Brew City Match program returns after four-month hiatus

The intersection of Cesar E. Chavez Drive, Greenfield and Muskego avenues in Milwaukee. (Photo: Jon Elliott)

Milwaukee’s Brew City Match program has relaunched following a months-long strategic planning process and restructuring.

Brew City Match, which launched in 2019 with a $3.5 million grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, is designed to catalyze small business growth in neighborhoods surrounding downtown Milwaukee by providing access to financing and technical support and matching qualifying businesses with vacant properties.

“We’re thrilled to relaunch one of Milwaukee’s most innovative programs for entrepreneurs,” said Theodore Lipscomb, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) Milwaukee, which helps run the Brew City Match program. “This program is a critical step forward in promoting economic equity, and we are proud to continue investing in local entrepreneurs.”

Through Brew City Match, small business owners and commercial property owners can apply for grants of up to $100,000 to renovate their storefronts and purchase equipment. Business owners also receive business coaching. The program also works to connect entrepreneurs with local resources and networks to help them succeed.

Brew City Match officially resumed on April 1. The program will invest the $3.5 million over a period of two years. Travis Spell, LISC Milwaukee economic development program officer, said the Brew City program used the period of December 2022 through April 2023 to create a new strategic plan for the program moving forward after COVID-19 significantly impacted business owners and the community. He said the new plan provides for a “more robust” system that will have a greater community impact.

“We are excited about the possibilities and are very optimistic about the results that we will achieve with the new plan,” said Spell.

Brew City Match is currently accepting applications from small business and property owners in Milwaukee.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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