Madison mayor visits businesses that have received home loans

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MADISON, Wis. — Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway visited some local businesses on Friday that have received support from the city to get established.

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

The Commercial Ownership Assistance Program establishes a repayable loan fund to help Madison business owners transition from rental to commercial ownership. The program focuses resources on communities that have historically experienced barriers to buying commercial property, including communities of color, immigrant communities, women, and veterans.

It will also prioritize support for businesses in under-invested areas 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 create wealth in our community and to support not only local businesses, but also businesses that are owned by people of color, that are owned by women, that are owned by veterans, and we can be successful if you build this ecosystem around these companies,” she said.

While people of color make up about 27% of Madison’s population, only 3% to 9% are business owners.

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