Southside Milwaukee businesses receive much needed grant money to survive

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 16:40:45-04

MILWAUKEE — We understand many of us may feel like we are in a pressure cooker this year. That is why we started The Rebound Milwaukee.

Southside business improvement district Gateway to Milwaukee is getting resources in the hands of owners at record pace for everyone to get back to work.

The Packing House restaurant has been a staple on Layton Avenue, across the street from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. The family owned business has been there for 46 years. General manager Chris Wiken says this year has been difficult, “We’re down most days 80 percent, sometimes 90 percent from where we normally would be at this point of the year.”

Out of 60 employees, he says 50 are still not back to work, adding, “We’ve seen good economy, we've seen bad economy but we've never seen anything like this.”

He is grateful for the support from Gateway to Milwaukee. The business improvement district’s board reallocated $50,000 of their budget to offer grants to business owners who need it. There are nearly 500 businesses in the airport district alone.

As part of the program, The Packing House received $1,000 to help with marketing expenses and free personal protective equipment.

“As well as reusable masks which could be either blank or branded with the businesses logo,” said Leif Otteson, Gateway to Milwaukee Executive Director.

Just last week, Gateway to Milwaukee launched a third phase to help area businesses: The Safe Start Community Improvement Grant.

“This could go towards installing sneeze guards hand sanitizers,” Otteson explained.

The Packing House has already been approved for another $1,000 in matching funds.

“Its been an incredible help every little bit helps,” Wiken said.

Here’s your Rebound Rundown:

  • Gateway to Milwaukee has three resources for south side businesses:
  • Marketing grants
  • Free PPE and sanitation supplies
  • Safe start community improvement grant
  • Click here to learn more

If you are not on the south side there are still resources. There are dozens of business improvement districts in Milwaukee. Click here to learn more.

The Packing House is offering take-out. Here is how to reach them:
Click here for website
900 E. Layton Ave, Milwaukee WI
(414) 483-5054

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