|(Madison, Wis.) (Jul. 22, 2023) – Today, the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) and the Green Bay Packers Foundation announced a $250,000 matching gift challenge grant for the Black Business Hub and Accelerator Project (BBHAP). This exciting announcement was made at the annual Unity Picnic, a community event hosted by the Urban League. Over 600 community members came out to enjoy some great food, kids activities, live music, and even a family wellness vaccine clinic. The matching grant marks the start of ULGM’s community fundraising efforts for the BBHAP capital campaign.
The Hub, located at 2352 S. Park Street, is an 80,000-square-foot facility designed to provide economic empowerment opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners in the community and beyond. Located in the heart of Madison’s oldest multicultural neighborhood, the BBHAP offers a diverse range of crucial resources and support for entrepreneurs. These much-needed resources include access to legal and financial assistance, business planning, technical assistance, mentorship and coaching, educational programs, and much more. The Hub will also serve as a community gathering place, boasting state-of-the-art event space, healthy food options, and retail shops. This comprehensive business ecosystem of programs and services is designed to help community members start and grow their businesses.
With the unwavering support of the Green Bay Packers Foundation and a host of other generous benefactors, the Urban League has successfully raised nearly $26 million towards their ultimate fundraising goal of $29+ million. However, to meet the ongoing challenge grant with the Packers, the Urban League must raise an additional $250,000 or more by September 30. This challenge offers a unique opportunity to double any donor’s contribution, dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000.
ULGM President & CEO, Dr. Ruben L. Anthony Jr., noted, “We are grateful to the Green Bay Packers Foundation for their investment in the Hub. This challenge grant is a testament to their commitment to social justice and equity, and it presents a significant opportunity for our community to make an investment in the project. Every dollar donated will go towards ensuring the Hub is fully equipped to serve our community and create a space for economic empowerment.”
The BBHAP provides a platform for businesses to flourish, creating jobs and driving economic growth in the region. In the past year alone, over 100 current small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs participated in training programs, workshops, and webinars and received coaching assistance. In addition, $250,000 in grants were awarded to small business owners prepared to expand their businesses. The BBHAP is vital to the economic well-being of Madison’s BIPOC community and is having a significant impact on the city’s overall economic growth. The Hub plays a pivotal role in providing a much-needed economic boost to the region, which currently experiences some of the worst wealth disparities, low entrepreneurship, and small business ownership in the nation.
Green Bay Packers Foundation Board Member, Marcia Anderson, added, “The Green Bay Packers Foundation is thrilled to support the Urban League’s Black Business Hub fundraising efforts with this $250,000 matching grant. We believe in the transformative impact the Hub will have on the Madison region and are excited and proud to be a part of this important initiative.”
By making a contribution to the Hub, donors can receive recognition for their generosity at various levels. Those who donate between $250 to $5,000 will have the option of having an engraved brick or paver installed. Meanwhile, those who donate $10,000 or more will be honored on the Hub’s major donor wall. For contributions of $100,000 or more, donors will be granted naming rights (the privilege of having their name attached to a specific area within the building). Additionally, gifts can be paid over multiple years to make donating even more feasible.
Green Bay Packers Running Back AJ Dillion also expressed his support for the project. “I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Anthony and learning about the Urban League’s vision for the Hub. As a professional athlete, I understand the importance of having access to resources and support to help achieve your goals,” he said. “I am proud to support the Urban League in their efforts to create economic opportunities and excited to see the positive impacts the Hub will have on the community.”
“The Green Bay Packers Foundation is proud to partner with the Urban League of Greater Madison to support their efforts to empower underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners. We believe in the power of the Hub to make a real difference in the region, and we are excited to see it come to life. It will serve as a catalyst for economic opportunity and help to build a more equitable community,” said Mark Murphy, President & CEO of the Green Bay Packers.
To donate to the Hub and be part of this transformational project, please visit www.ulgm.org/donate-hub.