For Small Business Owners


The Lake County Community Foundation (LCCF) is partnering with Allies for Community Business (A4CB) to support 4 small businesses located in Waukegan’s 60085 zip code area.

LCCF’s Small Business Growth Initiative (SBGI) grant program is looking for 4 small businesses owned by people of color in Waukegan’s 60085 zip code area who want to grow their business and will commit to a 9-month learning cohort.

LCCF and A4CB are teaming up to provide financial capital, coaching, and connections that will help 4 entrepreneurs grow their business, create jobs and build wealth in Waukegan. We are committing $30,000 to each of the 4 small business owner(s) who want to grow in partnership with a business coach from our program.

The 2023 SBGI grant application is open until February 20th at 11:59 pm Please apply below.

Small Business Eligibility Requirements

  • Small business must have generated $50,000 in revenue in 2022
  • Small business must be owned by a person of color in
    Waukegan’s 60085 zip code area
  • Current and in good standing with the IRS

Small Business Commitment

  • A commitment to participating in a 9-month cohort that includes technical assistance based on specific business growth opportunities
  • A commitment to attending 4 group meetings in Waukegan and 1:1 coaching

Small Business Growth Application

We will be only choosing 4 small businesses for the 2023 cohort from Waukegan's 60085 zip code.  You can fill out the Small Business Growth Initiative application HERE. The SBGI grant application closes February 20th at 11:59 pm. 

The 4 business owners chosen will need to be able to attend the first SBGI cohort meeting on March 27th at 3pm. If you have questions, you can reach out to Courtney Combs at [email protected]

Key Information for 2023 SBGI cohort selection

  • 4 businesses will be chosen for the 2023 SBGI cohort
  • Must commit to a 9-month cohort including 1:1 coaching
  • Must commit to 4 group meetings in Waukegan
  • Located within Waukegan’s 60085 zip code
  • Owned by a person of color
  • Generated revenue of at least $50,000 2022
  • $30,000 grant
Want to talk more about this opportunity? Please contact Courtney Combs at [email protected] to discuss your idea before applying.

How Does it Work?

We take a data-driven approach to working alongside small business owners to help them meet their specific growth goals, while enriching the surrounding economic landscape.
Small businesses apply with LCCF
Small businesses selected agree to work with LCCF and A4CB for 9-months
LCCF and A4CB award 4 small businesses $30,000 grants
Small businesses participate in business coaching and cohort activities
Small businesses measure growth in partnership with LCCF and A4CB

Program Values

  • Equity
  • Transparency
  • Community
  • Collaboration

Thank you to our 2023 SBGI Funding Partners!