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Greater Milwaukee Foundation launches small business loan program

todayJune 18, 2024

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Greater Milwaukee Foundation launches small business loan program
ThriveOn Collaboration Building on King Drive

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has announced an impactful initiative to bolster small businesses in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, and Ozaukee counties. This year, the Foundation will provide up to $1 million in low-interest loans through the ThriveOn Small Business Loans program, a significant expansion from its previous successes. Small business owners facing rising costs and limited access to capital can now apply for loans of up to $75,000 at a fixed interest rate of 2%, with a maximum term of seven years.

The application period for these loans opens on Tuesday, June 18, and will close on Monday, July 8. These funds can be utilized for various business needs, including working capital, equipment and supply purchases, debt finance, building improvements, payroll assistance, and business-related vehicles. In addition to the financial support, loan recipients will benefit from technical assistance, networking opportunities, and the chance to contribute to the economic vitality of their community as loans are repaid and reinvested.

The ThriveOn Small Business Loans program is part of the Foundation’s broader impact investing strategy, which has successfully provided over $1 million in loans and business coaching to 23 local businesses from 2022 to 2023. This initiative aligns with the Foundation’s commitment to racial equity and inclusion, aiming to create equitable economic opportunities and build a thriving community for all.

By supporting disadvantaged small neighborhood businesses, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation promotes economic growth and ensures that as these loans are repaid, the capital is recycled back into the community. This continuous investment cycle supports other small businesses and contributes to broader community goals like housing and early childhood education.

For over a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has been a cornerstone of philanthropic impact in Wisconsin, driven by a mission to advance racial equity and inclusion. By leveraging extensive community knowledge, cross-sector partnerships, and over $1 billion in financial assets, the Foundation is dedicated to transforming the region into a place where all residents can thrive.

For more information, interested parties are encouraged to contact Sonia Robinson at [email protected] or call 414.241.7590.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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