Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is allocating $2 million in his upcoming 2021 budget to help the Urban League purchase a site for an economic development hub along the South Park Street corridor dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs of color to help them grow their businesses, generate jobs, and support the local economy.

“We are excited to partner with the Urban League of Greater Madison in this effort to find a location where Dane County entrepreneurs can gather to gain the support, experience, and skills they need to thrive,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi in a statement. “My 2021 budget invests in this effort to give entrepreneurs of color in Dane County a place to find community as they work to achieve their goals.”

Parisi joined Ruben L. Anthony Jr., president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison, in the announcement on Tuesday for the project that will be modeled after the Sherman Phoenix project in Milwaukee, an entrepreneurial hub in the Sherman Park neighborhood providing high-quality commercial space and support for small businesses, which helps develop businesses created by people of color.

“I want to thank County Executive Joe Parisi for his continued support of the development of the Black Business HUB that has the potential of increasing the economic viability of businesses of color in Dane County,” said Ruben Anthony, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison. “This is how we begin to create economic justice.”

Back in July, Dane County announced it would contract with the Urban League for $100,000 to create a one-year project position to coordinate this effort, according to press release from Dane County, and the Urban League has hired that individual to pull together planning processes related to the facility, conduct a site search, and develop the facility’s operational structure, financial modeling, and business plan. This work will also include outreach to and selection of prospective tenants for the new business hub.