Since its inception, the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has strived to help businesses in the greater Milwaukee area take flight, while creating or retaining jobs through various loan programs. We recently sat down with John Miller, vice president of MEDC, who gave us more insight into the group’s mission.
Q: How was the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation formed?
A: Our organization was formed in 1971, as a result of ongoing discussions between business stakeholders and the City of Milwaukee. Business owners wanted to raise revenue, but were running into issues with bank lending limitations, and they didn’t have enough equity to fill the gap. The initial idea was to find a way, through city money and federal and state grants, to fund a loan pool — and thus MEDC was born. Shortly thereafter, the City of Milwaukee started to fund our flagship Second Mortgage Program.
Q: Can you tell me about the programs MEDC offers?
A: We have a few program options for business owners:
Q: What kind of companies can apply for these programs?
A: For the most part, any company can apply, provided they plan to create or retain jobs in the Milwaukee area. However, we typically do not lend to nonprofit businesses, religious-based businesses or retail outlets that sell guns or liquor. We also look for and fund as many manufacturing businesses as we can, since that is a priority target for us.
Q: How do MEDC’s offerings benefit the state’s business climate?
A: I think we provide a competitive option for business owners because the structure of our financing allows owners to invest less equity in a project. We also have very little, if any, fee structure to our debt, as well as flexible terms for underwriting. Also, MEDC can be easier to work with because we’re centrally located in downtown Milwaukee, so we’re just a phone call or site visit away.
Q: What is the best way for companies to learn more or apply for MEDC programs?
A: Visit our website, http://www.medconline.com. It has more information about how our programs work and what we look for to initiate contact. Otherwise, please give us a call at 414.269.1440. We have six loan officers including myself on staff, so we’re ready, willing and well-staffed to address borrower needs in a timely fashion.