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Brew City Match revitalization program begins accepting small business loan applications

An initiative focused on accelerating small business growth in neighborhoods surrounding downtown Milwaukee will begin accepting applications on June 10 for small business loans and technical support.

A new website and additional information about the Brew City Match program was presented at a press event on June 3 at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

“Small businesses are going to play an integral role in the revitalization of Milwaukee’s historic commercial corridors,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “The generous investment from JP Morgan Chase will be leveraged with other private and public sources to help ensure that small businesses in our city are receiving the resources, assistance and financing they need to thrive.”

JPMorgan Chase awarded $3.5 million to the Brew City Match collaborative last fall as part of its Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) competition, which helps fuel economic development in underserved communities.

“It should not be a secret ingredient rather a key ingredient and with Brew City Match a leavening ingredient — business education and one on one business technical assistance,” said Wendy Baumann, Executive Director of WWBIC. “We know businesses have greater success and grow faster with this support. WWBIC will be providing this through Brew City Match.”

Brew City Match recognizes that small businesses will be a key ingredient to sparking growth in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and is being led by the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Savings & Loan, MEDC, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), in addition to MKE United, a Greater Milwaukee Committee initiative.

“Brew City Match has given LISC and our partners an opportunity to reimagine the collaboration required to develop a recipe for a fully functioning economic development ecosystem,” said Donsia Strong Hill, Executive Director of LISC Milwaukee. “Brew City Match has spent time creating streamlined processes that make applying for business support and capital needed for commercial real estate projects easier to match small business owners with the resources they need.”

The program was launched within the Historic King Drive, North Avenue and Fond du Lac, and Cesar Chavez Drive corridors, providing a mix of loans, grants, and business support to assist small business owners start or expand their businesses.

“LISC’s leadership and the strength of the Brew City Match partnership is a vital piece of the commercial corridor revitalization of the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown which includes many MKE United Neighborhoods,” stated Julia Taylor, President of the GMC. “Brew City Match helps realize a key goal of MKE United, specifically related to making Milwaukee a destination for diverse and authentic offerings that are representative of our city and building vibrancy in our commercial corridors.”

“The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce’s statewide work in providing access to capital has created a sound impact in underserved communities all over Wisconsin,” said May yer Thao, Executive Director. “With Brew City Match we will be able to provide and leverage a projected $1.35+ million in capital to support businesses for whom capital is otherwise unavailable through traditional lending institutions. We are excited to fund Milwaukee’s next generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners within the Brew City Match footprint.”

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