Business Resources

South Milwaukee is Open for Business!Population

The City of South Milwaukee has several distinct districts, both shopping and industrial, with recent significant investment in its Downtown District along Milwaukee Avenue, known to the community as "The Avenue". Openings of niche businesses,  Milwaukee Avenue beautification and streetscaping, adaptive reuse of the iconic Bucyrus Club building into a restaurant, event space and museum, are to name just a few.  

South Milwaukee is conveniently located near the growing commercial and industrial corridor along I-94. Come be part of our walkable and growing community that is steeped in heritage, tradition, and culture!

Our Downtown District Market Snapshot illustrates our city's strengths, commitment and momentum of local leaders and assuring new businesses of their choice to be part of the South Milwaukee business community. 

Downtown District Map

Business Occupancy

Starting a new business in the City of South Milwaukee requires an Occupancy Permit. Contact the economic development project manager ideally before you sign a lease to learn about available spaces and the steps for obtaining an occupancy certification. 

Refer to this helpful Occupancy Checklist to ensure your start-up will proceed smoothly. South Milwaukee also has numerous successful events for businesses to participate in.  

Application Links

Business Occupancy 
Conditional Use
Other Permits
Parklet & Pedlet Application and Requirements

Local Business Resources

The city has various grant programs that started in 2023. Refer to the Bucyrus Foundation Grants page providing information about Facade grants, New Business grants and Civic grants. The city is working on a commercial interior grant that will be available later in 2023.   

Other Resources

There are various resources available to entrepreneurs through local organizations, providing educational support and financial incentives. Business Resource List (PDF) Also refer to the Business Planning Guide provided by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.  Become a member of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, partnering South Milwaukee, Cudahy and St. Francis. 


Kiva lenders have shown their commitment to providing financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans through a crowdfunding approach, up to $15,000 to entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)

WWBIC offers business loans, quality business and financial wellness training, and one-on-one coaching.  Loans range from $1,000 up to $100,000 designed to improve buildings and to support ongoing investment, for new and growing businesses. Loans can range up to $250,000 utilizing Small Business Association Community Advantage Guarantee Loan. 

For more information email Michael Hetzel or email  WWBIC Servicing.  

SBA 504 Loans

Finances fixed assets such as commercial real estate or equipment. Low, fixed interest rates for up to 25 years with 10% down payment.  LINK

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) 

The area SBDC is at UW-Milwaukee, offering no-cost, confidential consulting and business education for entrepreneurs. SBDC is supported by U.S. Small Business Association.

For more information email or call 414.227.3240

PACE Wisconsin

An innovative program that enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term non-recourse financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation building improvements.  Call 1-800-522-3014. FAQ flyer.

Wisconsin BAR Association Free Legal Assistance

The Wisconsin Bar Association, in partnership with the Marquette Law School offers a free small business legal consulting service. LINK

  1. Patrick Brever

    Asst City Administrator/Econ Development Director

  2. Ericka Lang

    Economic Development Manager
    Phone: 414-762-2222 x135