'Partner to Empower' to help bring minority-owned business to Mayfair Mall

NOW: ’Partner to Empower’ to help bring minority-owned business to Mayfair Mall

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- 'Partner to Empower' wants to help a minority-owned business open a storefront at Mayfair Mall. 

The company that runs Mayfair Mall launched Partner to Empower last year. Now it's committing to helping minority-owned businesses open brick-and-mortar stores across the country. 

"It's not just about opening them. We can do that in our sleep. We do that every day," said Michelle Isabel, a spokesperson for the company. "What we want to do is be there for them and make sure they're successful and able to grow." 

Brookfield Properties has committed to investing up to $25 million over the next three years to help those who may be underrepresented in communities across the country. Isabel says it gives a chance to people who have been held back by systemic racism in America. 

"To be able to open a store in your community, not only are you realizing a dream and having something to possibly leave to your family, but you're creating jobs in the community as well," she said. 

Applicants who are either thinking about starting a business or already have an online startup are encouraged to apply. 

One business will be chosen to go into Mayfair Mall, and all of the costs that go along with a physical storefront will be paid for. Isabel says it doesn't have to be a traditional retail business. 

"If you have a dental clinic, apply, if you have a pet store, apply. If you're making mattresses, apply. There's a possibility we have a space for you," said Isabel. 

Applications for the program will be open from Feb. 16 through March 18. Those who advance will be interviewed about their finances, business goals and their overall business story by a panel of Brookfield Properties representatives.

Once an applicant makes it through the interview process, they'll enter the 'store build-out stage' and/or they will participate in Brookfield Properties’ Partner to Empower Retail Workshop, where they’ll learn about the fundamentals of building a successful business.

If selected, the business will receive one-on-one business planning and guidance, networking opportunities and resources, funding dedicated to store construction expenses and a tailored, four-week retail workshop led by industry experts. 

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