Minority Business Development Program

Program Goal:

The goal of the Minority Business Development (MBD) Program is to support new and expanding minority-owned businesses (MOB) in the state of Wisconsin.

This program primarily supports the following WEDC Strategic Pillar and Focus Area:

Community and Economic Opportunity: Minority Business Development

Program Description:

The program is designed to support minority business development through business creation, expansion and attraction. This is accomplished through direct grant assistance to qualifying minority business associations in Wisconsin for business revolving loan funds (RLFs) and administrative assistance.

In turn, these investments are intended to promote job creation and retention in minority communities. As a whole, the MBD Program is devised to have a catalytic effect to grow the business climate of minority communities as well as enhancing the overall business health in the minority communities of Wisconsin.

Eligibility Requirements:

Eligible grant applicants are not-for-profit, minority business associations that either (1) administer Minority Revolving Loan Funds, (2) provide business training assistance or (3) otherwise serve the minority business community, such as minority chambers of commerce, minority business alliances and consortia, or other minority organizations. The applicant must demonstrate professional capacity, financial stability and viability, and, if applicable, a demonstrated need in the minority community for RLF assistance.  To qualify for an administrative assistance, there must be evidence acceptable to BID staff that the recipient organization lacks adequate capacity to execute business planning consulting, the necessary pre-loan qualification, promotion of an RLF, continuous monitoring of the loan award, repayments, and condition of the borrower.

The matching requirement to receive WEDC investment into RLFs is at least 1:1 for revolving loan funds. For administrative assistance grants, there is no matching requirement. The contributed match may be derived from a minority-owned business association or from a combination of public and private funds.  In-kind match is not eligible for consideration.

Recipient RLF minority business associations establish a loan review committee, loan policies and procedures including credit eligibility standards, for awarding loans from their respective RLFs. WEDC must review and approve the recipient’s loan policies and procedures.

Generally, recipient RLF minority business associations provide loans to MOBs with fewer than 25 employees and that are startup or early-stage companies.  Loans from the RLF to MOBs are generally limited to $25,000 per loan. Loan awards greater than $25,000 require prior written consent from WEDC and WEDC approval of terms and conditions.

Incentives and Available Funding (FY17): $750,000

During a fiscal year, minority business associations may receive up to $200,000 in RLF grant investment and up to $100,000 in administrative assistance to both administer the RLF and to develop additional leverage in the RLF. Recipients may be eligible for additional funding to provide financial support to their partner organizations.

Activities & Expected Outcomes:

Assist 10 minority business associations to support 27 businesses through RLF loans and 123 businesses through substantive technical assistance.

Performance Reporting:

Recipients will be required to submit periodic reports on RLF activity and technical assistance provided, as well as any other contract deliverable.

WEDC may impose additional reporting requirements to evaluate project performance and to ensure compliance with contract deliverables.

Application and Awards Process:

Applicants for a Minority Business Development Grant should complete an application through a regional economic development director. The application will be assigned to an underwriter and go through the award review process.

For more information on application review, internal process and award distribution, please refer to WEDC’s award administration policies and procedures.