Grantee Profile

Ix-Chel Gelato & Frozen Pops makes handcrafted frozen treats – including vegan and gluten free options. Located in Jefferson Park, in addition to serving walk-in customers, the shop also caters events and provides to-go options during the off-season. 

Ix-Chel had been open less than a year when the pandemic started. Owner/operator, Guadalupe Tsironis, navigated the resulting unexpected challenges with the help of the SBIF grant program.

SBIF Grant Impact (Jefferson Park)

Tsironis completed one SBIF project in May of 2021 and has another currently in progress – totaling an estimated $22,000 in grant funds.

“The SBIF program was critical during the infancy of my business at the start of the pandemic,” said Tsironis. “The first grant allowed me to accommodate outdoor seating, which was paramount in keeping the business afloat under the imposed COVID restrictions. The second grant is responsible for new electric signage, which will put a spotlight on our business as it continues to grow and serve our community.”

The scope of completed work includes electrical upgrades to accommodate exterior lighting, the installation of an automatic door, and a security camera system. Currently, work is underway to update exterior signage and install interior rolling shutters.

Photo Credit: Walter S. Mitchell III, Samuel Sotelo-Avila, City of Chicago

Ix-Chel Gelato & Frozen Pops is closed for the season – expected reopening spring 2022.

Learn more about the Ix-Chel Gelato & Frozen Pops by visiting or their Facebook page.

Learn More About the Small Business Improvement Fund

Launched in 1999, Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund promotes economic development by providing reimbursable grants for permanent building improvement. Landlords, owner/operators, and tenants (with landlord approval) are eligible to apply. Residential projects are not eligible.

SomerCor is the program administrator contracted by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Learn more about the program and apply by visiting