Evanston’s Economic Development Committee voted to provide financial assistance to three new businesses Wednesday night.

Netanya Mintz’s planned Sharp Edge Crossfit at 1324 Dodge Ave. won support for a storefront modernization forgivable loan of up to $50,000 to launch the indoor recreation business in a former auto repair shop just north of the Dempster-Dodge Starbucks.

An interior view of the vacant auto repair shop.

The money, if approved by the City Council, would provide a 50-50 match for renovation work that’s expected to include electrical and plumbing upgrades.

Mintz, an Evanston Township High School graduate, had hoped to open her business in Skokie until she ran into zoning issues there.

She also was one of three small business owners recommended for grants under a new entrepreneurship support program launched by the city last month.

She’ll receive a $1,000 waiver of permitting fees and $2,500 for equipment under that program.

Jennifer Eason.

As part of that program, Jennifer Eason, owner of the Jennifer’s Edibles restaurant and catering business at 1623 Simpson St. that opened in January, was approved for $2,500 to purchase additional restaurant equipment.

Dorothy Mendoza.

And Dorothy Mendoza, was approved for $2,500 in assistance to the Human Success Factors career counseling and coaching business that she opened last year, mainly for advertising and website development work.

All the requests are subject to City Council approval, but five of the nine aldermen are on the EDC and voted for the proposals Wednesday night.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Mintz
    Not really sure what Mintz’s business is. If there are competing businesses in Evanston, will they receiving some aid to offset advantages Mintz has receive from the city.
    Since Mintz chose Skokie over Evanston for the business location why should offer her a forgivable loan.? Does she have connections with any city officials?
    These type of questions are almost always asked when sweetheart deals are given.

    1. Mintz

      Hi Bweb,

      To take your comments in order.

      1. You could Google crossfit to figure out what the business is.
      2. There are similar businesses in Evanston.
      3. They won’t get aid unless they apply. Not aware off-hand of any that have applied and been turned down, but maybe we’ll hear from them now.
      4. Skokie said no to her business. Evanston said yes. She applied for the aid the city offers.
      5. Connections? None that I know of. Do you know differently?
      6. What you call a “sweetheart” deal appears to have followed the established procedures, which you could read about in more detail here.

      Perhaps you need to write to your alderman and advocate for an end to all city assistance programs for businesses.

      — Bill


      1. Why

        why does the city approve funding for this when there is a crossfit already in the 1100 block of Dodge in the Dempster Dodge corridor? Why set one of them up for failure?

        1. Competition

          Hi CrashDaddy,

          I think the rationale is that creating a preference for incumbent businesses would be unfair.

          And that it’s up to business owners and their customers — not city government — to decide how much demand there is in town for any particular type of business.

          The similar business down the street was also eligible to apply for city aid, and, as far as we know, chose not to.

          — Bill

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