Chicago, IL’s Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot recently announced the launching of a grant program – the Climate Infrastructure Fund – intended for local small businesses and nonprofits. The US$5 million fund will be used to help pay for: renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements in buildings; the purchase of electric vehicles and installation of EV charging stations; and enabling green infrastructure solutions that capture stormwater and reduce onsite flooding.
The Climate Infrastructure Fund is designed to support projects that are in line with the City’s commitments to reduce emissions, invest in environmental justice communities across the city, and meet targets within its 2022 Climate Action Plan.
“In October of last year and along with the support of the City Council, we committed to delivering on bold, equitable, and actionable climate solutions by investing in the largest climate budget to date in Chicago,” said Lightfoot. “That $188 million serves as a down payment for climate action and resiliency with an intentional focus on direct benefits within neighborhoods that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and decades of disinvestment. The Climate Infrastructure Fund is further strengthening this foundation by supporting organizations and small businesses as they take on leadership roles as participants and beneficiaries in the green economy.”
Projects submitted for funding will be scored on criteria related to climate mitigation and resilience factors, equity impact, and project readiness.
“The City of Chicago recognizes that the key to mitigating the climate crisis and fostering resilient neighborhoods begins at the community level,” said Angela Tovar, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City. “We are thrilled to provide direct resources to our community organizations and small businesses on the frontlines of the climate crisis and to support their vision for a sustainable future. “