MILWAUKEE — Dozens of Black and brown business owners gathered at Fiserv Forum for a #BACK2BUSINESS event. The event is a partnership between the Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv, helping those owners not only survive, but thrive.
"At one point I thought I was going to lose my business,” said Jose Martinez, the owner of The International Barbershop in Brookfield.
The shop is his life's work and means a lot to him to have opened a rare, minority-owned barbershop in Brookfield.
"You know, when I got the phone call, I was like, 'Yeah, right.' But here I am, by the grace of God,” Martinez said.
Fiserv also provided tools and resources to help the businesses succeed.
"Instead of $1,000 grants today, we're going to give you $10,000 grants today,” said Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.
In 2019, the Small Business Association tallied just under 60,000 small, minority-owned, businesses in Wisconsin. That number makes up about 13 percent of total businesses in the state.
The business owners received a surprise $10,000 grant to help keep their establishments afloat during the pandemic.