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Economic Prosperity

On GMC Way

We believe in equitable economic opportunity for all through business growth and commercial corridor revitalization.

For any region, economic growth is crucial. The GMC is committed to comprehensive, innovative solutions that drive inclusive and equitable economic development in Milwaukee’s businesses and commercial corridors. Our initiatives are designed to spark systemic change by focusing on macro issues with broad and deep components. Often, our success is much greater than the sum of its parts, from individual community members and employers to the broader community as we change the culture and conversation within the region. Advancing inclusive economic development with an eye on growing jobs and generational wealth will ensure the future and long-term prosperity in Milwaukee.

We are Working to Become Anti-Racist

The GMC understands that a truly successful economy is also a diverse, equitable, and inclusive economy. Our programs have a clear focus and direct impact on entrepreneurs and community residents, specifically Black and brown individuals who have experienced a long history of inequity in access to resources and support. With a solid strategy and local and national partners, we focus on macro issues designed to spark systemic change.

MKE United

MKE United is a collaboration between the GMC and the City of Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, LISC Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Urban League working to strengthen the connections between Milwaukee's Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods and ensuring inclusive prosperity occurs. The program has created the Anti-Displacement Fund to help prevent gentrification due to rapidly rising property values and taxes in historically disinvested neighborhoods.

The Greater Downtown
MKE United Chart

MKE United is working on equitable housing initiatives with resident-driven strategies. The initiative continues to be a strong partner of Brew City Match, pairing vacant retail locations in commercial corridors with small businesses, awarding 59 in the first year.


Raised for the
Anti-Displacement Fund


Families Supported in Year One, 75% Reported Individuals of Color


Brew City Match Awards Given, 80% Women-Owned Businesses

Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale Up Milwaukee is transforming the culture of growth in the region through events and accelerators designed to infuse growth and spread inclusive economic prosperity. The SPARC accelerator works with entrepreneurs of color and women-owned businesses between $100k-$1M to grow at a rapid, yet sustainable rate. These businesses are a key factor in commercial corridor redevelopment.


Of Businesses are Owned by Entrepreneurs of Color


In Aggregate 2020 Revenues, $5M in Projected Aggregate 2021 Revenues


New Total Hires in 2020, 76 Projected Total Hires in 2021

The Greater Downtown
MKE United Chart

Scale Up Milwaukee has also been working with local and national organizations who are addressing the digital divide. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it was apparent that many business owners of color did not have the equipment or resources needed to operate virtually or apply for PPP loans. Scale Up formed a partnership with Square, a nationally recognized digital business service provider and has exciting new partnerships on the horizon for 2021. In addition to these expert partners, the Scale Up staff was able to provide one-on-one consulting to many small business owners who were struck hard by the pandemic.

236 hours of one-on-one Office Hours consulting.
Office Hours were open to non-Scale Up member companies, too

Scale Up Milwaukee’s Growth Accelerator program focuses on cohorts of entrepreneurs between $1-$15M, and includes Rising Tide, a sub-cohort of Black and brown business owners that focuses on closing the generational racial wealth gap. While the accelerator did not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, we look forward to hosting a virtual cohort in 2021, and applying key takeaways learned during 2020 to the curriculum.