Mayor Tom Barrett announced the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will loan $125,000 to the Hmong Wisconsin Business Chamber to launch a revolving loan fund for small businesses. MEDC is the non-profit corporation that works in partnership with the Department of City Development to offer financial resources to businesses.
The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce will use the MEDC loan together with a $100,000 loan from Tri-City National Bank and a matching grant from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to create a $500,000 ‘revolving loan’ fund to provide gap loans to businesses throughout the state. The loans will range in size from $5,000 to $25,000.
“We’re working with strong partners to identify opportunities to grow businesses and create jobs,” said Mayor Barrett. “By working with the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and other minority business groups, we’ll link more entrepreneurs with the resources they need to start or grow a business.”
“Minority business owners, including those of the Hmong and Asian community, traditionally have struggled to obtain the capital necessary to start and expand a successful business,” said Charles Vang, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce President. “Through our partnership with MEDC, Tri-City and the State of Wisconsin, we know we’ll reach more minority entrepreneurs to grow businesses and create jobs.”
The MEDC Loan Committee approved the loan proposal today. The MEDC Board will also consider the loan at its next meeting on December 4.
A similar revolving loan fund was created with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. The micro-loan fund helps existing or new businesses with equipment purchases, supplies and working capital.
Mayor Barrett said MEDC plays an important role in the growth of small companies. So far in 2006, MEDC has made loans to 60 companies who are investing more than $33 million dollars in business growth. This investment will create 384 new jobs and retain nearly 1500 jobs in Milwaukee.