Chicago will also be rolling out a new program to provide emergency alerts to businesses.

Local business owners can text "CHIBIZ" to 67283 or visit to opt in to get the alerts.

Businesses will be asked to submit some details specific to their business so that the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Office of Emergency Management and Communication can send targeted alerts to specific areas of the city, as needed.

The city is also reminding businesses that a curfew remains in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., and that all non-essential businesses need to be closed during those hours.