Program at Mayfair Mall will help support local, minority-owned businesses

Mayfair Mall is one of 30 retail centers across the country that is now taking part in the Partner to Empower program. Partner to Empower is aimed at helping underserved communities grow their brick-and-mortar retail locations. All of the locations taking part in the program are owned by New York-based Brookfield Properties, a real estate development and management service company.

Brookfield Properties has committed to investing up to $25 million into the Partner to Empower program through 2025, according to a press release from the company. That funding will be allocated to each location based on need. Along with Mayfair Mall, Fox River Mall in Appleton and Oakwood Mall in Eau Claire are also taking part in the program.

“We want to reflect the markets of each of our centers by giving an advantage to the small businesses of under-represented groups that would benefit most,” said Michelle Isabel, vice president of business development at Brookfield Properties. “The first round of Partner to Empower completely surpassed our expectations. We’re eager to open this next round of the program so that we can continue to grow the partnership between Brookfield and minority-owned businesses. By helping these entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to succeed, we hope it will lead us in the right direction to better our communities.”

The investment by Brookfield Properties will primarily go toward the costs of building out stores. Partner to Empower will also offer business owners access to industry experts. Applications for the next round of the program are open for local entrepreneurs through March 18.

Applicants advancing to the next round will move onto the interview stage. The applicant will present their finances, business goals and their overall business story to a panel of Brookfield Properties representatives. If the applicant makes it through to the next round, they will enter the store build-out stage and/or they will participate in Brookfield Properties’ Partner to Empower Retail Workshop.

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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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