June 19, 2020

Duckworth Tours Small Businesses in Auburn Gresham


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today toured businesses in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side to connect with local business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Duckworth was joined by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (IL-SD-16), State Representative Mary Flowers (IL-HD-31), Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation CEO Carlos Nelson and Brewer Coffee and Custard Owner Elijah Brewer. Photos from today’s tour are available here.

“Small businesses in Auburn Gresham and across the South and West sides in Chicago are dealing with two crises – COVID-19 and years of underinvestment,” Duckworth said. “It was an honor to meet with local leaders and business owners to see how the neighborhood is recovering and learn how I can provide more assistance from the federal level. Minority-owned small business were largely shut out from accessing the Paycheck Protection Program due to a lack of pre-existing relationships with large banks, and I’m working hard to make sure Black and minority owned businesses have the resources they need to succeed.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health crisis, Senator Duckworth has taken a number of actions to support small businesses. Last month, she authored bipartisan legislation to prevent the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) flagship loan program from shutting down. Duckworth also joined Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to announce legislation to better appropriate PPP funding targeted toward Black and brown-owned small businesses, part of which was included in the Heroes Act. Last year, Duckworth introduced the Microloan Program Expansion Act of 2019 to improve the SBA’s Microloan Program to help minority-owned small businesses that may have been overlooked by traditional commercial lenders.