Chicago, HINA- The Little Village Chamber of Commerce recently received a State of Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) Infrastructure Grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) designed for incubators serving businesses of color. As part of DCEO’s ongoing commitment to supporting businesses across the state, the department has issued $11 million in Minority-Owned Business Capital Grants, otherwise known as “OMEE Grants.” These grants were distributed to businesses and business incubators across the state, with 20 small businesses and 12 business incubators receiving grant funds.
The Little Village Chamber of Commerce and The Little Village Community Foundation will apply the grant funds to the purchase of a three-story building located at 3525 W. 26th Street. This iconic building will introduce approximately 12,500 square feet of commercial retail space that will serve as a business incubator, co-working office, local café, and shared commercial kitchen.
“On behalf of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce Board, Staff and Membership, we thank Governor J.B. Pritzker and the leadership at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Minority Economic Empowerment for supporting the Xquina Café Incubator which will become an educational ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Little Village and surrounding communities,” said Blanca R. Soto, Executive Director, The Little Village Chamber of Commerce. “The grant is an impact investment to enhance the livelihood of communities that have experienced historical disinvestment,” Soto added.
The Xquina Café Incubator is a partnership-driven commercial and cultural amenity that will improve the lives of the Little Village community residents. The business incubator is designed to drive economic impact and revitalize a commercial corridor by providing an open, accessible and inclusive learning environment through bilingual programming and coaching. It will serve current and emerging businesses, artists, multi-media professionals, as well as local workforce and youth. The Incubator will provide access to resources to an estimated 40 new businesses a year in addition to thousands of hours of entrepreneurial programming and training.
For more information about the Xquina Café, The Little Village Chamber of Commerce or The Little Village Community Foundation, please visit http://littlevillagechamber.org/. For more information on OMEE grants, please visit www2.illinois.gov.