Business Resource Guide
WWBIC Business Lending
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) provides loans to start-ups or growing businesses for up to $100,000. WWBIC deals with each loan applicant on an individual basis, and provides assistance to those who may not yet be ready for a loan. Eligible uses for WWBIC loans include: machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, leasehold improvements, inventory, supplies, and working capital. Loans from WWBIC carry a fixed interest rate from 2-10%.
For more information, and to apply, visit: http://www.wwbic.com/finance-your-business/.
Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation
The Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) provides low-interest loans to Milwaukee businesses through four different loan programs.
The Second Mortgage Program offers low-interest mortgages to Milwaukee businesses for purchasing a new building, new equipment, or for building renovation.
The Capital Access Program helps finance start-ups that are unable to obtain conventional financing.
The Venture Debt Program provides loans in partnership with an equity investment for early stage firms.
The Milwaukee County Revolving Loan Fund provides low-interest loans of up to $250,000 to fund up to 40% of project costs for businesses located in Milwaukee County.
Click here to learn more about MEDC’s loan programs, or visit http://www.medconline.com.
WHEDA Small Business Loans
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority provides several loans that support business development in Wisconsin. These include loan guarantee programs meant for specific types of economic development projects, participation loans that partner with local institutions to finance projects that are not eligible for traditional loans, and the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which promotes job creation and retention.
For more information, visit WHEDA’s Small Business Page.
Fund Milwaukee connects local investors with businesses that promote economic, ecological, and social well being in the city of Milwaukee. Fund Milwaukee looks to make invest from $1,000 to $100,000 in local start-ups.
For more information, visit http://www.fundmilwaukee.com.
City of Milwaukee Sign and Façade Grants
The city wide façade grant program provides matching grants of up to $5,000 for eligible businesses looking to improve their storefronts. The program also includes the city wide signage grant program, which provides matching grants of up to $2,500 for eligible businesses looking to install new signs.
Visit the Façade Grant Program’s website for more information.
Workshops & Training
WWBIC Education Workshops
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) offers business education workshops that cover a range of topics, from beginner classes for those interested in starting a small business to more advanced classes suited to current business owners. WWBIC also provides multi-session business planning courses.
For more information, view their class calendar.
SCORE SE Wisconsin
SCORE provides free counseling to businesses and start-ups in Southeastern Wisconsin, as wells as a variety of workshops for small businesses.
Click here for more information on SCORE’s counseling services.
Click here for a list of upcoming workshops.
City of Milwaukee Brownfields Redevelopment
The City of Milwaukee provides a variety of financial incentives to encourage the redevelopment of brownfields (“abandoned, idled, or under-utilized industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination").
Click here for a list of incentives for businesses that redevelop brownfields.
Click here for a list of available brownfields for redevelopment.
City of Milwaukee Development Opportunities
The City of Milwaukee markets city-owned land and commercial buildings available for redevelopment through its Request for Proposal (RFP) process. To see a listing of current development opportunities, visit http://city.milwaukee.gov/CityRealEstate.htm.
Milwaukee Energy Efficiency
In partnership with Focus on Energy, Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) provides free energy assessments, along with financing options to help improve your building's energy efficiency and decrease your energy costs.
Click here to learn about Me2’s small business and large building programs.
H2O Score is a local website that allows you to track your home or building's water usage, see how your usage compares to the rest of your neighborhood, and earn rewards from sponsoring businesses for being water-efficient.
To sign up or learn more, visit h2oscore.com.
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board
The Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board provides Milwaukee Area businesses with several workforce development resources, including training programs that help match qualified employees with hiring businesses, HR assistance and a social recruiting platform that connects employers with potential employees, as well as forums and events.
To learn more, visit http://milwaukeewib.org/employers/.
Earn & Learn
Earn & Learn is the City of Milwaukee’s program to help local youth ages 14-21 develop skills while earning wages by working in government, community, faith-based, and private sector organizations.
Click here to visit Earn & Learn’s Private Sector Job Connection webpage.