Gov. Tony Evers today announced the city of Madison will receive $6 million and Dane County will receive nearly $15 million as part of the Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program. These funds will be used for community development projects that expand affordable housing, bolster economic, social, and cultural opportunities, and support business development and entrepreneurship.

The Urban League is excited to announce that Governor Evers, in partnership with Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and County Executive Joe Parisi have allocated $5 million of those funds towards the Black Business Hub.

The Black Business Hub and the Black Business Hub Accelerator Program will be the Madison region’s premiere enterprise center devoted to incubating, accelerating, and networking Black and other entrepreneurs of color. The Hub is both a physical space and a place-based, Black-led entrepreneurial ecosystem and community. The Hub will anchor the southern-most entrance into the Park Street corridor and downtown Madison with a vibrant 80,000 square foot center of commerce and entrepreneurism led by Black business owners and entrepreneurs.

In tandem with the Hub, ULGM is developing a place-based Accelerator program that will provide access to capital, a culturally relevant ecosystem of small business technical assistance services, and a facilitated community network of Black entrepreneurs (see further down in this email for some of these current opportunities).

Other projects receiving support that were announced by the Governor today included Center Hispano of Dane County, Center for Black Excellence & Culture, Bayview Community Center, and the Madison Public Market. “This is an unprecedented investment in South Madison,” noted Urban League CEO Ruben L. Anthony, Jr. “The Governor, County Executive, and Mayor are investing in an area that has historically seen under-investment. This will pay back in economic empowerment for the residents and families of South Madison for many generations to come.”

The Urban League extends it congratulations to these other great organizations that were also awarded grants today. We look forward to collaborating to make south Madison and the entire Madison region of model of equity and inclusion. We also thank the many state and local elected leaders that are investing in these dynamic projects. Finally, we thank the Black Business Hub and Black Business Hub Accelerator Program donors, other financial supporters, and public and private partners who are too numerous to mention here.

The total cost of the Black Business Hub project is $25.5 million which includes funds to construct the building, funds to provide training and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, and funds for direct loans and grants to entrepreneurs. With this grant, the Urban League has now raised nearly $17.5 million for the project. This is sufficient funding to allow the Urban League to begin construction while it continues its campaign to raise the remaining $8 million.