Milwaukee County will receive a $144,400 Community Development Investment to assist the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AACCW) with renovating a vacant building into co-working space and leasable office space as well as the chamber’s offices, WEDC announced Friday.

“The Chris Abele Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space is being developed by the AACCW to give African Americans a safe space to find themselves in the work of entrepreneurship and innovation, where they have largely been excluded,” said chamber CEO Ossie Kendrix Jr.

The AACCW supports African American entrepreneurs and business owners in the greater Milwaukee area. Moving into the renovated building in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville neighborhood will provide greater access to the community that needs the chamber’s support, Kendrix said.

The AACCW expects up to 80 new businesses will launch over the next three years and up to 40 small businesses will expand. With over 250 existing members, they also are projecting a 25% increase in membership annually.

Learn more about the grant and the planned new co-working space.