Local Initiatives Support Corporation Milwaukee
Press Release

Innovative collaboration kicks off business selection process for “Pop-Up MKE” retail spaces

Applications are now being accepted from entrepreneurs seeking growth and retail opportunities

(Milwaukee, April 11, 2018) Pop-Up MKE, a public and private partnership focused on economic development 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.

LISC’s Executive Director, Donsia Strong Hill remarked on the impact of the program by stating, “The environment for local entrepreneurs can be a challenge in Milwaukee. Particularly, when business owners do not have access to training or resources. At the same time, development is moving quickly in Milwaukee. Pop-Up MKE is providing a platform for entrepreneurs to learn and grow as the neighborhoods grow.”

Pop-Up MKE is currently collaborating with the City of Milwaukee’s White Box Grant program to prepare storefronts along Historic King Drive, Cesar Chavez Drive, and the North Avenue and Fond du Lac Business Improvement Districts for the 12 business owners that will be selected for this short-term, retail opportunity.

Entrepreneurs will receive access to reduced rent, business coaching, marketing support, and mini grants that can be utilized for business start-up or expansion expenses. Applications for business owners can be found on WWBIC’s website  https://www.wwbic.com/news-and-events/popumkep.php . The deadline for submission is May 2, 2018. Application questions can be addressed to Amber Miller, WWBIC, amber.miller@wwbic.com, 414-263-5450.

Pop-Up MKE is coordinated by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WBBIC), and MKE United, a partnership between the City of Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Committee, and Milwaukee Urban League. Pop-Up Milwaukee is part of Chase Ramp Up, a larger initiative aimed at building capacity and supporting urban entrepreneurs.

As part of the CHASE Ramp Up initiative, the African American Chamber of Commerce will also be implementing a culturally contextualized entrepreneur training program in partnership with MORTAR, a successful Cincinnati based entrepreneurship program whose mission is to “enable under-served entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed; creating opportunities to build communities through entrepreneurship”.  The African American Chamber’s pilot program will be the first expansion of MORTAR in the country.  The first entrepreneur cohort will begin in June 2018.

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 or www.lisc.org/milwaukee.

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

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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