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Innovative program in Milwaukee helps business owners of color thrive — even amid a pandemic

[July 20, 2020: EfficientGov]



As small businesses continue to struggle under the weight of the pandemic, cities are having to think outside the box to help their communities thrive in the face of so much adversity.


Since 2019, Milwaukee's Brew City Match (BCM) program has been doing just that. Through an innovative partnership between the Local Initiative Support Corporation, the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development, the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Savings & Loan, MEDC, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, and the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s MKE United Initiative, the program has provided both funding and support services for nearly 100 small businesses, the vast majority of which are run by entrepreneurs of color.


And not only are they still hard at work helping historically underserved communities launch their dreams of business ownership — BCM is now accepting applications for its third round of new business development funding — they're also providing emergency assistance for established businesses hit hard by COVID-19... MORE