Lt. Gov. Barnes: Fund will make flexible loans available for early stage businesses

MILWAUKEE. JULY 12, 2019 – Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes announced today the state will provide $500,000 to the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC) in Milwaukee to assist its targeted small business startup loan fund.

NWSCDC will provide $500,000 of seed funding, to be matched by funds from WEDC’s Capital Catalyst Program, for a total of $1,000,000 to be added to a designated loan pool. This pool will serve startups and small businesses, particularly women- and minority-owned businesses, working in local industry clusters, especially those in energy and power, food and beverage and water technology.

“Being born and raised on Milwaukee’s Northwest side, I am extremely honored to make this announcement on behalf of the state of Wisconsin,” Lt. Gov. Barnes said. “This grant has the potential to go a long way towards economic equity in the city and the state. Gov. Evers and I will continue our support of providing our communities with the opportunity to thrive, regardless of ZIP code.”

NWSCDC’s loan fund will serve early-stage companies that are generating some revenue but are not yet profitable. NWSCDC executive director Howard Snyder and director of lending Willie Smith will also provide specialized technical assistance and mentoring to these small businesses working to connect with local industry clusters.

“For a long time, we have struggled with making smaller loans to smaller companies,” said Snyder. “These dollars from WEDC give us that opportunity to finance the growth of entrepreneurs in Milwaukee in addition to creating new jobs.”

NWSCDC was founded as a nonprofit corporation in 1983 and is governed by a 15-member board of directors. The corporation provides business loans to midsize companies located on the northwest side of Milwaukee. Its mission is to enhance the standard of living on the northwest side of the city by improving its business environment for low-income communities through community economic development.

“NWSCDC presents the perfect overlap between community need and the ability to provide significant resources to an underserved area in Milwaukee,” said WEDC Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Aaron Hagar.  “This award will attract growth companies into an area of Milwaukee that needs stimulated growth.”

Since 2000, NWSCDC has lent over $10 million to businesses in Milwaukee that have created over 1,000 new jobs, including projects such as assisting with financing the second phase development at Midtown Center and creating the Milwaukee Technology Incubator Center within DRS Power Controls and Technologies.

“Many Milwaukee residents have the ambition, ideas and energy to build a business. This investment by WEDC will help local business people overcome some of the biggest hurdles as their dreams take shape,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “The Northwest Side Community Development Corporation can make a real difference in the future of small businesses they serve.”

“One of the top priorities of WEDC is to promote substantive local development by helping communities enhance their business districts and establish firm foundations for ongoing economic growth,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan said. “This award will help foster economic health, quality of life, and a sense of community on the northwest side of Milwaukee.”

WEDC’s Capital Catalyst program provides incentives for capital formation and investment in startups and emerging growth companies to support growth and attract additional private investment throughout the state of Wisconsin. The program provides matching grants to seed funds managed by local communities and other eligible entities who demonstrate organizational capability and the availability of entrepreneurial support to achieve the goals of their program.