Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the 2021 budget will invest $2 million into Madison’s South Park Street corridor in hopes of supporting minority-owned businesses, according to a press release sent out Tuesday.
The project will help the Urban League of Madison to purchase a site for an economic development hub along the South Park Street corridor, providing commercial space and support for minority business owners, according to the press release.
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Parisi, along with President and CEO of the Urban League of Madison Ruben Anthony and Dane County Board of Supervisors Analiese Eicher, announced the move Tuesday.
In the press release, Parisi said he hopes this initiative will help minority-owned businesses achieve long-term viability and collective success.
“We are excited to partner with the Urban League of Greater Madison in this effort to find a location where Dane County entrepreneurs can gather to gain the support, experience, and skills they need to thrive,” Parisi said. “My 2021 budget invests in this effort to give entrepreneurs of color in Dane County a place to find community as they work to achieve their goals.”
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In July, Dane County announced their partnership with the Urban League. The $100,000 contract created a one-year position to coordinate planning processes pertaining to the facility, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The Urban League hired an individual to conduct a site search as well as develop plans for the facility’s structure, finances and business plan, according to the press release. The plans will also include outreach and selection of prospective tenants for the future hub.
The project is modeled after Sherman Phoenix — an economic hub in Milwaukee that helps people of color grow and develop their small businesses. Funded by public and private donations, business owners within Sherman Phoenix receive mentorship and coaching while managing their stores, according to their website.
In a statement, Anthony said he is excited at the prospect of the development hub and hopes it provides a place for people of color to receive support and opportunities to grow their businesses.
“I want to thank Parisi for his continued support of the development of the Black business Hub that has the potential of increasing the economic viability of businesses of color in Dane County,” Anthony said. “This is how we begin to create economic justice.”
Parisi’s full 2021 budget will be announced Oct. 1.