2017 Hurricane Recovery: Get information about disaster assistance, or find out how you can help.

Success Stories

NW Funeral Chapel Owners J.C. Frazier (r) and Victoria Frazier (center right) with DD Ness (l) and Cong. Gwen Moore (center right)

Northwest Funeral Home was established in 1993 by Mrs. Ernestine O’Bee, Mr. William Ford, and Mr. J.C. Frazier. J.C. Frazier, who is the current Funeral Director and a corporate officer at Northwest, is a U.S. Army retired officer and has been part of the Milwaukee community for more than 20 years. He previously worked with Mrs. O’Bee at O’Bee’s Funeral Home. Mr. Frazier now works with his wife Victoria, who helps to plan and manage events at Northwest’s new Events Center. The events center was built with the financial support of SBA 7(a) loans in 2013.

The three partners established Northwest as a full-service facility dedicated to providing support for families before, during, and after the death of a loved one. They assist with more than 500 funerals each year. Their services include arranging and conducting the funeral; preparation of the deceased for burial; sale of caskets, flowers, and other needs for the service; assistance with government documents and insurance;... Read More

Business owner Rhett Roeth, his wife and daughter at Discount Vials in Madison

Veteran Rhett Roeth has built a successful company from the basement up. Back in 1999, Rhett Roeth walked into the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Surplus With a Purpose (SWAP) store looking for a business to buy, any business. Roeth already knew how he was going to make money with his new venture; he was quick to recognize the power of online auction sites on the Internet and, it being 1999, he didn’t have too much competition. The only problem was, Roeth had no idea what he was going to sell. He was at the mercy of whatever Madison’s SWAP store had in stock. SWAP, as it turned out, had surplus glass for sale that day. “And the rest, as they say, is history,” Roeth said.


So began Discount Vials, a Madison-based distributor of glass packaging. Roeth has guided his startup from selling a few glass vials from his basement to now owning his own warehouses with a client list and five employees.  Roeth served in United States Navy from 1975-1981, and Discount Vials is... Read More

Ana Lopez, founder and owner of ALLCON LLC and staff

Headquartered in Butler, Wisc., ALLCON LLC is a Hispanic, female-owned general contracting firm specializing in carpentry and electrical disciplines. ALLCON is currently certified as 8(a), EDWOSB, MBE, SBE by the City of Milwaukee and DBE by Milwaukee County. Founder and President Ana Lopez started ALLCON in 2009 with a focus on electrical contracting and expanded one year later to include general contracting. She also added a division of carpentry services in 2010, enhancing the firm's ability to take a job from planning to completion.

Currently, ALLCON employs 30 carpenters, electricians, project managers and engineers with skills in many areas including steel, concrete and masonry as well as electrical and carpentry. At this point in the company's growth trajectory, they can manage both small service contracts and larger new construction, design build and renovation projects. Lopez saw opportunity in contracting from an early stage with her company. Based on her... Read More

Wisconsin Small Business Persons of the Year Daniel Sidner and Joseph Muench

First there was Maxie’s with Cajun and southern Lowcountry food, next Blue’s Egg hatched with outstanding breakfasts, then Story Hill BKC with its morning café to lunch diner to evening restaurant serving beer, wine and spirits. Three restaurants withdifferent concepts, in three different Milwaukee neighborhoods opened during one of the toughest recessions in living memory. All are popular and thriving, and a part of Black Shoe Hospitality. And, in seven years, the company has gone from zero to 160 employees, with more than 30 percent of them working full-time.

There’s no question that delectable cuisine, locally sourced food, relaxed atmosphere and reasonable prices have brought customers—and profitability—through the doors. Behind the scenes, however, owners Joseph Muench and Daniel Sidner have taken a thoughtful approach to business. Through their relationship with Community Bank and Trust (which recently merged with Wisconsin Bank and Trust), they have made repeated use... Read More