A public-private collaboration has enabled the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Wisconsin to become the first Latino-led community development financial institution in the state.
The Latino Chamber worked with Brookfield-based North Shore Bank, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. for over two years on the effort.
With the goal of addressing the financial needs of small businesses in the Latino community, the organizations partnered to seed a revolving loan fund that provides financial support and loans to small businesses looking to grow or expand that might not otherwise qualify for commercial loans.
The organizations have offered culturally and linguistically relevant classes and coaching to more than 60 entrepreneurs, providing needed information to a thriving but underserved Latino population.
“After nearly two years of planning, all entities are now eager for the community to fully utilize and benefit from the revolving loan fund to support Latino small businesses,” said Margaret Capper, senior vice president and commercial banking manager for North Shore Bank.
“Collaborations take a lot of effort to develop trust, a lot of work, but most importantly a shared purpose, a shared mission.”
-Nelson Soler, president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Wisconsin