Common Council approves $300K RFP for BizReady program 

According to a recent press release, Madison’s Common Council has approved a $300,000 request for proposals (RFP) for management of the BizReady program, a training, technical assistance, and micro-enterprise funding initiative to support the development of BIPOC entrepreneurs across the city.

BizReady emerged from an understanding that BIPOC business ownership in Madison lagged behind BIPOC population growth in the city. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway co-sponsored the resolution to approve the RFP, as did Alders Madison, Wehelie, Duncan, and Latimer Burris.

The BizReady program will focus on helping entrepreneurs prepare business plans, establish required permits or licenses, develop marketing plans, and more. It will be funded by American Rescue Plan funds.

The program will build on the MarketReady Program that launched in 2017. MarketReady helped develop a cohort of diverse food entrepreneurs by connecting them with mentors and other resources.

The BizReady program will fall under the umbrella of the city’s Small Business Equity and Recovery (SBER) program. SBER is a city-sponsored program that provides financial assistance programs to local businesses. This includes commercial ownership assistance, grants for restoring storefronts, and more.