MMAC Community Support Foundation launches grant program to assist businesses damaged during protests
Rebuild and Revitalize Program seeded with $500,000 from T&M Partners and Kelben Foundation
MILWAUKEE -- The unjust act that took George Floyd’s life, which was emblematic of the racial inequities that exist in our community, has inspired a movement across the country and around the world. We support passionate and peaceful protests here in Milwaukee.
Unfortunately, several businesses have been damaged in areas such as Martin Luther King Drive, Harambee, Sherman Park and the Near South Side neighborhoods. To help these businesses already distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, MMAC is launching a grant program through its Community Support Foundation. This grant program has been seeded with an initial $500,000 from T&M Partners and the Kelben Foundation.
“The peaceful demonstrators called out to many citizens as they passed by, ‘walk with us.’ We hear them,” said MMAC Chair Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “We also want to help rebuild the businesses that were damaged and help improve the prospects for African American business prosperity. Thank you to T&M Partners and the Kelben Foundation for taking the lead on this important initiative. We hope this helps seed other contributions.”
MMAC will work with Milwaukee’s Department of City Development to help vet and administer the grants.
“These recent protests have been almost uniformly peaceful, and have had a galvanizing impact on our community to unite us to create change,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “To address instances where businesses were damaged, we are very pleased to have MMAC and the business community help get these businesses back on their feet. This is a coordinated effort with City resources, to align these efforts and maximize the impact.”
Added Nicole Robbins, Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp: “The Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation looks forward to working with the City, MMAC and the King Drive Business Improvement District to make these resources available to our commercial tenants and Harambee community. Whether it’s assistance to repair damage, increased access to funding or drawing in a broader base of customers, Milwaukee’s minority-owned businesses will thrive when they’re supported by our entire community. This is a positive sign that we’re seeing that support.”
Anyone with additional questions can contact Pat O’Brien, President of MMAC’s Milwaukee Development Corporation, at 414-975-1962.
About the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Founded in 1861, the MMAC serves as the chamber of commerce for the Milwaukee Region, representing approximately 2,000 member businesses with 300,000 employees. Its mission is to improve Metro Milwaukee as a place to invest capital, grow business and create jobs.