Toni’s Tips, Cook County Businesses to Support

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s Small business Week.  Join Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle as she shares

Toni’s Tips, a list of Cook County businesses to support.

We’re inviting small businesses to celebrate with us. Small business week is a time to support one another, learn about beneficial programs designed to support you, and tell your small business story.  Toni has been traveling the county to listen and share the inspirational stories of our small business owners.

Enjoy Toni’s Tips!

 

Old Fashioned Donuts – 11248 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

A staple in Roseland, for over 45 years, Old Fashioned Donuts reigned over by Mr. B is affectionately referred to as the “Donut King”. Stop in for a giant apple fritter.

 

 

 

 

Aztec Dave’s – 2300 S Throop, Chicago, IL  (for pickup order ahead)

Aztec Daves focuses on authentic Mexican recipes and ingredients derived from their own grandmother and adds a modern twist. Priding themselves on the freshest ingredients and top-quality marinated meats. Everything is homemade and prepared fresh daily; from the flame-grilled meats to our original salsas. Start with the Taco Azteca.

 

 

 

Da Book Joint – 430 E. 162nd St, Ste 747, South Holland, IL  

Da Book Joint is a #BlackWomanOwnedBusiness born on the #Southside of #Chicago committed to literary growth and the positive engagement of the youth.

Verlean Singletary, owner of Da Book Joint is dedicated to the development of our country’s youth – support her mission.

 

 

 

The Looking Glass – 823 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 

Proudly, “not just another used bookstore!”, The Looking Glass offers a wide variety of gently used books but also a variety of gift options. Stop in for book-related gifts, unique gift options created by local artisans and a wide array of greeting cards. 

If you’re near Oak Park, consider joining the book club. 

 

 

 

Rise and Dine – 102 S. Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, IL 

Skillets, french toast and omelets, oh my! Rise and Dine serves up traditional American breakfast food with a brunch that will have you coming back time and time again. 

The crew at Rise and Dine pride themselves on serving only the freshest ingredients and, importantly, having ample parking available. Bring your friends and family – Rise and Dine is safely, open for business. 

 

 

 

Old School Records – 413 Des Plaines Ave, Forest Park, IL 

If you know the magical sound of vinyl, you just know. Old School Records in Forest Park pays homage to the classic sounds and progression of music. Stop in for records, tapes and CDs to take an audible trip down memory lane. 

 

 

 

 

Coffeessions – 820 Wheeling Rd, Wheeling, IL 

Coffeessions is a high-end coffeehouse intended to leverage a niche market through the offering of a combination of specialty coffee, a wine bar, soups and healthy convenient meals on the go.

The coffeehouse offers hot and cold beverages, including specialty coffees, U.S. regional wines, teas, pastries, breads, snacks, energy-dense food options, soups and desserts. Visit them in Wheeling for a warm treat.

 

 

Da Book Joint – 430 E. 162nd St, Ste 747, South Holland, IL 60473

Da Book Joint is a #BlackWomanOwnedBusiness born on the #Southside of #Chicago committed to literary growth and the positive engagement of the youth.

Verlean Singletary, owner of Da Book Joint is dedicated to the development of our country’s youth – support her mission.

 

 

WBDC: Start Planning Your Business for Recovery in 2021

***Application for eligibility is now closed. 

Looking to Pivot Your Business into Recovery for 2021?

Most businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic, especially small businesses. If you are a Solopreneur or a small business (< 2 years), and are looking to pivot, reinvent your business, find new customers, learn ways to deliver your service or product differently, you should consider Plan for Recovery!

Start Planning for Recovery Today!

This intense 6 session hands-on workshop will help you:
· Identify your strengths
· Identify new markets
· Define new ways of operating
· Identify opportunities and create new strategies
· Minimize future losses and recover faster
· Protect your business and establish continuity plans
· Come up with a plan for the future

When?
May 2021 Dates
Mondays and Wednesdays 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, and 26
9:00 am – 11:00 am, CDT

Where?
Via Zoom

Application Deadline:
May 3, 2021

Apply Now!

For more information, please contact:
orodriguez@wbdc.org

El programa de protección de pago (PPP)

El PPP es un préstamo de fondo perdido (es decir, es perdonable y no lo necesitas pagar), si lo obtienes, tu negocio puede recibir hasta el 250% de tus costos mensuales de nómina durante un período específico.
Elegibilidad para el primer sorteo del PPP (nunca ha recibido un PPP )
•En funcionamiento el 15 de febrero de 2020.

• No tener más de 500 empleados combinados con las filiales (salvo NACIS 72, 511110 o 5151, entonces 500 por ubicación).

Elegibilidad para el segundo sorteo del PPP (además de lo anterior):
• El importe total del préstamo anterior del Programa de Protección de la Nómina (Paycheck Protection Program, PPP) debe utilizarse antes de solicitar el segundo préstamo del PPP.

• Demostrar al menos una reducción del 25% en los ingresos brutos entre los trimestres comparables de 2019 y 2020; o si estuvo en funcionamiento durante todo el año 2019, puede utilizar los ingresos brutos anuales.

• No tener más de 300 empleados combinados con las filiales (salvo los códigos NACI 72, 511110 o 5151, entonces 300 por ubicación).

Importe del préstamo
• 2.5 veces la nómina media mensual; hasta 10 millones de dólares para el primer sorteo; hasta 2 millones de dólares para el segundo sorteo.

• 3.5 veces el promedio de la nómina mensual de los préstamos para Servicios de alojamiento y alimentación (código NACI 72), hasta 2 millones de dólares.

• Sole Proprietors pueden utilizar los ingresos brutos para calcular la nomina mensual (Sin superar loa $100,000 dólares)

Gastos elegibles
• Todos los costes de la nómina (salarios, prestaciones, comisiones, etc.).

• Contratos de alquiler y arrendamiento comerciales.

• Intereses hipotecarios de la empresa.

• Pagos de servicios públicos comerciales.

• Gastos de funcionamiento cubiertos.*

• Gastos de equipos de protección personal (personal protective equipment, PPE) cubiertos.*

• Gastos de daños a la propiedad cubiertos.*

• Gastos cubiertos* de los proveedores.

*Gastos imprescindibles para los procesos de nómina

Condonación de préstamos
• Puede ser elegible para la condonación del préstamo si los ingresos se utilizan en la nómina y otros gastos elegibles de la empresa.

• Se mantienen los niveles de empleados y de compensación; y

• Un mínimo del 60% debe utilizarse en los costes de las nóminas.

• Los fondos deben utilizarse en las 8 24 semanas siguientes a la recepción del PPP.

Dónde solicitarlo
• Póngase en contacto con su Institución financiera de desarrollo comunitario (Community Development Financial Institutions, CDFI)/ o banco local para solicitarlo o póngase en contacto con nuestros socios prestamistas.

  • Lendistry
  • AlliesForCommunity Business /CRF AliadosParaLasEmpresasComunitarias Fondo de Reinversión Comunitaria (Community Reinvestment Fund , CRF ) (anteriormente conocido como Accion)

Para obtener orientación sobre el PPP, complete este formulario de admisión:
Formulario de admisión para el asesoramiento empresarial del PPP

EIDL Overview: What you need to know

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

EIDL Advance funds were originally calculated based on the number of employees on an applicant’s COVID-19 EIDL application: $1,000/employee, up to a maximum of $10,000. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses in low-income communities with additional funds to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency.

Eligibility
• All forms of business (Profit & Non-profit businesses), ESPOs, and tribal businesses
• Must employ no more than 500 employees
• Independent contractors, sole proprietors can apply as well

Eligibility for the Targeted EIDL Advance
• Must be located in a low-income community
• Must show at least 50% decrease in revenue
• Must employ 10 employees or less

Uses
• Can be used to pay business expenses (working capital, payroll, bills, fixed debts).
• Recipients do not have to be approved for an EIDL loan to receive the EIDL advance

Loan Amount for EIDL Loan
• Based upon businesses working capital for 6 months
• Maximum amount is subject to change based upon SBA guidelines

Grant Amount for EIDL advance
Up to $10K max

Interest Rate & Repayment for EIDL loan only
• 3.75% interest for small businesses, 2.75% for non-profits
• 30-year loan
• Payments deferred for 12 months ( your loan will continue to accrue interest, but you are not required to make any payments)
• No repayment necessary for the EIDL advance (grant)

Where to Apply
EIDL Loan is open and can apply directly on the SBA website: https://covid19relief.sba.gov
EIDL advance currently unavailable until further notice

 

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The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance program provides support for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program

Sign up here for free business advisory: SVOG Advisory

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

The Shuttered Venue Grant is being administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Who is eligible for the Shuttered Venues Grant?
 • Live venue operators or promoters
 • Theatrical producers
 • Live performing arts organization operators
 • Relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria
 • Motion picture theater operators
 • Talent representatives

Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements.

What other eligibility requirements?
 •
Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
 • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount

What are the grant amounts?
 • For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
 • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.

How do I apply?
Applications will open on April 8th 2021.

Click here for SVOG Technical Assistance

During the first 59 days of opening SVOG, SBA will reserve no less than $2 billion of program funding for grants to entities that have no more than 50 employees.

What are the allowable uses of the funds?
Funds may be used for specific expenses, which include:
• Payroll costs
• Rent payments
• Utility payments
• Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
• Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to February 15, 2020)
• Worker protection expenditures
• Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100,000 in annual compensation per contractor)
• Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
• Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
• State and local taxes and fees
• Operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020
• Insurance payments
• Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be primary use of funds)      

Grantees may not use award funds to:
 • Buy real estate
 • Make payments on loans originated after February 15, 2020
 • Make investments or loans
 • Make contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
 • Any other use prohibited by the Administrator

What is the grantees’ obligation for record-keeping?

Grantees will be required to maintain documentation demonstrating their compliance with the eligibility and other requirements of the SVOG program. They must retain employment records for four years following their receipt of a grant and retain all other records for three years.

What can I do now to prepare for when the applications open up?
 1. Register for a Dun and Bradstreet  (DUNS) number
• Obtaining a DUNS number is a pre-requisite to registering for SAM,
• You cannot use a TIN, EIN or other means of identification for SAM

2. After receiving your DUNS # then register at the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM)

3. Collect documents that prove your eligibility and show your expenses, for PPP and/or RRG

4. Calculate your expected loan or grant using the appropriate calculation

How to register for a DUNS number?

Register online:
• Go to fedgov.dnb.com/webform
• Select “Click here to get your DUNS Number”, and follow instructions
• Check whether your business already has a DUNS #, and if not, request a new one

Register by phone:
• Call toll-free number: 1-866-705-5711
• Tell the operator you are applying to a Federal financial assistance program and need a DUNS #

What you need to register:
• Legal name of your business entity
• Address
• Phone number
• Name of the business owner
• Legal structure, e.g. LLC
• Year the entity was created
• Total # of employees, full- and part-time

Is there a fee for a DUNS registration?
• Registration is free

How long does it take to receive a DUNS number?
Typically it takes 2-3 days for you to receive a DUNS number – so register now

How do I register with SAM?

Register online:
• Create a user account at login.gov (the portal through which SAM operates)
• Enter your email address
• Have a working phone number – login.gov will send you a security code

When you register:
When the prompt, “Why are you registering?” appears, select: “I only want to apply for federal assistance opportunities like grants, loans, and other financial assistance programs

What you need to register:
• DUNS #
• Ownership information
• Bank account information
• Financial information
• Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
• CAGE/NCAGE (if you do not have one, you will be assigned one during  registration)
• Notarized letter for entity administrations

Do I need to pay for SAM registration?
Registration is free

What other information do I need to register on SAM?
Self-assertion from each entity, including but not limited to:
1. Data about the types of goods and services your entity provides
2. Entity size
3. Optional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
4. Disaster relief data

Representations and certifications, related to an entity’s small business status, and responses to commonly used Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) provisions/clauses, and Architect-Engineer Responses

Points of contact: you will be asked to provide contact information for all mandatory points-of-contact provided during your registration, including but not limited to:
• Accounts receivable
• Electronic business
• Government business

Small businesses can sign up to receive updates:  Click Here

Preliminary Checklist of Documents:  Click Here

The SBA has developed Tutorials to assist small businesses:

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Overview

SAM.gov Entity Registration Training

Eligibility for Live Venue Operators or Promoters

Eligibility for Talent Representatives

Eligibility for Museum Operators

Eligibility for Motion Picture Theatre Operators

Eligibility for Live Performing Arts Organization Operators

Use of Funds

For additional information visit:  Click here

Be a Small Business Vaccine Leader: Join Us 4/6/21

On Tuesday, April 6th at 2:00 PM EDT, Reimagine Main Street will host a launch event regarding the important role small business owners can play in promoting vaccine access, confidence, and equity. As part of the event, we will:

  1. Release results of a survey fielded in conjunction with the U.S. Black Chambers Inc.U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship;
  2. Hear from several diverse small business owners who are working on this issue;
  3. Launch an education and outreach effort (including tools and tips sheets for Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Latin(x), and Native small employers) to encourage more small business leaders to promote vaccinations for their workers and communities; and,
  4. Announce the commitment of hundreds of small business leaders who are taking action in their communities.

Register for the Event

We are asking you and all small business owners across the country to pledge your leadership in this area with both your business and community.

By taking the pledge, you are committing to championing the vaccine with your employees and in your community through at least one action that can include getting the vaccine when it is your turn, creating a vaccine plan for you and your employees, or assisting with vaccine promotion and distribution in your community.

Learn More About The Pledge

Small businesses fully reopening is critical to putting our economy on the path to recovery. We hope you will take the pledge and join us on April 6.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund FAQs

***Application for eligibility is now closed. 5/24/21.

 

UPDATE (5/21): Final Call!

SBA announced that businesses have until Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET, to submit applications to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

  1. The SBA still has potential set-aside funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000
  2. Eligible establishments that meet this revenue standard of not more than $50,000 are encouraged to apply through SBA-recognized point-of-sale vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal

 

 

UPDATE: The SBA announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be open on May 3rd! You can apply through the online SBA portal, Participating POS provider ( Square, Toasts, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha).
Registration for the SBA application portal will begin on Friday, April 20, 2021 at 9am ET. You can create an account by clicking here.
Review the RRF program fund guidecross-program eligibility requirements, and a sample of the application you will have to fill out.

 

If you would like to receive updates about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, please fill out this form.  

 

What is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund?
  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provides direct grant support for restaurants hit hardest by the pandemic. The grant amounts are up to $10M per restaurant group or $5M per individual restaurant.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is administering a total of $28.6 billion in RRF dollars to date.

 

When will applications be opened?
  • Applications are currently not live – the SBA is still developing the application along with program guidance.
  • In the meantime, there are specific steps a restaurant can take to prepare for when the application opens
  • Small business owners can follow this link to sign up to receive updates about the RRF & when Technical Assistance will begin.
  • Follow the link for FAQs from the National Restaurant Association.

 

What if I already received PPP financing?
  • The program assumes that many RRF applicants will have already received a PPP loan
  • If you are a PPP recipient and are approved for a RRF, you will need to subtract your PPP amount in your RRF grant calculation.

 

Who is eligible for the RRF?
  • All food service or drinking establishments, including:
    • Restaurants
    • Food stands, food trucks, food cars
    • Caters
    • bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
    • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
    • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Wineries and distilleries(onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Inns (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Licensed facilities or premises of beverage alcohol producers where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
    • Tasting rooms

 

What is the time period for expenses?
  • Incurred eligible expenses between 2/15/20 and 12/31/21

 

You are not eligible if:
  • you are part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations, regardless of whether those locations do business under the same or multiple names
  • you are publicly traded
  • you have a pending application under the Save Our Stages program
  • you are a business operated by state or local government

 

Do certain applicants get priority?
  • The first 21 days of this grant program will prioritize veteran-, women-,socially and economically disadvantaged -owned businesses
  • $5 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000
  • An additional $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from %500,001 to $1,500,000
  • An additional $500 million is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $50,000

 

How do I calculate my RRF amount? 
There are varying calculations depended on when your restaurant opened
  • For restaurants that opened pre-2019:
    • Take your 2019 gross revenue minus 2020 gross revenue, and subtract the total amount of the PPP loans (First and/or Second Draws) you received
  • For restaurants that opened in 2019:
    • Calculate the average of your 2019 monthly gross revenues, and multiply that average by 12
    • Then subtract your 2020 revenues from that total, and then subtract the total amount of your PPP loans
  • For restaurants that opened in 2020 or after:
    • Amount spent on eligible expenses between 2/15/2020 and 3/11/2021 minus  PPP loan amounts
  • For those entities who began operations partially through 2019, you may elect (at your own discretion) to use either calculation 2 or calculation 3

 

** All of these calculations are open to further clarification by the SBA. Businesses should keep up-to-date as the SBA releases guidance to ensure their grant calculation is correct

 

What expenses are eligible?
  • Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
  • Payments on any business mortgage obligation
  • Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
  • Business debt service (both principal and interest;( note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
  • Business utility payments
  • Business maintenance expenses
  • Construction of outdoor seating
  • Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
  • Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
  • Covered supplier costs
  • Business operating expenses

 

What is the covered period for these expenses?
  • Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21.

 

Do I have to agree to anything?
  • Recipients must certify that current conditions make the grant request necessary; that the funds will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, and cover other eligible expenses; and that the recipient is only applying for and would only receive one grant
What if I can’t use my full fund on eligible expenses?
  • It must be returned to the government

 

Link to a sample application – here
Link to Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program Guide (created by SBA) – here
For more recent updates and to monitor visit sba.gov for the most recent updates.

Guidance on Grant Funds & Taxes

As a recipient of Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Grant Recipient/Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) through the county, you should have received a 1099-MISC Form from the WBDC.

If you have not received your form please email COVID19Help@wbdc.org. Please include the name of your business, the business owner’s name, and the programs you participated in.

State and local grants are ordinarily taxable for federal income purposes, and federal grants are taxable unless stated otherwise in the legislation authorizing the grant.

A business’ receipt of CRF awards generally is not excluded from gross income and therefore taxable. As such, it appears the prime recipient has a reporting obligation if the amount is above $600 and paid to a noncorporation, such as a small business, nonprofit organization, and city or county government agency.

For further inquiry on this topic, please visit the IRS’ CARES Act frequently asked questions page.

 We recommend that all small businesses consult with a CPA/accountant or check out the IRS website for in depth questions about how this impacts their taxes.

PPP Updates: Feb 22, 2021

Delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses is a top priority. On February 22, some critical reform was announced to build on the success of PPP. These changes are designed to improve equity and access to the smallest business owners, minority-owned businesses, and those located in underserved areas across America.

Employers with less than 20 employees are advised to take advantage of a 14 day exclusive application period starting Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Small business have been the most vulnerable and severely impacted by the detrimental effects of Covid-19, causing a significant push for the improvement of PPP funding:

  • A 60% increase in funding for businesses with up to 10 employees 
  • Funding going to rural small business is up nearly 30%
  • Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions share funding that is up more than 40%

The new changes focus the PPP loan formula on gross income which increases the eligibility and loan amount for smaller businesses, whereas, the size of the loan was previously based on annual profit that these companies reported on their taxes.

Since lending resumed last month, $134 billion has been disbursed to 1.8 billion businesses.

Additional Changes Include:

  • Revised loan calculation for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support.
  • Elimination of exclusionary restrictions preventing applicants with prior non-fraud felony convictions from accessing funds.
  • Elimination of exclusionary restrictions preventing applicants who are delinquent on their federal student loans from accessing funds.
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief.

The Time is Now! Only employers with less than 20 employees can apply for PPP for the next 14 days.  We recognize that 98% of businesses have less than 20 employees and are at the forefront of our communities and families.  Help is here.  Prioritize your business – Apply Now.

Small Business Profile: Oak Lawn-based Juicy Luzy Sangria

The thought of the uncertainty and fear the COVID-19 pandemic introduced to Luz Cavazos’ life and livelihood still brings tears to her eyes.

The owner of Juicy Luzy Sangria poured her savings, heart and soul into her business when she opened its doors four years ago, and the pandemic threatened to take everything away.

Through creative solutions to setbacks, and with the help of Allies for Community Business as well as Cook County’s COVID-19 Recovery Small Business Assistance Program, Cavazos weathered the storm.

When she had to cease wine tastings at her Oak Lawn-based business, could not sell her wine at canceled festivals and saw a drop in sales from restaurants that carried her sangria because of closed indoor dining, the impacts began to add up.

Then, when Cavazos heard about the Small Business Assistance Program and saw a link to apply for a grant through the program in an email from Allies for Community Business, she decided to apply.

“Getting that email was a blessing,” she said. “I’m grateful for the grant we got, because if we wouldn’t have gotten it… it was literally just making it, not knowing how long you had.”

Cavazos used the grant money to catch up on bills and purchase supplies for her business. She switched her focus to online sales, shipping her various flavors of sangria and offering curbside pickup. She even offered sangria in tasting packages that people could take home.

“It’s been a very hard, difficult time, but I thank God we were able to get that grant,” Cavazos said. “Hopefully, with the next few months, things will get better, and we can get back to some type of normalcy.”

To prepare small businesses for future grant opportunities and to provide financial and educational resources, the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Small Business Assistance Program invites small businesses to sign up for the Cook County – Chicago Business Advising Program, also known as technical assistance. This program provides individualized assistance to business owners to help them address needs; acquire new capital and customers; understand finances, as well as change and risk management; adjust business models; and operate under changing safety regulations. This assistance is provided by program partners like Allies for Community Business, as well as Chicago Urban League, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center, Berwyn Development Corporation, Chicago TREND, Cook County Black Chamber Corporation and Southland Development Authority.

Cavazos said working with Allies for Community Business over the years has been very helpful and informative, and she recommends them to anyone who has a small business or is interested in starting one.

“If they don’t know the answers, they will help you get the answers,” she said.

Cavazos recommended that small business owners search for and take advantage of free resources and information available to them.

“There are a lot of resources out there, but you have to put in the time and effort,” she said, adding that she is proud of herself for doing her homework over the years to learn about how to run her business, accomplish sales and place her sangria in stores.

“I make our sangria from the heart,” Cavazos said. “It’s the same recipe I’ve made at home for my family. It’s made with a lot of love. We don’t use a lot of sugar. You’re going to get the balance of the wine with a hint of the fruit juices but not something that’s too overpowering.

For more information about Juicy Luzy Sangria and to browse its sangria varieties, visit www.juicyluzysangria.com.

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