Brookfield Properties launches Empower Program in effort to support local, minority-owned businesses

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Brookfield Properties launched a program in the southeastern U.S. to provide assistance to minority-owned businesses through funding, resources and retail expertise on May 14.

The Partner to Empower Program is a resource designed to help underserved communities grow their business. While the Birmingham branch of the program will focus on Black-owned businesses, all minority groups are welcome and encouraged to apply.

Brookfield Properties has committed to investing up to $25 million in the Partner to Empower Program over the next five years, dedicated to the many costs of building out a store. In addition, both business and industry experts will be available to support program participants throughout the partnership. Brookfield Properties hopes to assist 250 minority-owned businesses open by 2025.

“We want to reflect the markets of each of our centers by giving an advantage to the small businesses of under-represented groups that would benefit most,” said Michelle Isabel, regional vice president of retail business development at Brookfield Properties, in a press release. “This program is a partnership between Brookfield and the business owners. By helping minority-owned businesses with the necessary resources to succeed, we hope it will lead us in the right direction to better our communities.”

Applications for the program will be open from May 13–June 18 on the Brookfield Properties website. After submitting the online application, those who advance will move onto the interview stage where the applicant will present their finances, business goals and their overall business story to a panel of Brookfield representatives. Finally, applicants either will move on to the store build-out stage or participate in Brookfield’s Retail Workshop, where they’ll learn about the fundamentals of building a successful business. Brookfield is aiming to have all stores of this application phase open by late 2021 or early 2022.

The Partner to Empower Program is designed for entrepreneurs who are either ready or wanting to open a physical storefront. For the first year of the program, applications will be open to candidates in the Southeast region of the country. These markets include Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. Candidates in other markets will be eligible to apply in the coming years.

To learn more about the Partner to Empower Program, visit our website.

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