A lawsuit by a white North Side businessman has forced Cook County officials to revamp a system that would have paid out $ten,000 grants to minority- and girls-owned corporations hurt by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Announced in 2022, the Supply Develop Grant System was to spend out some $71 million in federal COVID relief funds as grants to “historically excluded corporations — such as these owned by entrepreneurs of colour, girls, veterans, LGBQT+ and persons with a disability — 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, looking for an injunction to bar the system from releasing any grants since the system would “disadvantage his application in comparison to similarly situated applicants who recognize as nonwhite or Hispanic.”

The county received 22,000 applications from small business owners, but no funds have been awarded and county officials this week announced they would redesign the system and ask applicants to resubmit.

Court records indicate Cusano’s request for an injunction was dismissed earlier this month by the judge since the county had announced the system was “rescinded” on Feb. 27.

It was not clear from the lawsuit irrespective of whether Cusano, who stated he identifies as “white and Caucasian,” applied for a Develop Grant, which would have essential him to list his race on the application type and certify that the small business was at least 51% owned by a minority, lady, particular person with a disability or veteran. Cusano did not return a telephone get in touch with Friday from the Chicago Sun-Occasions.

“While a motion to dismiss the suit has been filed, a determination by Cook County was produced to rescind and restructure the grant,” Preckwinkle spokesman Nick Mathiowdis stated in a statement. “To that finish, and in an work to help little corporations as swiftly as achievable, we have selected to restructure the grant system rather than litigate the matter in court.”

The system would have allotted grants to two,250 applicants. Mathiowdis stated the pool of funding would be enhanced in the restructured system, and will target corporations that had been “disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and historically disinvested communities.”

Organizations would have to resubmit applications for the grants, Mathiowdis stated.

By Editor

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