Support ThriveOn Small Business Loans

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is committed to mobilizing dollars in Milwaukee’s Harambee, Halyard Park and Brewers Hill neighborhood to curtail the negative impacts of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis on Milwaukee’s Black- and Brown-owned businesses. For these businesses, the owners and the neighborhoods they serve, access to capital is urgent. COVID-19 upended revenues in a significant, prolonged way and the potential shuttering of these businesses will have adverse impacts on the fabric of each of these neighborhoods. 

The Foundation is committing $1 million in low-interest loans to businesses in Harambee, Halyard Park and Brewers Hill and we would like donors like you to join us – and potentially leverage additional funding. We are seeking additional contributions to increase the amount of loans we can provide from 8-10 to 16-20 or more! We are seeking contributions to the ThriveOn Small Business Loans for this program by July 31, 2021. 

If you are a for-profit business applying for this program, please visit the ThriveOn Small Business Loan page.

Please note: You will be redirected to a separate secure site operated by PayPal to complete the credit card transaction. When you make a gift online, a fee of 2.2 percent – plus 30 cents per transaction – will be deducted from your total gift. The processing fees are charged by the credit card companies and PayPal, not the Foundation. For security purposes, PayPal may contact you regarding your transaction. Thank you for your generosity to our community.

Please consider increasing your donation by 2.2 percent to cover the fees associated with processing your gift.

Program Vitals

The Foundation’s Impact Investing Program is launching ThriveOn Small Business Loans, a relief round of funding for businesses. This round of funding includes:

  • Loan Product: 2% loan of up to $50,000 for business owners; with an option to refinance based on unfolding events related to COVID-19
  • Expected Deals: 16-20

We’re seeking to support businesses with the following attributes:

  • Geographic Focus: Milwaukee’s north side neighborhoods of Halyard Park, Harambee, and Brewers Hill – three neighborhoods comprised mostly of Black and Brown residents with a strong history of neighborhood-based supports and the future home of the Foundation.
  • Sector Focus: Early childhood education, restaurant/hospitality, retail and arts & culture, but open to all for-profit business sectors
  • Ownership: Focus on Black-and Brown-owned businesses, but business owners of all races and ethnicities within the three neighborhoods and eligible sectors may apply and will be given consideration.

Making generational change

In 2020, the Foundation made a $30 million commitment to infuse capital in Milwaukee neighborhoods by 2025 through our impact investing program: $15 million through Foundation funds and $15 million by mobilizing private philanthropy. Read more about the commitment. In 2020, the Foundation deployed more than $12 million. We are seeking donors and funders with aligned passions to join us in generating additional capital to continue this important initiative. As you consider a contribution to the ThriveOn Small Business Loans, we also invite you to consider a transformational commitment to the larger pool to help us advance important equitable economic opportunity and access to patient capital for businesses of color throughout our region. 

Learn more

Our Donor Resources – COVID-19 page offers information and tools for Foundation donors who want to help.