BMO invests $650k for Madison agencies supporting communities of color

BMO Financial Group announced their plans to invest $650,000 in three Madison community...
BMO Financial Group announced their plans to invest $650,000 in three Madison community programs and organizations over the next three to five years, including two Black-owned business hubs, the group announced Monday.(PRNewswire)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - BMO Financial Group announced its plans to invest $650,000 in three Madison community programs and organizations over the next three to five years, including two Black-owned business hubs, the group announced Monday.

The money will support the Urban League of Greater Madison’s Black Business Hub, The Center for Black Excellence & Culture, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County’s McKenzie Workforce Development Center, BMO said.

The investments are part of BMO EMpower, an initiative by BMO to address barriers faced by minority businesses, communities and families.

The financial group said they will give $250,000 to the Urban League of Greater Madison’s Black Business Hub, which is a networking space for small and expanding Black and BIPOC entrepreneurs and business owners. This money will be allocated over five years.

“As we are on a mission to help build wealth for Brown and Black people in this community, BMO is right there with us, supporting initiatives such as the development of the Black Business Hub. This project and partnership we will create wealth for multiple generations,” Dr. Ruben L. Anthony, Jr., President and CEO of Urban League of Greater Madison, said.

Another $250,000 over five years will be invested in The Center for Black Excellence & Culture, an organization that serves Dane County’s Black community and offers a space for art and business. BMO said The Center’s success will engage the entire Madison Community.

“The Center for Black Excellence and Culture offers an exciting and important opportunity to create a cultural home for the Black community in Madison. This important investment in The Center demonstrates BMO’s support in making the Madison community a welcoming, culturally rich home where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. We are grateful for BMO’s leadership and commitment to The Center,” Dr. Alex Gee, the organization’s founder, said.

Finally, an investment of $150,000 over three years will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County’s McKenzie Workforce Development, which offers alternative career paths for the Madison community in certificates or skilled trades. The money will help educate and train Madison workforce members, BMO said.

“[BMO] team members are helping us build out a $35 million youth work force center by providing volunteers, funding, and guidance to help us achieve this historic goal, which will ultimately improve the labor shortage and racial disparities we see in our region,” Michael Johnson, the CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, said.

This investment has pushed BMO’s financial commitments in Madison to over $1 million.

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