Racine County’s MGP Proves Effective for Disadvantaged Businesses
Racine County, WI – First funded by Racine County in 2004, the Matching Grant Program (MGP) focuses on supporting small businesses by offering grants to offset consultant and training expenses. Over the last three years, RCEDC facilitated 90 grant awards totaling more than $225,000 to Racine County entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Eligible applicants are companies with less than 200 employees and fall into one of four broad categories:
(2) any company owned by an ethnic minority
(3) any company owned by a woman or
(4) any company owned by a veteran.
Racine County’s 2019 data shows more than 80% of Racine County businesses have less than 200 employees.
In 2019, over $90,000 in grants were approved for 29 Racine County businesses. Of the 29 businesses, 21 were either woman-owned or ethnic minority-owned.
An ethnic-minority owned company, DesignsTouch is a web developer in the City of Racine. Owner Nim Joshi utilized the MGP for marketing and promotion which resulted in securing several significant accounts – increasing revenue and expanding their customer base.
“The MGP is easy to apply for and the staff is eager to help you every step of the way,” said Joshi. “Every eligible company should use this grant for business promotion expenses such as digital marketing, website redesign and overall business promotion.”
Wendy Lynch, owner of Bon Bon Belle Bridal & Boutique in Burlington, has successfully sought and received funds from the MGP for several years. Annually, Lynch invests the grant dollars to grow her business by hiring new staff, diversifying her products, expanding the square-footage of her store, and increasing profitability.
“The saying is true – you need to spend money to make money,” said Lynch. “With Racine County’s investment and RCEDC’s help to obtain the grant, the added investment of funds in my business has increased my throughput which has resulted in greater revenues for my company.”
Hiram Croft, President of Hiram Power Electric in the City of Racine, utilized the MGP dollars to rebrand and modernize the company’s image and create new promotional materials for their Building Information Modeling service. This evolution helped Croft and his team secure contracts with the Foxconn project in Mount Pleasant.
“If a business is considering a marketing change or wants to train employees, this is an easy process to reduce your costs,” said Chris Collins, Chief Compliance Officer at Hiram Power Electric. “Our first grant application was in 2019 and with the encouragement and help of RCEDC and BLP, we were successful.”
With 100’s of local small businesses eligible to apply for up to $5,000 in grants, the funding goes quickly. For a comprehensive list of eligibility requirements, and to apply, visit blp504.org/mgp.
ABOUT RCEDC AND BLP
Since 1983, the Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) has implemented its mission to increase the tax base of Racine County and support growing businesses that create employment opportunities. RCEDC’s financial lending staff, operating under the name of Business Lending Partners (BLP), approved nearly $600 million in loans to growing businesses.
For more information about BLP or to learn how your company could benefit from available financial programs, contact Carolyn Engel at 262-898-7420 or visit blp504.org.