Last week we celebrated our 50th anniversary with customers, partners, and friends at a reception at Wheel & Sprocket in Bay View. We had a blast! Watch our highlight video of the celebration for some familiar faces.
MEDC was founded in 1971 as a non-stock, not for profit lender serving the City of Milwaukee. MEDC leverages funding from private and public sources to finance projects or businesses in hard-to-serve or underserved markets. Throughout the years MEDC has expanded its service area to include the seven surrounding counties of Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, Walworth, Waukesha and Washington, referred to in the aggregate as the “Milwaukee 7 Region”.
In addition to being a 501c3, MEDC is a Community Development Financial Institution, Community Development Entity, SBA Community Advantage Lender, EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance RLF Operator, Community Development Block Grant Operator and administers three State of Wisconsin funded Venture Debt programs.
The cornerstone of MEDC’s success are Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) that provide loans with unique and flexible terms at below market rates. MEDC matches the borrower with the appropriate RLF Program that has the features that maximize the borrower’s access to capital. MEDC RLF Programs include funding to businesses for business acquisition, expansion, equipment, and real estate purchases as well as for large catalytic projects. Typical loans are between $50,000 to $750,000 and catalytic projects range from $2.5 million to $15 million.
Historically, MEDC primarily 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.
MEDC has provided responsible, affordable lending to businesses for 50 years, financing to over 1,225 businesses, providing nearly $500 million in loans, with almost $2 billion in total project costs.
As MEDC reaches its 50th year of operation, we are honored to continue the mission and vision of the original incorporators in 1971. They believed there was a need for a non-bank and non-government lender that could fill the financing gap between business and conventional lending sources as these businesses tried to invest in Milwaukee in order to retain and create quality jobs. They envisioned an entity that was nimble in action and offerings, self-sustaining, and accountable to the community. Richard J. Cecil, John H. Kelly, and Wesley L. Scott represented the partnership of government, lenders, and community that established MEDC, originally known as the Milwaukee Model Cities Development Corporation.
MEDC’s staff and board continue the work laid out by the original board of: Daniel Boyce, Ronald Kysiak, Eydie V. Watts, Isidro Carrera, Hal C. Kuehl, Robert B. Barrows, Wilbert Buck, Richard Bosley, Sr., Felmers O. Chaney, and Franklin Atwater. While many of MEDC’s borrowers have succeeded in growing the economy of Wisconsin, there is more to be accomplished. MEDC will continue to seek ways to provide financing in creative, flexible, and relevant ways in order to impact local businesses.
We would like to celebrate and thank all who have had a hand in our success. To our board, our staff, our peers, our borrowers, and our partners, you are the reasons MEDC has had success in the past and you are the reasons MEDC will have success in the future. We are intertwined in the journey that brought us here, and your impact has and will shape the path forward, for the next 50 years.
David E. Latona, President
This program provides financing to businesses at below market interest rates in order to finance the purchase of a new building, the renovation of a current facility, or the purchase of new equipment.
This program improves access to capital for early stage businesses. The M7 Capital Catalyst program provides loans to early stage firms in partnership with an equity investment.
MEDC | 757 North Broadway, Suite 600 | Milwaukee, WI 53202 | Phone: (414) 269-1440 | Fax: (414) 269-1466
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