CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) — A suburban small business on the brink of collapse is now thriving again, thanks to an outpouring of community support.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti explains, Nick’s Pizza has been operating in Crystal Lake for 16 years. But after expanding into Elgin, founder Nick Sarillo found himself in a financial bind.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

So four months ago, Sarillo sent out an e-mail to customers warning that the restaurant might not survive.

“I was ready to say goodbye,” Sarillo said.

But as a result, Carillo received an outpouring of financial support. Now, he has restructured his mortgage, and he is the recipient a %25,000 small-business grant.

“Our community voted for us, and we won, and that’s going to help us continue to hire and train the way we do, and do the fundraisers that we do,” Sarillo said.

Sarillo says it’s still an uphill climb, but he’s not ruling out expanding into the city of Chicago in the coming years — most likely on the Northwest Side or another family-friendly area.

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