Update on $2 million GROW Fund

The $2 million Generating Resources and Opportunity in Waukesha County (GROW) Fund was created by the Waukesha County Center for Growth to give businesses access to financial resources, while allowing contributing banks to meet federal lending guidelines.

The GROW Fund is a revolving loan fund with two core purposes – the first is to support businesses with the capital they need to grow, and the second is to develop residential housing to meet workforce needs. The fund also provides federal Community Reinvestment Act credits to banks that contribute to the fund, to help meet community credit needs for economic development.

Since its inception, one more bank has signed on to support the fund. BMO Harris Bank has joined Town Bank, Bank Five Nine and Johnson Financial Group.

The Center for Growth has already worked with a more than a dozen businesses to begin the process of securing funding. In addition, the Center for Growth and Waukesha County have met with several housing developers that are pursuing workforce housing opportunities in Waukesha County.

Loan decisions are guided by a collaborative loan fund committee made up of individuals representing stakeholder interests and who have special expertise and knowledge of commercial lending, economic development processes and workforce housing development lending.

The Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), a community development financial institution based in Milwaukee, will manage the fund. They are the partner in loan underwriting, packaging, servicing and reporting. MEDC has overseen loans for business expansion in the region for many years.

Businesses that want to access the GROW Fund should contact the Waukesha County Center for Growth.