A lawsuit by a white North Side businessman has forced Cook County officials to renew a system that would have paid $ten,000 in grants to minority- and ladies-owned enterprises hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announced in 2022, the Supply Grove Grant Plan was to disburse roughly $71 million in federal COVID relief funds as grants to “historically excluded enterprises — such as these owned by entrepreneurs of colour, ladies, veterans, LGBKT+ and people today with disabilities — to close racial wealth and chance gaps’.
3 months just after the system was launched, Edison Park chiropractor Domenic Cusano filed a lawsuit backed by the California-primarily based Pacific Legal Foundation, searching for an injunction to bar the system from awarding any grants simply because the system would “disadvantage its application compared to related applicants who determine as non-white or Hispanic.”
The county received 22,000 applications from organization owners, but no funding was awarded, and county officials announced this week that they will redesign the system and ask applicants to reapply.
Court records show a judge denied Cusano’s request for an injunction earlier this month simply because the district announced the system was “terminated” on Feb. 27.
It was unclear from the lawsuit regardless of whether Cusano, who mentioned he identifies as “white and Caucasian,” applied for the development grant, which would have needed him to list his race on the application kind and certify that the job was at least 51 % minority, female, disabled or veteran owned. Cusano did not return a telephone contact from the Chicago Sun-Instances on Friday.
“Though a motion to dismiss the lawsuit has been filed, the selection has been created by Cook County to void and restructure the grant,” Preckwinkle spokesman Nick Mathiodis mentioned in a statement. “To that finish, and in an work to aid compact enterprises as promptly as achievable, we have decided to restructure the grant system rather than litigate.”
The system would award grants to two,250 applicants. Matiodis mentioned the funding pool will be elevated as aspect of the restructuring system and will target enterprises that have been “disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and historically disinvested communities.”
The organizations will have to reapply for the grants, Mathiovdis mentioned.
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