Brew City Match works to retain neighborhood-based businesses with support from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation
The Brew City Match collaborative, led by LISC Milwaukee, moved quickly to announce small business grants and zero percent interest loans for area businesses in response to the COVID-19 epidemic in early April. The Emergency Relief program has received a significant boost through a $100,000 donation from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. These additional funds will provide access to grant and loan capital to another 45 existing businesses within the Brew City Match neighborhoods.
“For so many people in Milwaukee, small businesses are a source of livelihood and personal fulfillment. For our economy to recover and community to thrive, we need to come together to ensure local businesses have the resources needed to sustain operations and create jobs,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “By supporting LISC Milwaukee’s Brew City Match, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is able to put philanthropic dollars to work on an issue that affects us all.”
Business owners Mario Diaz Herrera and Amy Narr opened Triciclo Peru in December 2019, as a labor of love. They could not have anticipated that, just a few months later, COVID-19 would amplify the risk they had taken to open a restaurant on Milwaukee’s Near West Side. “As a new business, cash flow had become incredibly tight. We weren’t able to rely on a full bar of people every weekend, which was ensuring that our business was able to keep operating and growing,” Amy shared.
Amy and Mario learned about the Brew City Match emergency relief program through the Near West Side Partners, and immediately applied. Amy shared that they have been working to navigate the many resources available to small businesses in order to sustain their business. “Programs like Brew City Match have been amazing- the process was easy, quick, and efficient. This was great because we are working to understand how we can adapt our business while also trying to apply for support. The grant was essential, and the loan process was incredibly easy. It felt good to know that people are fighting for us.” Triciclo Peru was able to use the funds to purchase supplies to serve a growing demand for curbside delivery, and were able to bring a couple of their staff members back onto the payroll.
For more information about the Brew City Match COVID-19 relief programs visit the website. Any existing small business within the program area are eligible to apply. To determine if you are in the program area visit www.brewcitymatch.com/resources and review the map.
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