As part of our anti-racism commitment, Next Street launched a grant program to provide grant funding to BIPOC-owned small businesses using a percentage of our annual profit. The grant program is now in its second year, and we are thrilled to announce the second cohort of grant recipients. Each of this year’s winners are from Cook County, IL. Learn more about the five selected businesses below.

Giana Moreno, Creator of Ritual Theory operates a spiritual boutique where you can find her specialty intention/ritual candles made from upcycled vessels and so much more. Giana will use a portion of the Next Street Small Business Grant to find assistance with running her business. She will also upgrade her candle making equipment to make the candle making experience more seamless. Lastly, she will use a portion of the funds to get support from an accountant to help her understand her growth as an entrepreneur and to grasp more tools towards financial literacy.

Quinton McNair founded Strugglebeard Bakery after retiring from 24 years of military service. His cookies are hand-crafted with the best ingredients and a splash of top shelf spirits. Next Street Small Business Grant funds will be used towards purchasing and updating equipment. Specifically, he needs to acquire three commercial mixers, a repaired baking oven, baking sheets and other kitchen equipment. The grant will be applied towards those purchases, allowing his business to have up-to-date equipment.

Alborada is a quinceañera boutique serving the Little Village community, home to Chicago’s largest Hispanic community for over 10 years. They offer dresses for occasions such as, quinceañeras, weddings, and other festive events. With the Next Street Small Business Grant, they will invest in an inventory management system, which will help them improve efficiency in the long run.

Chef David Fuller is the founder of Eating to Live, a manufacturing and training consultancy which specializes in health-conscious comfort food solutions for retail and foodservice. With the Next Street Small Business Grant, he will relaunch his website, which will include e-commerce of prepared foods, seasonings, spices and virtual healthy eating cooking classes. He anticipates the website will drive online sales for the business.

Renee Carter is the owner of New Nurse University Inc. Since launching her business, she has successfully helped 1500+ nursing students pass nursing school and state boards while providing mentorship to new graduates looking for jobs. With the Next Street Small Business Grant, she will allocate a portion for software purchases, supplement her marketing efforts to increase lead generation and sales, and increase her HR budget, to help her find and hire additional staff.