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JPMorgan Chase awards $3.5 million to spur economic growth in Milwaukee

JPMorgan Chase is donating $3.5 million to a partnership of Milwaukee economic development organizations to support commercial building and entrepreneurship in low-income areas and neighborhoods serving people of color.

A group of Milwaukee organizations that include the Milwaukee Local Initiatives Support Corp., Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Savings and Loan Association, Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp. and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. secured the funding through a JPMorgan Chase competition called PRO Neighborhoods (Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods). Together, the group of organizations, called Brew City Match, will use the money to give financial and technical assistance to small businesses and property owners.

“Collaboration is the key to developing long-term, regional economic solutions that benefit everyone,” said Whitney Smith, head of Midwest philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase, in a statement. “Partnering with Brew City Match will bring much-needed resources to enhance and activate Milwaukee’s underserved commercial corridors, ultimately driving inclusive growth.”

The Brew City Match model was formed out of Ramp Up, an initiative in Milwaukee funded by JPMorgan Chase, which includes Rise, a business accelerator for urban startups, and Pop-Up MKE, a pilot program that began earlier this year by giving startup businesses rent-free retail spaces to occupy for a limited time to test their models and potentially move into their own storefronts.

Milwaukee's Local Initiatives Support Corp., or LISC, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and City of Milwaukee's Department of City Development are working with organizations in the Brew City Match on the initiative.

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