SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) on June 8 announced 32 minority-owned businesses and business incubators, including Mercado on Fifth, will receive a total of $11 million as part of the state’s Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Program. These grants will equip minority-owned firms with resources to create jobs, build capacity, increase revenues and revitalize properties in underserved communities.
“At a time when businesses are facing significant setbacks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Minority Capital Fund will help eliminate obstacles so minority-owned businesses can rebuild and continue supporting their communities,” said Governor Pritzker. “These small, family-owned businesses are the backbone of Illinois, and capital grants will unlock funding to help them expand, create new jobs and drive positive economic change for their communities.”
In total, 20 businesses were granted $8.1 million, and a dozen business incubators were granted over $2.9 million. Mercado received $495,700 for its new building project to support minority-owned businesses. Additional funds need to be raised to unlock a $100,000 Transformation Grant from the Quad Cities Community Foundation.
“Mercado on Fifth has been at the forefront of driving economic activity in the Quad Cities region, having helped develop over 20 new minority-owned businesses since 2017,” said Maria Ontiveros, President, Mercado on Fifth. “The Minority-Owned Business Grant from Illinois OMEE will enable our expansion into a much-needed incubator facility to create more equitable growth in the community. As Founder Bob Ontiveros always says, ‘Everyone wins when someone gets an opportunity.’”