Associated Bank invests $1 million in WWBIC loan fund

Program lends to women- and minority-owned businesses

The Milwaukee offices of Associated Banc-Corp.

Green Bay-based Associated Bank has invested $1 million in Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. for its “Putting Dreams to Work” Loan Opportunity Fund.

The Milwaukee offices of Associated Banc-Corp.

Associated Bank’s investment, via its Associated Community Development program, will help fund microloans and small business loans for women- and minority-owned businesses across the state. The loans can be used to buy equipment or inventory, assist with startup costs or to make improvements to the business space.

The bank also plans to send its employees to guide WWBIC borrowers in 18 small business seminars in southeastern Wisconsin. Among the seminar topics are: turning a hobby into a business, identity theft protection, and budgeting and understanding debt.

“As a company, we have a rich tradition of always striving to support businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the communities in which we live and do business,” said John Utz, executive vice president, head of corporate banking and Milwaukee market president, Associated Bank. “By investing in the work WWBIC does throughout Wisconsin, we’re able to help small business owners across the state achieve success.”

Associated Banc-Corp has about $33 billion in assets and more than 200 Associated Bank branches across the Midwest.

WWBIC is an economic development corporation focused mainly on women, people of color and low-income individuals in Wisconsin. It offers loans, business and financial education and technical assistance.

“WWBIC makes it a point to develop partnerships with financial institutions that share our commitment to entrepreneurs and small business owners in Wisconsin,” said Wendy Baumann, president and chief vision officer at WWBIC. “Associated Bank exemplifies the institutional qualities we look for in our lending partners and has supported both WWBIC and our borrowers over the past year.”

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