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With Foxconn Technology Group potentially bringing jobs to the area, the state hopes to help small businesses expand by making two state lending programs to help with expansion plans.

Read about the Foxconn project.

The state is making $11.1 million available to small businesses through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). Businesses in the state will be able to borrow money to help them expand.

“With Foxconn bringing 13,000 jobs and investing $10 billion in Wisconsin’s economy, this will spur greater small business investment and job creation in Milwaukee,” said Governor Scott Walker. “Foxconn’s economic ripple effect and WHEDA’s financing will serve as a catalyst for Wisconsin small business growth and success.”

The $11.1 million in small business financing is made up of the following:

  • The newly-created Wisconsin Business Opportunity Fund totals $5 million and will finance construction, equipment purchases, and other types of hard assets for small businesses through the federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) program. NMTCs, allocated by WHEDA, are a resource to help fuel job creation and economic development efforts by promoting equity investment in low-income urban and rural communities. Loan sizes from the Wisconsin Business Opportunity Fund are expected to range from $100,000 to $1 million. The Legacy Redevelopment Corporation will administer the fund.
  • An additional $6.1 million is being made available to support WHEDA’s Participation Lending Program, which was approved in 2012 by Governor Walker and the state legislature. The Participation Lending Program can be used for purchases such as land, facilities, equipment, long-term working capital, equipment, materials, and facilities for the production, packaging, processing, or distribution of raw agricultural commodities. The $11.1 million of capital is being provided by PNC Bank, Johnson Bank, and Milwaukee LISC. A minimum of $3 million will be targeted for the Transform Milwaukee area. The balance is available statewide.


Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.