GNCDC is bringing you the latest community and business updates!


Ronald Damper is President and founder of Damron Corporation, a 100% veteran and minority-owned and operated tea manufacturer.  In 1985, Damron Corporation began manufacturing premium quality tea sourced from the most famous tea growing regions in the world.  Nearly 34 years later,  Damron is a leading provider of tea and specialty goods receiving numerous awards for quality and taste.  With over 75 years of experience in manufacturing, tasting, blending and packaging, their tea masters can guarantee first pick of the very best teas from across the globe.  Their areas of expertise include corporate and financial management, product distribution and contract packaging.  

Ron is also the founder of Damper Enterprises which operates Damron Packaging and Logistics.  Damron Packaging and Logistics Group serves the consumer goods market seeking to bundle product into a variety of multi-pack sizes and include promotional messages to retail and club store consumers. Their state-of-art equipment provides a cost-effective way to package, print, wrap, and prepare for shipment (box, pallet assembly.

For additional information please email Kimberly Owens

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)round two applications live NOW!!

$245 Million in Grants for Businesses and Communities Impacted by COVID-19 and Civil Unrest. $220 Million Available for Business Owners through Second Round of the Business Interruption Grants; $25 Million Available for Communities through the Rebuild Distressed Communities Program.

The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). The latest wave of funding includes the following provisions to ensure a wide distribution of funds geographically and across business type:
Heavily Impacted Industries $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theaters, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, event spaces located at banquet halls and hotels, and more.
Disproportionately Impacted Areas - $70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. A map of DIAs can be accessed here.
Downstate Communities - DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois.
Priority Businesses - Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds: businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.
Agriculture - $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions.

To promote equity in the program, priority for grant funding will be given to small businesses with 50 employees or fewer, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, and inherently essential businesses - like grocery stores - in economically distressed areas. DCEO has created a list of impacted zip codes to help determine eligibility of project location, found here. For businesses that have sustained property damages during civil unrest but not located in a predetermined zip code, they may work with DCEO's administrative partners to apply and request that their zip code be added to the list of eligible zip codes.
BIG and RDC build on a menu of small business and community relief programs created by the administration since COVID-19 first hit - with over $500 million in grants and programs launched by DCEO, including emergency hospitality grants, a downstate small business stabilization program, Fast Track Capital, and more. For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, please visit DCEO's website.

The Strategy to Use for Your PPP Loan Forgiveness Process

Date: Monday, September 28th
Time: 1 PM-2 PM

GNCDC has teamed up with Bronswick Benjamin CPAs and Advisors to bring a 30 minute session (plus Q&A) to identify the vital elements needed to maximize your loan forgiveness and understand what liability may exist with your PPP loan. We will walk through practical hands on examples of what you will need to do to guide compliance for pursuing forgiveness. Do not submit your forgiveness and unexpectedly need to return a portion of the funding. Identify how to validate that you followed the spend rules and properly documented your forgiveness. As of today, every lending institution will run their own forgiveness process. Some will be online using a short form and others will require more extensive support.

MONEY Available for Hiring and Training!

TIFWorks 50/50 is a small training grant available to eligible businesses located in authorized TIF districts. It is a matching grant in which the business pays for at least half of the eligible training costs. There is a short application with a quick review process. The maximum grant award is $10,000 to train existing employees or $15,000 to train new hires who are also Chicago residents. 

For more information please contact Caitlin at 773-637-2416 or email at

Belmont/Cicero and Galewood/Armitage
SBIF Grants OPEN!!

Small Business Improvement Fund applications must be received by September 30th, 2020 5:00pm Sharp.

The City of Chicago's Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) promotes economic development by providing small businesses with financial assistance for building-improvement costs. SomerCor is the program administrator contracted by the City's Department of Planning and Development for the SBIF program.

SBIF grants use local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue to reimburse you for the pre-approved repair or rehab of your business facilities or adjacent land acquisition. You must be located within a SBIF eligible TIF district. The maximum grant assistance for an industrial property is $150K; for a single-tenant commercial property the maximum is $100K; and for multi-tenant commercial property, it is $50K.

Grant funds are provided after an approved project is complete and all expenses are paid.

                                              Click Here for Application

Property for Rent
4444 W Ferdinand St. Chicago, IL 60624

Well maintained commercial building located in Chicago's Northwest Center for Industry

Just 1 1/2 miles from I-290 expressway
Up to 65,000 sf warehouse space available
M2 zoning 

24' ceilings, 40' wide x 40' deep column spaces

9 shared internal docks and 9 elevators
Rail line and rail spots available with Union Pacific
Heavy Power: 1200 amps/ 480 volts.
Flexible lease terms: Short term, 18 months, 2 year, 3 year, 4 year.
Contact: Kimberly Owen
            773 265-2727
SBA Disaster Loans & Economic Injury Disaster Loans

EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

The deadline is extended to September 30, 2020 for small businesses to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000, that will not have to be repaid

Leaning Into Tomorrow: Why Manufacturing Thrives in Chicago

World Business Chicago and the City of Chicago invite you to join us at 9 a.m. (CST) on Friday, October 2 (National Manufacturing Day) for a compelling one-hour discussion entitled "Leaning Into Tomorrow: Why Manufacturing Thrives in Chicago." Hear from Chicago leaders and a panel of manufacturers, from cutting edge start-ups to industrial anchors, about Chicago's manufacturing ecosystem, how innovation is driving new opportunities for manufacturers in Chicago, and the trends that continue to advance the sector globally.

Featured speakers are leaders from industry, including Ford Motor Company, Neopenda, and Accurate Perforating/Accurate Metal Fabricating, as well as leaders from MxD, mHUB, Calumet Area Industrial Commission, World Business Chicago, and the City of Chicago.

Don't Miss Out!

Wednesday, 9/30 Webinar at 3:00 PM

Expanding Minority Business Access: An Introduction to Government and Corporate Contracting

Presented by the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)
Wondering whether corporate contracting and government procurement is right for growing your business - and daunted by the process? One tool to help level the playing field for minority- and women-owned field is MBE and WBE certification. Learn more about contracting with corporations and governments, as well as certification, at this webinar.

Click on the link to find out what ward your business is in.


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Without your support GNCDC would not have grown to be the great organization that it is today. It is through hard work and support from all the GNCDC members that we continue to make a difference and help grow our community. Membership dues help GNCDC provide the grants, events and programs that help members grow their businesses. Please pay your membership dues in a timely fashion. You can submit a payment online at your earliest convenience.
GNCDC would kindly like to remind all of our members - that without your support we would not exist. Renew, Join Sponsor, Donate today!

4506 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60639 *  773-637-2416
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Greater Northwest Chicago Development a delegate agency of the City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development serving the Galewood/Armitage, Pulaski and Northwest Industrial Corridors.  A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the  agency provides assistance and information about incentives and programs for building improvement and development, business retention and sustainability and workforce resources and training. 

Newsworthy September, 2020