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New program invests $ 600,000 in black businesses and entrepreneurs in Milwaukee

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 say it will increase equitable expansion in underserved communities.

The PNC Foundation is providing a grant of $ 600,000 to launch the fund and is expected to support at least 100 local black businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Today we need to be bold about initiatives that can best position black-owned businesses to start, grow and prosper,” said Chris Hermann, PNC regional president for Wisconsin.

Employees say the program “puts dreams to work”.

In addition to the financial investment, the Black Business Boost Fund will offer tailored resources such as incubation, credit recovery and one-on-one mentoring.

The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) will administer the funding.

They will partner with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) to provide technical assistance and educational and mentoring opportunities.

Employees say economic opportunity is an “essential component” of equitable success.

“We at Daddy employ over 23 people. At Dulaney (Real Estate) we employ three people. And I appreciate that. We are small, but we help our local economy,” said Angela Smith, owner of La daddy’s soul food and grill.

“I’ve said, especially lately, that Milwaukee’s new economy can’t just be a ‘miracle approach’. We’ve tried this. We’ve been trying this for 40 years and it just hasn’t worked. We have tried this. we need a new way forward, ”Milwaukee Joint Council Chairman Cavalier Johnson said.

The PNC grant will be distributed in the fund over a period of three years.

According to a PNC press release, “the initiative aligns with the larger PNC commitment announced in June 2020 to commit $ 1 billion to help end systemic racism and support economic empowerment black Americans and low and moderate income communities. “

For more information on the Black Business Boost Fund, click here.