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Funding initiative pivots to seek grant applications from some MKE businesses

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Posted at 4:30 AM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 08:12:32-04

MILWAUKEE — An organization awarding grants to revitalize Milwaukee neighborhoods is pivoting because of the pandemic.

The Local Initiative Support Corporation or LISC is working fast to get thousands of dollars in grant money and zero interest loans into the hands of struggling business owners who live in specific Milwaukee neighborhoods. They're calling it Brew City Match:

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The Bronzeville Collective MKE recently applied for the Brew City Match. Lilo Allen shared where the money would go for the collective, which has more than 20 artist of color selling their work in one space.

“Right to the rent. We just want to keep the doors open if we keep the doors open it's having not just a positive impact on us but all the vendors we carry in the store as well," said Allen.

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LISC’s program officer says they are working closely with JP Morgan Chase to revitalize struggling areas of Milwaukee with historical significance. The pandemic changed their focus to help existing businesses survive.

Beth Haskovec with LISC Milwaukee adds, “So that in 6 months or a year were not just looking at completely vacant corridors to fill. We wanna make sure the businesses that have been good to the community and good to these neighborhoods for years are able to sustain what's happening right now.”

In partnership with other organizations as well, LISC is accepting applications from businesses in the specific areas outlined in Milwaukee.

Applicants who qualify can apply for up to $1,200 in grant money.

There is another way to receive money through zero interest loans, which can be awarded anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

While Haskovec wishes she could approve all of the applications, they have $150,000 to work with.

She hopes to make it count, “If there aren't more people stepping up if there aren't landlords giving grace in making payments, then a lot of small businesses are going to go out of business.”

Two businesses have already been accepted for the grant money.

Click on this link to learn more about the application process.

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