The Evanston Community Development Corporation has announced a new initiative to provide grants to area businesses.

The ECDC Business Grant Fund is to support businesses in their efforts to improve and expand their operations. Eligible uses include new and upgraded equipment and other similar capital improvements that increase business income and improve efficiency of operations.

Any business on Evanston’s west side is eligible. Women and minority owned businesses throughout Evanston and other businesses located in Evanston Community Development Block Grant target areas will also be considered.

ECDC Chairman Bill Logan said, “This new grant fund will help local firms to purchase the equipment they need to improve their businesses without taking on new debt.” He went on to say that “…the detailed grant process helps prepare business owners to qualify for future bank financing.”

ECDC is a nonprofit 501 (c)3 organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Westside physically, economically, and in spirit. It focuses its programming in three areas: business development, workforce training, and affordable housing advocacy.

ECDC business programming includes technical assistance, one-on-one mentor matches with experienced business owners and / or technical consultants, vendor and network opportunities for entrepreneurs, and access to capital. Employees of Westside and participating businesses are eligible for free computer classes and GED training.

ECDC’s Westside target area extends from Greenbay to McCormick to Ashland to Dempster. Businesses in the Dempster Dodge Shopping Center and vicinity are also included.

For more information about ECDC, or to obtain a grant application, contact Ms. Precious Wright, ECDC Program Manager, tele 847.756.0159 or by email

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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