Lending a Hand to Low-Income Workers

Wisconsin Business DevelopmentWisconsin Business Development (WBD) has been a dedicated champion of the University of Wisconsin Center on Business and Poverty (CoBaP) since 2010, providing more than $50,000 in financial support.

WBD is a finance corporation that was formed to assist small businesses in gaining access to capital in order to grow, provide job opportunities and inspire their communities. WBD and its affiliate Wisconsin Business Growth Fund (WBG) share the goals of the Center on Business and Poverty, an initiative of the UW-Madison School of Business, to support ways in which businesses can improve the economic stability of their low-income employees. Like the Center on Business and Poverty, WBD continues to have a significant impact on Wisconsin’s economy. Since 1982, WBD has helped fund more than 2,000 businesses in Wisconsin and produced projects in 71 of 72 Wisconsin counties.

Through WBD’s support and that of its affiliate, CoBaP is able to assist industry in addressing issues concerning employee benefits. The Center focuses most on cooperating with and actively disseminating information to companies to help them make changes in their policies and practices related to low-income employees. A recent priority of the Center has been to help the children of low-income employees complete their financial aid forms. CoBaP does this as part of its free worksite tax preparation services for such workers.

John Hoffmire, director of the Center on Business and Poverty, said, “WBD’s funding of the Center came at the perfect time. While grants are harder to come by and university funding became tighter, WBD stepped in and helped us sustain and grow valuable programs related to students learning while helping low- and moderate-income employees complete their tax forms for free in six different locations.”

The Center sends a sincere thank you to Joe Wolfe, Pam Rich, Carol Maria and the Board of Directors of Wisconsin Business Development for their dedication and support of the Center on Business and Poverty.