Entrepreneurs seeking growth and retail opportunities are encouraged to apply
Pop-Up MKE, a public and private partnership focused on economic development, neighborhood commercial corridor revitalization, and entrepreneurship, is actively seeking business owners looking to start or expand their business in one of three vital commercial corridors. The pop up spaces are a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to test their products, and begin to generate buzz for their business in a low risk, supportive environment. The entrepreneurs also help to breathe new life and activity into underutilized storefronts in three important Milwaukee neighborhoods.
“Much of Milwaukee’s economy is built upon the hard work and imagination of local entrepreneurs. From motorcycle makers to beer brewers, from electronic controls pioneers to insurance innovators, Milwaukee has always been fertile ground for start-up businesses,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “The current generation of local entrepreneurs is likely to define our economic future, so Pop-Up MKE could be the start of Milwaukee’s next best idea.”
Pop-Up MKE is collaborating with the Historic King Drive, Cesar Chavez Drive, and the North Avenue Marketplace Business Improvement Districts to redevelop commercial properties for the selected business owners in this short-term, retail opportunity. The program anticipates working with 8-10 business owners over the next five months.
Entrepreneurs will receive access to reduced rent, business coaching, marketing support, and mini grants that can be utilized for marketing expenses.
“Pop-Up MKE is a unique opportunity to activate vacant storefronts and help enhance important commercial corridors located in Milwaukee neighborhoods. Pop-Up MKE assists in reducing some of the barriers entrepreneurs face in establishing their businesses,” Milwaukee’s Commercial Corridors Team Manager, Natanael Martinez said. “The hope is that these temporary spaces grow and become permanent storefronts throughout the city.”
Pop-Up MKE is coordinated by the City of Milwaukee’s Commercial Corridor team, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), participating Business Improvement Districts, and MKE United. Pop-Up Milwaukee received seed funds from JP Morgan Chase Bank, and will complement commercial corridor revitalization efforts being made through Brew City Match.
“LISC is excited to partner for a second year of the program. Pop-Up MKE gives entrepreneurs of color access to critical training or resources to build their businesses,” LISC Executive Director Donsia Strong Hill said. “As Milwaukee corridors grow it is important that the growth is inclusive and equitable. Pop-Up MKE helps make equitable economic development a reality.”
“At WWBIC we brought support through our business education and our one-on-one business assistance support to individualize the attention that each entrepreneur really needed,” WWBIC Executive Director Wendy Baumann said. “We look forward to this next round to provide support and also use of our WWBIC portal for 24-7 support on many key business issues owners are experiencing every day.”
More information about Pop-Up MKE is available at: https://brewcitymatch.com/pop-upmke .The deadline for applications is August 14, 2019.
About LISC: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is the recognized leader in neighborhood development. Since 1980, LISC has marshaled over 10 billion dollars from investors, lenders and donors to foster the revitalization of more than urban neighborhoods and rural communities. Since 1995, LISC Milwaukee has invested $143 million in the central city by mobilizing resources for neighborhood revitalization and investing these funds through grants, loans and technical assistance to neighborhood-based community development efforts. More information is available at www.lisc.org orwww.lisc.org/milwaukee.
About the City of Milwaukee Commercial Corridor Team:
The City of Milwaukee Commercial Corridor Team (CCT) is a partner of choice in commercial corridor revitalization. Because commercial corridors have a vital impact on economic opportunity, neighborhood perception and quality of life, CCT staff partners with the City’s 31 Business Improvement Districts (BID) and 7 Neighborhood Improvement Districts (NID) through planning, grants, and business and commercial real estate opportunities. In addition to working with the BID/NIDs, the team is responsible for the administration of the City Façade, Signage, White Box and Retail Investment Fund Grants. To find more information on BIDs and NIDs, visit: milwaukee.gov/BIDs. For more on City resources, visit: milwaukee.gov/businesstoolbox.
About WWBIC: WWBIC (Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation) provides quality business education through both classroom and online programming on starting, growing and strengthening business, In 2017 it served approximately 3,300 individuals and closed $6.5 million in micro and small business loans. Over the past 30-plus years, WWBIC has assisted 60,145 individuals, loaned $60M to small business borrowers, and helped create and retain 10,725 jobs through business education and technical assistance, Revolving Loan funds, and SBA Loans.
About MKE United: MKE United is a cross-sectoral effort to create a shared and inclusive vision for Downtown Milwaukee and its adjacent neighborhoods, supported by a strategic action agenda to make that vision a reality. Led by a partnership between the City of Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Committee, and Milwaukee Urban League, MKE United is working to ensure the renaissance in Milwaukee’s downtown can be sustained and grown beyond the downtown and into Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and commercial corridors. More information is available at http://www.mkeunited.com/ and http://www.mkeunited.com/work-product