Lightfoot Announces $10M in Grants for Businesses in Low-Income Communities - NBC Chicago

Lightfoot Announces $10M in Grants for Businesses in Low-Income Communities - NBC ChicagoLightfoot Announces $10M in Grants for Businesses in Low-Income Communities - NBC ChicagoPosted: 21 Jan 2020 03:29 PM PSTTen million dollars in new business development grants is now available in Chicago, but it's up to business owners in low-income communities to apply for the cash.The first of two application rounds for Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grants this year started Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office announced."As the City launches the first round of applications in 2020 for the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, we are maximizing the availability to local funds and easing access to capital, which will help businesses get to work more quickly," Lightfoot said in a statement. "[Tuesday's] announcement of additional funding builds on our commitment to drive transformative inclusive growth in neighborhoods with the greatest need. Our efforts to reform the …

SCV Chamber Launches Small Business Council | 07-17-2019 -

SCV Chamber Launches Small Business Council | 07-17-2019 -

SCV Chamber Launches Small Business Council | 07-17-2019 -

Posted: 17 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has launched its new Small Business Council which will bring together small business members to discuss issues and policies and support specific small business initiatives within the Chamber.

"Small businesses are at the core of our Chamber's membership and are the backbone of our economy," said SCV Chamber Board Chair Nancy Starczyk. "We have worked with our members to develop this new Small Business Council as a way to focus our efforts and directly addressing the needs of local, small businesses."

The Chamber offers a variety of educational and networking programming to help small businesses thrive. The Small Business Council will focus on three main objectives: advise the SCV Chamber on small business-related issues; support programming and networking opportunities for small business; and help promote the nationwide "Small Business Saturday" program which highlights small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

"The Small Business Council will work to promote the growth, success, and recognition of business through educational programs, open exchanges of information, and special events focusing on the needs of small businesses in our community," said Ivan Volschenk, managing partner of Evolve Business Strategies, the firm managing the SCV Chamber.

In addition, the Chamber helps to promote the nationwide "Small Business Saturday" program, which highlights small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Whether you're a business owner, community organizer, or customer, there are plenty of ways to support local small business on the day after Black Friday and the SCV Chamber will work towards that promotion.

The first meeting of the Small Business Council will be scheduled for September 2019. The Council will meet bi-monthly. SCV Chamber members who identify as a small business and are interested in joining the Council should contact the Chamber at or 661-702-6977.

In addition to the Small Business Council, the SCV Chamber has three other councils which include the Government Affairs Council, Latino Business Alliance and the NextSCV young professionals council.

For more information on these councils and other opportunities to engage with the Chamber, visit

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is the largest business membership organization in the Santa Clarita Valley representing more than 65,000 member employees. The Chamber serves as "The Voice of Business" working as the SCV's leading business advocacy organization in the third-largest city in the county of Los Angeles. Founded in 1923, the Chamber works to advocate for, educate and connect the business community.

Small Business Saturday isn't a novelty anymore – independent retailers depend on it - CNBC

Posted: 23 Nov 2018 12:00 AM PST

For Mackenzi Farquer, Small Business Saturday is a big deal.

The owner of Queens, New York-based Lockwood gift shop, which sells kitchenware, clothing and paper goods, says there's often barely room to stand in her locations on the retail holiday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

"It's our busiest day of the year," Farquer says. "I think people in this neighborhood especially are trained to know that this the day to come out and shop at small businesses. They are not only coming for holiday shopping, they also want to be here to support us."

And those shoppers show their support in a big way — that day alone accounts for some 8 percent of Lockwood's overall holiday sales. "It's at a fever pitch and growing every year," she says.

Small Business Saturday, now in its ninth year, is sponsored by American Express and encourages consumers to get out and shop "small" supporting local retailers and restaurants in person and online. Last year, nearly $13 billion was spent on that day alone, a slight dip from 2016.

This year, data from Amex and the National Federation of Independent Business finds some 83 percent of consumers say they plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping at a small independently owned retailer or restaurant either in person, or online. Nearly 6 in 10 consumers nationwide say they are aware of the shopping holiday, and among them, 80 percent plan to shop at independent retailers that day.

John Lund/Marc Romanelli | Getty Images

Meanwhile, data from CNBC and SurveyMonkey's Small Business Saturday poll finds some 44 percent of consumers say they will patronize a small business on the day this year, up slightly from 2017, and 58 percent say they will shop in person. Overall this season, 28 percent said they will spend less while 14 percent said they will spend more.

This year, American Express has also expanded the holiday to Puerto Rico for the first time and is sponsoring events including popup shops with Etsy, campaigns to support female-owned businesses and more.

"Small Business Saturday is a great chance to drive awareness and keep small businesses top of mind," said Raina Moskowitz, Etsy's SVP of people, strategy and services. "Mass retailers play a great role in convenience and price, but when you shop from a small business, there is a story behind what you are buying. so it's more personal and thoughtful, especially for the holiday season."

Small business owners like Mackenzie Farquer are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to patronize small, local retailers.

Kate Rogers | CNBC

Heather Parker sells dog bow ties, leashes and other gifts online and at her shop Crew LaLa in Charleston, South Carolina. It's her fifth year participating in Small Business Saturday, and each year sales have doubled, Parker said. Last year, the day accounted for 12 percent of the company's overall holiday season sales, and even brought in new, repeat customers.

"Last year 40 percent of our customers from Small Business Saturday were first-time customers," Parker said. "Of that 40 percent, 65 percent actually turned into returning customers."

The store even has to bring in extra employees for the weekend and the rest of the holiday season.

"We have to beef up for it because we get such a response from Small Business Saturday," Parker said. "Having a day that really shows support … is really inspiring. It helps us and kind of fuels us for the rest of the year."


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