Humboldt Park siblings raise over $40k for black and brown West side businesses

CHICAGO, IL (WLS) -- Two siblings from the West Side have helped raise over $40,000 dollars for businesses hit hard by looting and the coronavirus pandemic.

Mercedes and Charles Pickett, run Earth's Remedies, a non-profit which offers the West side education, financial, and health services.

Earlier this month, the Pickett's created "Save the West Side, Chicago" project that aims to financially assist black and brown owned businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19 and looting.

" I was kinda sad and depressed in not knowing what's going to happen, when we would be opening back up," said Ashley Leach, owner of So Bella Beauty Bar in the Austin neighborhood.

This weekend, Leach along with 25 other black and brown business owners got a $1,700 surprise from the Pickett siblings.

" We thought that focusing on black and brown small business, allowed them to get small relief, a momentary relief, while the city is still processing the grants or the loans," said Mercedes Pickett.

The siblings were able to raise $47,000 for every business that applied for the grant. The relief money was all donated by the community through a GoFundMe account. Leach said any kind of grant can help local West side businesses stay in the neighborhoods and get back on their feet.

"I feel like for them to invest back into our community is so helpful, I think it's something that we need to continue to do," said Leach.

"If the city or if other organizations or these different companies are not gonna invest in the neighborhood, then we have to be the ones that incentivize and bring our people together," said Charles Pickett.

Earth's Remedies will continue to raise money for more businesses in need on the West Side.
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