Two South Side businesses among firms getting Rebuild Illinois grants to ‘add jobs, and develop community wealth’

Bourdeau-Griffin Interiors & Architectural Supplies, in West Chatham, received $1.9 million for a business hub and development center, while Omni Ecosystems will receive $2 million for a green infrastructure and business incubator through the state’s Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development program.

SHARE Two South Side businesses among firms getting Rebuild Illinois grants to ‘add jobs, and develop community wealth’
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces $16.5 million in grants for economic development on Tuesday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces $16.5 million in grants for economic development on Tuesday.

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Two South Side businesses — an interior design firm and another focused on environmental landscaping — will receive nearly $4 million in Rebuild Illinois capital grants.

Those two companies are among the recipients of a total of $16.5 million in grants for economic development Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday at Omni Ecosystems in Bronzeville.

Bourdeau-Griffin Interiors & Architectural Supplies, in West Chatham, received $1.9 million for a business hub and development center, while Omni Ecosystems will receive $2 million for a green infrastructure and business incubator through the state’s Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development program.

Molly Meyer, the CEO and founder of Omni Ecosystems, said during a Tuesday news conference the funds will help her company and their “fellow small business neighbors to develop inclusive workforces and to catalyze economic growth.”

Omni Ecosystems invents and manufactures soil based technologies and provides “the landscape architecture, construction and management services to further green infrastructure,” Meyer said.

Green infrastructure is an approach to water management that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle, according to the U.S. conservation organization American Rivers.

The head of Omni said her company has added trees to the block outside its Bronzeville headquarters where they’ve thrived and helped to manage storm water, mitigate the effects of climate change and “make our communities more livable places.”

“This grant gives us the opportunity for us at Omni, and other minority and women owned business neighbors in this building, including Hatch 41 ... and Hatch’s member organizations, as well as the elite fitness gym 13th Flow to add jobs, and develop community wealth as a direct result of this grant,” Meyer said.

Pritzker said the regional economic development projects generate “new opportunities” and build “the type of infrastructure that residents can depend on for many years to come.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona looks on as Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters after touring Access Hawthorne Family Health Center in Cicero on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona looks on as Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters after touring Access Hawthorne Family Health Center in Cicero on Tuesday.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

“This particular local investment is yet another milestone on our journey as a state, toward the kind of Illinois that we’re committed to building where no resident is left behind,” Pritzker said.

Other grant recipients include the Naperville Heritage Society in Naperville and northwest suburban Schaumburg, which received $1.25 million to increase public access and bike path connections to the village’s Metra station.

New Med Diagnostics in Jefferson County as well as projects in the cities of Effingham, Geneva, Monmouth, Quincy, Rock Island and Ottawa will also receive funding.

Pritzker has announced a series of other grant programs for small businesses in an effort to help them recover from the pandemic.

Last month, the governor announced a $250 million, back-to-business grant program to help small businesses across Illinois who’d faced pandemic-induced losses hire back staff and cover operating costs.

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