Three Milwaukee business owners operating out of the city’s Near West Side are the recipients of a $10,000 Tap the Future Grant from Molson Coors. The grants were specifically awarded to local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) entrepreneurs to support their small businesses.
“We have made a commitment to our communities to provide support for organizations working for a more just and inclusive world,” said Tami Garrison, Molson Coors community affairs director. “We’re proud to be able to partner with the Near West Side Partners to provide funding and resources for BIPOC entrepreneurs who are developing and scaling their businesses.”
The three grant winners are:
- Nubian Summons, The Pink Bakery: The Pink Bakery is an allergen-free baking mix company. The company has established a partnership with Marquette University to offer students with dietary restrictions more food options in the dining hall. The grant will assist Simmons as she establishes a manufacturing facility in the Miller Valley, which officially opened in the fall of 2020. Simmons has also received a grant from the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. which helped her initially open her manufacturing facility.
- Chrishella Roche, VIBEZ Creative Art Space: VIBEZ Creative Arts Space is a studio for the community to learn and explore art through different mediums including paint and sip experiences, workshops, and community events. VIBEZ opened its first location in Glendale in 2018 and has received support from Beyoncé’s Beygood Foundation.
- Taj Pearsall, Buffalo Boss: Buffalo Boss is an organic chicken wing restaurant with locations in New York and in Milwaukee at Sherman Phoenix. The Near West Side location will be situated on North 27th Street near Wisconsin Avenue.
A result of Molson Coors’ Tap the Future Business Plan Competition, these grants are intended to help business operations as prioritized by the business owner.
In addition to the grant funds, the selected businesses will receive support from Near West Side Partners throughout the establishment process, which will include regular check-ins and guidance in the times leading up to opening and connecting entrepreneurs with other resources available to Near West Side businesses.
“The Near West Side has a rich history of entrepreneurial success and innovation,” said Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners. “We’re excited to be assisting Molson Coors in its mission to uplift small business owners and energize the economy of the Near West Side.”