Milwaukee (CBS 58)-A new pilot program aims to increase opportunities for black entrepreneurs and business owners in Milwaukee.
The creators of the Black Business Boost Fund stated that it will promote the fair expansion of underserved communities.
The PNC Foundation will provide a grant of US$600,000 to start the fund and is expected to support at least 100 local black businesses and entrepreneurs.
Chris Herman, regional president of PNC, Wisconsin, said: “Today, we must boldly take steps that can best help black-owned companies to start, grow, and prosper.”
The collaborators stated that the plan is “putting dreams into practice.”
In addition to financial investment, the Black Business Promotion Fund will also provide tailor-made resources such as incubation, credit recovery and one-on-one tutoring.
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative (WWBIC) will manage the funds.
They will work with the Milwaukee Housing Authority (HACM) to provide technical assistance, education, and mentoring opportunities.
The collaborators stated that economic opportunity is a “key component” of fairness and success.
“We have more than 23 employees at Daddy’s. We have 3 employees at Dulaney (real estate). I am grateful for that. We are small, but we are helping our local economy,” said owner Angela Smith of Dad’s Soul Food and barbecue.
“I have said that, especially recently, Milwaukee’s new economy cannot be just a’silver bullet method’. We have tried it. We have been trying for the past 40 years, but it has not worked. “We need a new way forward,” Milwaukee shared Knight Johnson, chairman of the committee, said.
PNC grants will be distributed to the fund within three years.
According to PNC’s press release, “this initiative is in line with PNC’s broader commitment announced in June 2020 to invest $1 billion to help end systemic racism and support the economic empowerment of black Americans and low- and middle-income communities.”
For more information about the Black Business Boost Fund, click here.