Six Sherman Phoenix Businesses Begin Year Rent-Free
Green Bay Packers, American Family Insurance donate $40,000 for rent relief.
This $40,000 donation will benefit CTRL C, Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Hello Beautiful, Salon Lavish, Rise and Grind Café and Underground Makers Market. These businesses were chosen by Sherman Phoenix to receive additional support. Burks shared the surprise with the owners of these businesses over Zoom.
Trueman McGee, owner of Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, told Urban Milwaukee in an interview that he is already planning ways to use the extra money.
“One thing I want to do is take care of my staff, because they’ve been working so hard,” McGee said.
Sherman Phoenix, located at 3536 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., is a hub for small businesses and community spaces, the majority of which are owned by people of color. It was created following the 2016 unrest in the Sherman Park neighborhood.
“Community conversations identified a need for safe, welcoming neighborhood spaces, and certain leaders in the community decided to take matters into their own hands in order to foster change,” Sherman Phoenix said on its website.
Sherman Phoenix is now home to 27 small businesses and 75 jobs.
Burks is a member of the board of directors for the Sherman Phoenix Foundation, and has contributed to the Sherman Phoenix through the Packers’ social justice initiative.
The Packers matched American Family Insurance’s $20,000 donation to total $40,000. The donation is part of American Family’s “Free to Dream” initiative, in which the company pledged to donate $105 million over the next five years to improve communities and close racial equity gaps.