CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — This is Small Business Week and Cook County officials are using it as an opportunity to salute small businesses for their resiliency during the pandemic.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the county and its partners distributed close to $50 million in aid to thousands of small businesses since the start of the pandemic 14 months ago.
Verlean Singletary, owner of Da Book Joint on 71st Street in South Shore, said a Cook County grant at the beginning of the pandemic allowed her to create an online presence for her bookstore.
"I was not good at social media, so they had to drag me kicking and screaming, and it was a learning point for me. But, now as things are happening, we are starting to get with the times. This grant allowed us to do that," Singletary told WBBM Newsradio.
Ramon Torres, owner of Aztec Dave's food truck in Chicago, said his grant kept the business afloat so he could donate thousands of meals to health care workers.
"We were able to donate 20,000 meals across 17 different hospitals in the Chicagoland area. We're all about the community. We want to remain a tight knight community with everyone involved. I know it has been a difficult time throughout the pandemic," Torres told WBBM.