In the News

February 27, 2020

Michael Hostad and Joe Poeschl were on different career paths before they co-founded The Commons six years ago. 

The Commons, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, is a skills accelerator for college students in Wisconsin.

Hostad, executive director of The Commons, operated his own web development company prior to working in information technology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for 13 years. Poeschl, direct...

September 19, 2019

A proposal advanced by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and others to increase the sales tax in Milwaukee County by 1 percentage point has yet to win the endorsement of the county’s municipalities, but that may change Oct. 14.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (ICC), which consists of Abele and the mayors and village presidents of 19 municipalities, is scheduled to meet that day at St. Francis City Hall. The...

September 15, 2019

Some of Milwaukee’s largest business and philanthropic organizations plan to create an investment fund to promote economic development and affordable housing in neighborhoods surrounding downtown.

The organizers don’t have a targeted dollar amount yet, but $50 million has been floated conceptually, said Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. The discussion is an offshoot of the MKE United planning effort, w...

September 13, 2019

Milwaukee has a great college ecosystem but has had trouble retaining talent over the years, a trend that needs to be reversed in order for our city to grow. Lately, I have noticed a lot of momentum: new developments, programming and business growth within our city.

Case in point: I had the opportunity to sit down with three recent graduates who participated in The Commons Innovation Fellowship Program. These scholars have all...

September 13, 2019

A little more than two years ago, veteran Wisconsin entrepreneur Bill Harrigan ripped up all his old business plans and relaunched Grafton-based Harrigan Solutions around ideas that aren’t taught in business school.

The man with a marketing degree immersed himself in brain science. Harrigan was determined to hire folks many might turn away — people with unresolved psychological traumas that stem from exposure to extreme violenc...

September 9, 2019

Revenue Generated Would Ease Property Tax Burden

Milwaukee County leaders are proposing a 1 percent local sales tax increase that could be reinvested into the community through property tax relief and refurbishing the county's aging buildings. 

State Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, and state Sen. La Tonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, plan to introduce a local option sales tax to the Wisconsin Legislature this fall. If approved, a referen...

July 17, 2019

Scale Up Milwaukee is now accepting applications for its third cohort of SPARC, a training course for minority- and women-owned businesses in the Milwaukee area.

The five-session SPARC program, launched in 2017, caters to central city businesses with $100,000 to $1 million in revenue, with the aim of teaching practical skills that will help drive rapid business growth. Expert Milwaukee entrepreneurs are commissioned t...

June 18, 2019

Rising Tide will help minority business owners

Scale Up Milwaukee is launching a new program called Rising Tide aimed at expanding opportunities, driving revenue growth and increasing wealth among minority business owners.

SUM, a Greater Milwaukee Committee initiative, announced today it has received a $430,000 grant from the social justice-focused Surdna Foundation for Rising Tide, and last year got $175,000 from Surdna to pilo...

June 4, 2019

Milwaukee’s public spaces—parks, plaza, streets and sidewalks—will get intensive use and scrutiny during the Democratic National Convention in July 2020. This public realm is a complex network that knits together a city and influences—intentionally or not—the impressions and feelings of people traversing it. Next year’s convention offers an opportunity to focus on improving, and perhaps expanding, Milwaukee’s public realm. Wis...

An initiative focused on accelerating small business growth in neighborhoods surrounding downtown Milwaukee will begin accepting applications on June 10 for small business loans and technical support.

A new website and additional information about the Brew City Match program was presented at a press event on June 3 at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

“Small businesses are going to play an integral role in the revitaliz...

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