Thursday, April 16, 2009

County Grants help small minority businesses

Brent Oglesby

County Executive Bill McReynolds today announced the availability of grants of up to $2,500 for small and medium-sized minority-owned businesses in Racine County. For the fourth year in a row, Racine County is making these grants available to eligible minority-owned for-profit businesses. (Non-profits are not eligible.)

The program is designed to help minority-owned businesses prosper and grow, so that they can continue to provide jobs in Racine County for minority entrepreneurs and their employees. The grants will provide qualifying businesses with up to $2,500 to help cover costs associated with improving their business operations. Examples of things that can be paid for with the grants are: staff training, business consulting services, marketing plans, and business systems upgrades. Normally, equipment will not be eligible for grants, although computer systems may be approved on a case by case basis.

One business that took advantage of the funds last year was Dewy Rose Capital Ventures LLC (DRCV), owned by Brent Oglesby. They are a City of Racine based Investment Company that focuses on acquiring and developing real estate and business assets. Additionally, they provide business consulting services to business owners and real estate professionals.

DRCV was able to utilize the County’s Minority Matching grant to upgrade their computer systems from a lone PC to a functional network driven by a stationary Terabyte PC; this includes purchasing a professional grade printer and phone system. DRCV was able to attend a Commercial Real Estate conference in Atlanta Georgia this past July, this allowed the business to gain valuable industry insight through training and networking with other industry professionals.

“Our upcoming projects for 2009 and 2010 are directly tied to the assistance DRCV received from this program,” said Oglesby.

Grants will be made to for-profit businesses that meet all of these criteria:
At least 51% minority owned
Based in Racine County
Have no more than 200
Have average annual sales
of no more than $5 million.

These are 50% matching grants. This means they will reimburse a business for 50% of allowable expenses, up to a maximum of $2,500. For example, a business with $4,000 in allowable expenses will receive $2,000; a business with $5,000 in allowable expenses will receive $2,500; and a business with $6,000 in allowable expenses will receive $2,500.
McReynolds said: “Especially in these economically challenging times, Racine County wants to be part of the solution in advancing the economic growth of small to medium-size minority entrepreneurial businesses. This matching grant program is one example of Racine County’s commitment to addressing the concerns of the small to medium minority entrepreneur.”

The grant program is managed on behalf of Racine County by the UW Parkside Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Minority-owned businesses based in Racine County that are interested in receiving grant funds for authorized purposes should contact Deneine Powell, Director of the SBDC, for more information and for a grant application. Powell can be contacted at: Deneine Powell, UW Parkside Small Business Development Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd., Sturtevant, WI 53177, Phone: 262.898.7414, Fax: 262.898.7401,

1 comment:

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