Jeramey Jannene

Brew City Match Picks Grant Winners

Third round of grants for Black and brown business owners, 84% owned by women.

By - Dec 2nd, 2020 03:58 pm
Cetonia Weston-Roy. Photo courtesy of Cetonia Weston-Roy.

Cetonia Weston-Roy. Photo courtesy of Cetonia Weston-Roy.

Brew City Match announced its third cohort of winners.

The program, backed by a $3.5 million grant from Chase, is focused on small business development and commercial property revitalization in the city’s historic commercial corridors. LISC Milwaukee administers the program.

Twenty-four businesses, 100 percent of which are owned by entrepreneurs of color, were announced as winners. In addition, nine property owners will receive grants to improve properties in targeted areas.

In total, the 33 winners span four different programs focused on everything from developing business plans to finding space and improving properties.

Of the participating businesses, 84 percent are owned by women. Most of the businesses are small entities that Brew City Match will help get off the ground. But others are established or emerging firms that Brew City will partner with to rehabilitate vacant or underutilized commercial properties.

“Brew City Match is providing access to capital for small business and commercial property developments,” said program officer Beth Haskovec. “In partnership with neighborhood stakeholders, we are able to invest in commercial real estate that will have a catalytic impact and garner additional investment in the neighborhoods”.

Many of the bricks-and-mortar investments in this round are clustered along N. 27th St. from W. Wisconsin Ave. to W. Wells St. Developer Rick Wiegand has a hand in many of the projects, including the planned conversion of the former Grand Avenue School into the Ambassador Suites extended-stay hotel. He owns and operates the nearby Ambassador Hotel.

“The Grand Avenue School development is important for the Near West Side neighborhood because it will change the perception of a blighted property to one of revitalization at the visually prominent 27th & Wisconsin intersection,” said Wiegand. “The project will serve as a catalyst for redeveloping the entire block because the site improvements will visually and functionally connect it to the Tower Theater and Liberty/Doctors Hospital buildings to the north, enhancing the success of the contiguous projects.”

Cetonia Weston-Roy‘s Niche Book Bar has won an award in each round, bringing her vision for a Black-owned bookstore and wine bar closer to reality.

Weston-Roy received Business Planning Track support in the first cohort and completed a business-planning course through WWBIC in fall 2019. Earlier this year she was announced as a Space Track winner.

A number of other past winners have secured a second award, moving progressively from business planning to business development.

The next application round will open in spring 2021.

LISC pivoted the program in May of this year to provide grants and loans to support businesses struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Business Planning Track

Winners receive a free business planning course from WWBIC.

  • Tanqueray Bannister – Diversity Family Child Care (affordable family child care)
  • Angel Bell – Dreams Into Reality Coaching and Consulting Services (personal and business consulting agency)
  • Erika Crosby – Erika Nicole Events (a dynamic event planning business)
  • Julie Duncan – Precious Jewels (quality care for children)
  • Joe Ferch – A&J Ventures (medical battery manufacturer)
  • Iesha Gatlin – Children Of The Light Childcare Center (childcare and community wellness center)
  • Tywonna Laney – EllaRose (consulting business)
  • Blanca Martinez – Essence Resume Consultant (career development consultant)
  • Eddie Moore – Junk Masters (junk removal service)
  • Brittni Patterson – Wishy Washy Laundry (laundry service)
  • Brittany Thomas – Faraja & Company (sewing and manufacturing company)
  • Lakeisha Walker, Nalakah Cleaning Service (cleaning and lawn care service)
  • Teriyanna Ward – Empress Galleria

Space Track

Winners receive support finding available commercial space in focus neighborhoods.

Cash Track

Winners gain access to financing and mini grants to fund startup costs.

Building Owner Track

Winners receive predevelopment and development grants and access to finance. Brew City Match also works with property owners to match their project to commercial tenants when applicable.

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