By Karen Stokes
Historic King Drive Business Improvement District (BID) will now have more opportunities to revitalize the business district with small business loans through a partnership between the BID and North Shore Bank.
North Shore Bank presented its contribution to the revolving loan fund with a check for $25,000, at a brief ceremony held at the 1900 N Martin Luther King Dr. location, which will be matched with the BID’s investment of $25,000. The funds will be used to assist qualifying businesses looking to start or grow their business on King Dr. The BID will utilize the funds to authorize small business loans between $1000 and $10,000.
“We’re very excited, and we really want to help this area grow and prosper on King Drive,” said Michael Kellman, senior vice president of consumer lending for North Shore Bank.
“North Shore Bank has been in this area for 20 years, and we’re very proud of that, and very excited to be a part of the revitalization plan.”
Deshea Agee, executive director of Historic King Drive BID, said “I’m very happy to be with you all today, to accept this check for $25,000 from North Shore Bank.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is also here. Thank you for your partnership and the role you will play in this venture.
We look forward to bringing more businesses to King Drive and to be able to leverage this $25,000 with the BID’s $25,000.
This is our launch and we’re starting at $50,000. My hope is that this loan fund will have the opportunity to fi ll every vacant space on King Drive and every piece of vacant land. We would like to see new businesses that add to our BID and more products and services to the area.”
On April 3, King Drive announced a new business to the area, Pete’s Fruit Market.
Pete’s will be opening in a renovated building that Walgreens formerly occupied at the corner of King Drive and North Ave.
Pete’s Fruit Market is a family owned business which currently has a location on 1400 S Union St. on the south side. Alderwoman Coggs, Mayor Tom Barrett and Pete’s operator Theodore Tsitiridis were on hand for the announcement.
“The announcement of Pete’s Fruit Market is another sign that Historic King Drive is a place where businesses can succeed. Pete’s will bring a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and new jobs to the district,” Agee said. “We thank Alderwoman Milele Coggs for her efforts to make this happen for our community.”
“What you see is a renaissance of King Drive. Businesses are beginning to relocate here.
They’re showing the investment that people are willing to make to insure the continuance of the renaissance,” said Coggs.
“I would like to see a healthy mix of businesses that would help the people in the area but also attractions to bring people to King Drive.”