ThriveOn small business loans for child care providers

A relief round of funding by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Impact Investing Program

The Foundation knows that building blocks of a healthy life are interconnected – health, education, income are the essential tools to build a thriving life and yet each of these factors have significant impact on each facet of a person’s life.  An investment in child care providers is an investment in workforce development, K12 Education, employment, health, society, and Black and Brown families and communities.

The Foundation believes in a Milwaukee that is equitable and thriving. We know that education, economic opportunity and health are the building blocks of a healthy life. We also know that small businesses provide key quality of life goods and services for individuals, and are the heart of many neighborhoods throughout our city. Small businesses have a bottom line, but they provide more than simply a financial return to individuals, neighborhoods, and our region. At the heart of the Foundation’s community-based ThriveOn Collaboration is the vision for a Milwaukee that is equitable, healthy and thriving for all. In partnership with its donors, the Foundation is committing $500,000 to support for-profit child care providers in the City of Milwaukee with priority focus on our neighbors in Harambee, Halyard Park and Brewer’s Hill.


  • Loan Amount: Maximum loan amount $50,000; Loan amounts vary based on need and capacity to repay.
  • Terms
    • 2% fixed interest
    • 20-year term
    • No prepayment penalty or fees
    • No interest or principal payments for 12 months. Principal and Interest repayment thereafter.
  • Repayment: This loan product is not forgivable and requires repayment.
  • Use of Proceeds: Classroom/kitchen equipment, technology, transportation vehicle, debt finance, deferred maintenance -roofing, or plumbing, space buildout expansion, and down payment to purchase current space of operations.
  • Collateral:
    • Loans will be secured by General Business Security Agreement (UCC) designating business assets as collateral, such as machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, etc. 
    • Personal Owner Guaranty, and 
    • If necessary physical (building) collateral.


  • Geographic Focus: Small business owners within Milwaukee’s north side neighborhoods of Halyard Park, Harambee, and Brewers Hill, but open to all small business owners in the City of Milwaukee.
  • Sector Focus: Child care providers
  • Ownership: Focus on Black-and Brown-owned businesses, but business owners of all races and ethnicities and eligible sectors may apply and will be given consideration.
  • Physical Location: To preserve and support community business, businesses with a physical address within geographic focus are preferred.
  • Business Tenure: Business established and operating prior to 1/1/2020 and currently operating (business has not closed).
  • Coronavirus Impact: Documented financial or operational impact due to COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a Foundation donor interested in granting toward this round of funding, please contact your philanthropic adviser. If you are not yet a Foundation donor, you can give online or contact Fiesha Lynn Bell to make a contribution.


Download and complete the digital application

Submit your application and
supporting materials to


Additional forms

Stand-alone Personal Financial Statement
(if required)


Loan application deadline
August 26, 2022

Disbursements made by
September 2022


Program questions
For inquiries about the program, please contact Kermiath McClendon at 414-336-7049 

Application questions
For inquiries about your application, please contact Terese Caro at 414-343-3091








Additional Resource Opportunity:

IFF’s Thriving Spaces Milwaukee program, funded  by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, is part of a broader partnership with local ECE leaders across Milwaukee and is connected to the comprehensive community priorities and emerging impact of the ThriveOn Collaboration. IFF’s Thriving Spaces Milwaukee program aims to increase capacity and improve access to quality early childhood education across three Milwaukee neighborhoods – Brewer’s Hill, Halyard Park, and Harambee.

Participating providers will have access to:

  • Grant funded facilities improvements
  • Professional development funding and opportunities

Learn more at: