Grantee Support


One of the central values of the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is to support our grantees beyond the NOF grant, and we will continue to iterate the program to adjust to the needs of our grantees as they arise. NOF grantees currently receive concierge service to help with building permits, business licenses and any scofflaw issues and, as of the Spring of 2019, NOF offers grantees with grants of $250,000 or less the option of project management and lending coach support for each NOF project, as described in more detail below, with added staff.

NOF Concierge

Grantees have access to a NOF Concierge staffperson within the Department of Planning and Development whose main focus is to provide guidance and assistance with internal City departments such as the Departments of Buildings, Finance, Business Affairs & Consumer Protection to assist with building permits, scofflaw issues, business licenses and inspections.

If you are an NOF grantee in need of additional assistance, please email us at NOF@cityofchicago.org.

Technical Assistance Providers *

In the summer of 2018, the Mayor’s Office along with DPD hosted strategic planning sessions with NOF stakeholders, including NOF grantees, lenders and community organizations, to learn how the NOF program could continue to adapt to support grantees and neighborhoods most in need. During these sessions, grantees and partners identified two significant challenges that often hold grantees back from bringing their projects into fruition: (1) managing the contracting and construction process and (2) navigating the lending landscape and securing access to other sources of capital.

As of the Spring of 2019, NOF now offers additional funding to NOF Small Grantees (Grants of $250,000 or less) for technical assistance through Construction Project Managers and Project Lending Coaches. Below is a break-down of each service, including the funding available and the current list of approved providers.

Download our RFQ for Technical Assistance Providers (PDF)

* Please note that total NOF funding for Small Grants (including NOF funding for an Approved TA Provider) can never exceed $250,000 as a grant of greater than $250,000 would be required to go to City Council and be subject to additional construction requirements. Therefore, if a grantee is receiving the full NOF Small Grants maximum of $250,000, they are currently ineligible for this additional support but can still contact the list of Approved TA Providers to engage their services on their own as needed.

Note: The City does not recommend or endorse any one Approved Technical Assistance Provider ("Approved TA Provider"), and, ultimately, NOF Grantees will select the Approved TA Provider and develop a scope of work with them.

Construction Project Manager

Purpose: The Construction Project Manager will provide NOF Grantees with comprehensive construction management support.

Services provided: If selected by an NOF Grantee, the Construction Project Manager can assist the NOF grantee with:

Fees: Determined by loan size, recognizing that smaller loans are often more difficult to secure. For loans from $0-50,000, fees will be capped at 20% of the final loan amount. For loans over $50,001, fees will be capped at 15% of the loan amount or $15,000, whichever is less. Fees must be justified based on hourly rates and tied to identified milestones within the scope of work.

Approved list:

Architechnician CPM
baso
Chatham Business Association and Austin African-American Business Networking Association
Cullen Construction Management
Far South Contractors
Genesis Construction
IFF
P3 Markets
Reconstruction Technology Partners/Safer Foundation
Sustainable Options for Urban Living
Urban Sustainable Development Group

Project Lending Coach

Purpose: The Project Lending Coach can assist NOF Grantees with coaching and preparation for loan applications as well as support other efforts to secure funding for their project.

Services provided: If selected by an NOF Grantee, the Project Lending Coach may be responsible for helping the NOF grantee with:

Fees: Capped at 20% of the approved NOF grant amount or $25,000, whichever is less. Fees must be justified based on hourly rates and tied to identified milestones within the scope of work.

Approved list:

Accion Chicago
Asante Yugen
Financial Strategists
Greater Chatham Initiative
InUrban Strategies
Kathleen Robbins
RER Solutions Group
Superior Business Lending
Women's Business Development Center