The Daily Northwestern

Evanston businesses running for Mission Main Street grants

Sabrina Rodriguez, Reporter

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Sixteen Evanston businesses are in the running for one of 12 grants from Chase worth $250,000 each.

Mission Main Street, the grant program, gives the money to 12 small businesses nationwide to help expand their operations.

“This grant can help businesses reach out to a lot more customers and offer much more working capital,” said Michael Kormanik, spokesman for Greenwise, a sustainable landscape company participating in the competition.

In Evanston, the 16 businesses participating are: Beholden Photography; Edzo’s Burger Shop, 1571 Sherman Ave.; Feast & Imbibe, 1307 Chicago Ave.; Greenwise, 1638 Payne St.; Happy Husky Bakery, 2601 Prairie Ave.; Hazelbaker & Lellenber.; Hip Circle Studio, 707-709 Washington St.; Lea Filipek, Inc.; MightyNest; MyChild; Now We’re Cookin’, 1601 Payne St.; Perennials, 2022 Central St.; Rex’s Place, 2120 Ashland Ave.; Star Wireless, 630 Davis St.; Studio 9 Inc; and A Walk in the Park of the North Shore.

The competition began with the businesses submitting an application explaining why they deserve a grant.

The businesses now need 250 votes by Nov. 15 to advance to the last round, in which they are judged by a panel.

Votes can be cast by going to and selecting a business.

The national winners will be awarded in January.

Aside from the Chase grants, each winner will receive a Google Chromebook Pixel laptop and a trip to Google’s California headquarters for a small business workshop.

“This grant can open so many doors for us,” Kormanik said.

Greenwise is an organic lawn care company that offers various pro bono services to the community. The company provides Evanston parks with organic fertilizers.

“The green movement isn’t just a fad anymore,” Kormanik said. “The grant could give us more room to spread the word that a high quality landscape is sustainable.”

For Happy Husky Bakery, the grant could help grow the business outside of Evanston. The bakery hopes to start packaging treats to sell at independent retailers.

“A small store can only have so many customers,” said Todd Ruppenthal, co-owner of the bakery. “Our draw up until now has been geographic and we would like to expand our brand.”

Kathy Lichtenstein, owner of Rex’s Place, a dog day care, training and boarding facility, said she could use the money to buy her own building to expand and make renovations. Those plans would include a senior center for dogs, offering therapy and socializing for older canines.

“I’ve really tried to build a community at large with my business,” Lichtenstein said. “Expanding my business means offering more services for the people of Evanston.”

Twitter: @sabrinarod1