Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 to award $100,000 to small businesses through MKE It Back grant program

February 11, 2021

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 is helping restaurants, bars, retailers and service providers get back on their feet. Launched Thursday, February 4, 2021, the organization’s new grant program, MKE It Back, will provide $100,000 in aid to small businesses. The grant aims to bridge the financial gaps anticipated now through the middle of 2021 when COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be more widely available and the remaining downtown workforce returns.

Businesses that are a BID #21 ratepayer, or located in a BID #21 tax assessed property, and fall under the outlined categories (restaurant, bar, retailer, spa, salon, dry cleaner, etc.) will be eligible for up to $5,000 in assistance. Funding can be applied towards operating expenses and/or innovative marketing pivots.

“Our small businesses continue to be challenged by the effects of the pandemic,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “Through the MKE It Back grant program, we hope to provide much-needed relief to the businesses most deeply impacted.”

The MKE It Back grant will match up to $5,000 in anticipated expenses. All expenses will need to be incurred by July 1, 2021.

Eligible businesses can apply online at Prompt submittal of the online application is encouraged and must be received by February 16, 2021 for consideration. Applications will be reviewed by the grant advisory committee until all funding is dispersed. The application deadline may be extended beyond February 16, 2021 for a round two review should the allocated $100,000 not be dispersed in its entirety

For a complete list of eligibility requirements and to apply for the MKE It Back grant, visit