Small Business Growth Initiative - Pilot Program


The first recipient of LCCF's Small Business Growth Initiative grant pilot program is Drip & Culture, a socially minded coffee and apparel brand, located inside the Supermercado Gonzalez in Waukegan, Illinois.

Through this pilot initiative, LCCF provided a $50,000 grant to Drip & Culture in support of moving their coffee shop from the back of the grocery store to the front, making it more accessible to customers and creating room for future growth.

Drip & Culture owners, Adam Carson and Nydia Gonzalez-Carson, were chosen because of the alignment of their values with LCCF. Adam and Nydia have a vision to build a small business network to support kindred entrepreneurial spirits with similar backgrounds and dreams, in turn cultivating a more robust small business ecosystem in Waukegan. Drip & Culture is using a portion of their grant funds to help support other local entrepreneurs, bringing this vision to a reality. Drip and Culture and LCCF both want to create something that builds community and contributes to economic justice.


Meet Drip & Culture Co-Owners: Nydia & Adam!


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"Drip and Culture Co. is a socially-minded coffee brand (Definition socially-minded: having an interest in society specifically: actively interested in the well-being of society as a whole).

We intend to leverage our profits to invest in our community and become a model for social entrepreneurship. How do we see ourselves as social entrepreneurs? We believe a portion of our earnings should support nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and for-profit organizations whose work centers around addressing society's ills. These ills can include increasing educational attainment, criminal justice reform, immigration policy reform, antiracism and voting rights.

Small businesses can change the community for the better, and we believe we can be a catalyst in Waukegan." 


SBGI Pilot Partners: Drip & Culture, Waukegan; Allies for Community Business; College of Lake County’s Small Business Development & International Trade Center; Lake County Partners

Timeline: 1 Year (October 2021 grant awarded)

Drip & Culture Early Successes:

  • Construction projected to start in April 2022
  • Launched online ordering
  • Hired 2 additional part-time staff members
  • Hosted 12 small businesses in an after-hours market
  • Designed a pilot entrepreneurial boot-camp for 5 small businesses
  • Drafted a loyalty program

Keep up with D&C! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

LCCF Small Business Growth Initiative Impact Analysis coming soon. For more information, please reach out to our Manager of Community Impact, Courtney Combs, at Courtney@lakecountycf.org


Thank You to Our SBGI Pilot Program Supporters!

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