Madison mayor tours businesses that received property ownership loans

Madison Mayor Tours Businesses That Received Property Ownership Loans

MADISON, Wis. — Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway on Friday toured some local businesses that received city support in getting themselves established.

Rhodes-Conway visited JP Hair Design and KnitCircus Yarn, both of which are located in the 500 block of Grand Canyon Drive on the city’s west side.

The Commercial Ownership Assistance Program establishes a forgivable loan fund to help Madison business owners transition from renting to owning commercial property. The program focuses resources toward communities that have historically faced barriers to buying commercial property, including communities of color, immigrant communities, women and veterans.

It will also prioritize support for businesses in underinvested parts of the city.

Rhodes-Conway said the program is a good first step to help prevent displacement, especially in neighborhoods at risk of gentrification.

“One of the goals of this program is for us to build wealth in our community and to support not only local businesses, but businesses that are owned by people of color, that are owned by women, that are owned by veterans, and we can be successful in that if build that ecosystem around those businesses,” she said.

While people of color represent approximately 27% of Madison’s population, only 3% to 9% are business owners.