Welcome to MEDC
MEDC works in partnership with area banks and other non-profit lenders to provide low interest loans to businesses in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, Walworth, Waukesha, and Washington Counties. Due to our commitment to continuous improvement, our loan fund has grown to over $100 million, allowing us to increase the number of businesses we serve every year, particularly those in hard-to-serve or underserved markets. Typical MEDC loans are between $50,000 to $750,000, with catalytic projects ranging from $2.5 million to $15 million.
MEDC leverages funding from private and public sources to finance projects or businesses in the Milwaukee 7 Region that focus on job retention and creation.
Since 1971, MEDC has funded close to 1,400 loans totaling more than $549 million and resulting in more than a $2 billion investment in projects and thousands of jobs.
How We Began
With a goal to promote business development in the city, three local business leaders — Richard J. Cecil, John H. Kelly, and Wesley L. Scott — founded the Milwaukee Model Cities Development Corporation in 1971. The following year, the new entity received initial federal funding of $350,000. In 1974, the name changed to Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
Close to half of MEDC’s annual loan investments support minority-owned businesses, and more than a third of our total loans funded women-owned companies.
MEDC has been meeting the financial needs of businesses throughout the region for more than 50 years. We are honored to continue the vision of our founders who recognized that Milwaukee needed a non-bank, non-government lender to fill the financing gap between business and conventional lending sources. They envisioned an entity that was nimble in action and offerings, self-sustaining, and accountable to the community to make the types of investments our city needed to encourage growth and prosperity, and create and retain quality jobs.
As the borders of our city expanded and the needs of businesses evolved, so did the capabilities of MEDC. We now consider lending opportunities for businesses throughout the seven county region. As a rule, MEDC provides gap financing in conjunction with a lead bank lender. This structure targets businesses, primarily in low income communities, with projects that did not fully qualify for conventional bank financing. MEDC has developed a reputation for working with borrowers with limited credit and has seen an increase in the need for directly funding loans that traditional banks do not typically provide.
We're proud of our accomplishments to date, but we’re really just getting started. MEDC will continue to seek new ways to provide creative, flexible, and relevant financing to help entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses find success, as well as improve prosperity throughout the region, particularly in underserved communities.
We celebrate and thank all who have played a role in our longevity and growth. To our board, our staff, our peers, our borrowers, and our partners, you are the reason MEDC has been relevant for more than 50 years, and why we'll continue to help businesses find success for years to come. We are intertwined in the journey that brought us this far, and your impact will shape our path forward.
David E. Latona, MEDC President