Alder Samba Baldeh
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Baldeh’s Blog
Latest update on Reindahl Imagination Center
Hello Constituents -
I wanted to give all a quick update on the Imagination Center Community outreach efforts. Over the last six months, Madison Public Library shared 70 conversations with 207 people. Over 84 hours of conversations have taken place. Additionally, 79 students submitted "Build a Library" plans. "Build a Library" is a blank canvas for students to draw, write, and describe their vision for a library.
The Library Board will be discussing the latest status update on the Imagine Reindahl project at their April 4th meeting (5:00pm, Meadowridge Library, 5726 Raymond Road). You can attend and speak to the item.
Here is a link to agenda: https://madison.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=643250&GUID=CFEEDED2-31EE-4CBC-85C4-794359C4A909
To read the full report: here is a detail report on the progress of the center.
If you have not been a part of this conversation reach out to the Library Planner - Kevin Englebert at this email: kEnglebert@madisonpubliclibrary.org or give him a call at 608-509-8020. You can also contact your alder at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Leadership, Mayor Soglin Launch New Initiative to Support Diverse Entrepreneurship
Madison Common Council President Samba Baldeh, Council Vice-President Sheri Carter and Mayor Soglin announced today the creation of a new City initiative to expand opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs. The Equity Business Initiative (EBI) will focus the city's existing business development resources as well as a new fund toward communities that have historically faced barriers to accessing capital to start or grow a business enterprise.
The City current funds several business development programs that provide direct financial assistance to diverse entrepreneurs. Recent successes including using the City's Healthy Retail Access Program to support Lunas Grocery in the Allied Neighborhood, the newly-launched Kiva Madison Platform which has led to micro-loans to several Madison businesses, and the MarketReady program which is supporting a culturally diverse cohort of potential Public Market Merchants.
The EBI Program aims to build on these successes and invest carefully targeted resources to support Madison businesses owned and operated by people of color. The first step will be a comprehensive review of all the City's current business development programs to identify gaps and potential changes. The next step will be to launch the Equity Business Initiative Fund (EBI Fund). The proposed EBI fund has four tiers.
Tier 1: BizReady Program – Modeled after the MarketReady Program, BizReady will recruit a 30-person cohort of early stage entrepreneurs and provide curated and intensive training, technical assistance, business coaching, and small grants to prepare them for lauch.
Tier 2: Kiva Match – The second Tier will provide a city-sponsored dollar for dollar match to up to 10 competitively-selected Madison businesses upon successfully completion of Loan through the Kiva Madison Program
Tier 3: Commercial Impact Grants – This program will provide up to 10 local businesses with up to $50,000 grant to fund interior build-outs of their commercial properties to keep them viable. The focus will be on neighborhood-serving businesses like retail and services.
Tier 4: Commercial Downpayment Assistance Program – This program will support existing business owners looking to take the next step of purchasing or developing a commercial building for their enterprise. The program will provide a 0% loan with no payments due unless the property is sold. The program will loan up to $250,000 or 35% of the total cost of the building or development project.
"Having more Madison businesses owned by people of color is key to making our city more welcoming and inclusive," said Council President Baldeh. "These efforts can help address disparities over the long term."
Mayor Soglin said, "Over the last several years, Madison has made strides in addressing racial disparities. However, one area I want to focus on going forward is providing more support for diversity in business ownership The Mayor continued, "The EBI program will double-down on recent successes like our support for Luna's Grocery and will untap the potential of more diverse entrepreneurs by providing access to the capital they need to launch or expand a business."
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