Participants from program that supports small businesses launched by women and BIPOC entrepreneurs seek spots
When the Madison Public Market opens in 2023, participants from a program designed to help launch small businesses owned by people of color, women and first generation immigrants hope to be among the vendors to benefit from the 500,000 visitors and $16 million in local sales expected annually. “I am a Black small business owner. The great thing about the market is that it offers a place where Madison can come into these spaces and see us,” said Judy McNeal, owner of
QB’s Magnetic Creations. “There’s no other place in Madison where you walk into the door and see this many minority business owners, especially not a black business owner.”
McNeal is one of the participants in the MarketReady Program who have been anxiously awaiting word on whether
they’ll have a spot in the marketplace since spring 2020, when the first phase of the MarketReady program concluded. At the end of the program, 18 participants applied for a $19,000 grant and a secure spot at the Market — five were selected.The other 13 entrepreneurs have heard nothing about a secure spot in the marketplace.
The Madison Public Market, which is set to open in the fall 2023, has been waiting on a variety of factors to begin construction.