February 14, 2020

Duckworth Tours The Hatchery, Highlighting Success of Local Entrepreneurs


[CHICAGO, IL] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) visited The Hatchery, a nonprofit food and beverage production facility and business incubator in East Garfield Park dedicated to helping local entrepreneurs, especially those of color. Duckworth was joined by representatives from Accion Chicago and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago and Hatchery entrepreneurs, where she heard success stories from participants of the Hatchery. Photos from today’s event are available here.

“Incubators like The Hatchery give local entrepreneurs the resources they need to collaborate with other community members and open up their own small businesses,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud of the work The Hatchery has done to help local small business leaders succeed, and I’ll keep working to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses, especially in underserved communities.”

The Hatchery is a partnership between local nonprofits Accion Chicago, a certified Community Development Financial Institution, Small Business Administration microlending intermediary and SBA Community Advantage lender, and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, a nonprofit economic development organization focused on incubating small manufacturing companies and bringing economic and community development to the Near West Side of Chicago. It is home to The Hatchery Chicago incubator, Accion Chicago’s microlending, two workforce development initiatives and the Garfield Park Neighborhood Market.

“Accion provides the capital, coaching and connections that neighborhood entrepreneurs need to create jobs and wealth in our communities,” said Brad McConnell, CEO of Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana. “We commend Senator Duckworth’s work to expand the SBA Microloan Program, which would help more women, veteran and minority entrepreneurs access capital. As a Community Development Financial Institution who utilizes funds from the Small Business Administration, Economic Development Administration, and the New Markets Tax Credit Program, Accion will continue to partner with federal policymakers to provide more capital to underserved entrepreneurs.”

Last year, Duckworth introduced the Microloan Program Enhancement Act of 2019 to help small business owners secure the financing they need to grow their businesses and create good-paying jobs in their communities. The legislation would improve the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program to help more small businesses – particularly women, Veterans, low-income and minority entrepreneurs – that may have been overlooked by traditional commercial lenders.