Other Initiatives

Neighborhood Engagement

Essay earns Webster Black History Scholarship
The Beverly Review | Kyle Garmes | March 6, 2018
“Webster, of Beverly, is a senior at Phoenix Military Academy, a magnet high school in East Garfield Park that is part of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). During a surprise ceremony on Feb. 27, she was awarded a $2,500 Black History Month Scholarship for college by Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers and representatives of BMO Harris Bank. Over the last year, her aunt said, Webster has dealt with personal tragedy, including the death of her grandmother. But that didn’t stop her from excelling in the classroom and earning the scholarship—and then celebrating with Redmond.”

How To Promote Black Tech in Chicago? Collaboration Is Key, Leaders Say
DNAinfo | Tatiana Walk-Morris | January 29, 2016
“In addition to capital constraints, Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers mentioned other barriers including gaining a client base and understanding the cost of doing business, adding that his office is open to local entrepreneurs of color seeking help. During his opening remarks, Summers encouraged attendees to take advantage of Chicago’s emerging tech scene, and to be mentors to other aspiring entrepreneurs. Though he acknowledged that some sitting in the room did not have mentors when they entered the industry, ‘everyone has the power to be what they didn’t have,’ Summers said. ‘We don’t have a talent gap. We have an opportunity gap.’”

Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers Surprises High School Senior
Chicago Defender | Mary Datcher | March 5, 2015
“Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers surprised high school senior and essay award recipient Makiah Lyons with a $2,500 scholarship sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. Lyons, a student at King College Prep High School, wrote the winning essay about African-American inventor Garrett Morgan who revolutionized several inventions and products that are used today, including the traffic signal light, an improved version of the sewing machine, the ‘safety hood’ which later became the gas mask and a hair-straightening cream. Morgan also became one of the wealthiest African-American businessmen in the country and the first Black man to own an automobile in Cleveland, Ohio.”

Small Business Support

New Online Portal Offers Loans Up to $500,000 to African American Entrepreneurs in Chicago
Black Enterprise | Jeffrey McKinney | November 3, 2017
“Summers says Chicago will be the nation’s first city to provide the lending technology. ‘Healthy businesses support thriving communities and improve the overall picture of economic development for residents,’ he says. ‘This SimpleGrowth tool is another leap forward in my office’s mission of boosting the economy and creating a climate for job creation, especially in traditionally underrepresented neighborhoods.’”

Chicago Leads Charge Against Predatory Small Business Lending
NextCity | Oscar Perry Abello | May 9, 2016
“‘There’s such a need for capital, that’s such an opportunity for those who seek it to be preyed upon,’ says Summers, who is now championing the Small Business Lending Act of 2016, which would make Illinois the first state in the nation to regulate predatory small business lenders operating mostly online and beyond the scope of existing regulations. The bill moved out of committee last month, and the clock is ticking, as the main Illinois state legislative session this year ends on May 31.”


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