Center for Growth Announces $4.5 Million Commitment to GROW Fund by Waukesha County

The Center for Growth is proud to officially announce a $4.5 million commitment by Waukesha County to the GROW Fund. The GROW Fund was created to provide access to financial resources to enable business expansion and attraction.  

“This unprecedented strategic investment in the GROW Fund demonstrates our clear commitment to job creation and to growing our county’s economy,” stated Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “We have to keep our foot on the accelerator to remain competitive and help businesses locate and expand in Waukesha County.” 

In 2019, four founding members – Town Bank, Bank Five Nine, Johnson Financial Bank, and BMO Harris Bank – contributed to create the initial $2 million GROW Fund. The GROW Fund assists businesses essential to the economic development of Waukesha County including manufacturing, service, and other commercial establishments looking to expand operations or invest in new operations in the county. It also benefits developers with projects that improve available housing stock to meet the housing needs of existing and projected workforce growth. The Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation manages the fund. 

“Waukesha County’s generous contribution into the revolving loan fund makes another impactful statement about its commitment to ensuring a growing and thriving economy,” stated Waukesha County Center for Growth Executive Director Nicole Ryf. 

A 2021 survey of Waukesha County businesses found that 79% plan to expand in the next three years. Since 2019, GROW Fund loans have leveraged another $6.0 million in other business investments, created 50 jobs, and retained another 123 jobs in Waukesha County. The agreement signed today at the Waukesha County Business Alliance office will amplify these results in future years.

“Business owners are very fortunate to have the Waukesha County Center for Growth as a one-stop center to access the resources they need to grow in Waukesha County,” said Tom Fotsch, COO of EmbedTek and Board Member for the Waukesha County Center for Growth. “The County’s investment provides access to vital capital to help business locate and expand here.”  

“Meeting the financial needs of businesses to help them grow often requires the availability of strong lending partners,” said Nate Zastrow of Bank Five Nine and Board Member for the Waukesha County Center for Growth. “The County’s foresight into helping to jump start the GROW Fund establishes that vital lending partner.” 

To learn more about the Waukesha County Center for Growth, or the GROW Fund, please visit

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