Good Afternoon,

In this edition of Real Results, we shine a light on the growing downtown retail scene.  A few new boutiques recently opened on Jefferson Street, making the East Town neighborhood a growing shopping destination. 

We also sit down with co-founder and President of Penrod Software, Joe Taylor, to find out how his team cultivates a workplace environment that gained them the recognition as the "Top Workplace for Young Professionals."  

To help downtown and area companies grow their exports, we are highlighting a grant program that is offered in collaboration between the Milwaukee 7 with funding from JPMorgan Chase. The grant funds can be used to help develop or grow a company's export strategies - but hurry - applications are due on March 31!

Lastly, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 is excited to be part of the 2016 ICSC/CARW Retail Conference that will be hosted in downtown on April 20th. Find more information about the keynote speakers, roundtable topics, and how to sign up for this premier event, all in this edition of Real Results.  
As always, thanks for reading!
fake signature Matt Dorner   

Matt Dorner
Economic Development Director
Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Follow us on Twitter @RealResultsMKE
There is no denying that downtown Milwaukee's retail scene is growing, particularly in the core of East Town. Recently, the streets of Broadway, Milwaukee and Jefferson have welcomed new retailers and street level commercial activity. Two new clothing boutiques, Buorsajo Boutique and Althea's Fine Lingerie, opened in March on Jefferson Street between Wells and Mason streets, just one block south of Cathedral Square Park. The new businesses compliment nearby Kesslers Diamonds, which opened in late 2015, and long-time mainstays Scandinavia Fine Furniture, Zita Bridal Salon and George Watt & Sons. With boutiques, salons, spas and hotels all within walking distance, a retail corridor has begun to emerge.  

Just a block west on Milwaukee Street, which is known for its high-end restaurants, bars and lounges anchored by the Surg Restaurant Group is now accompanied with a growing number of retail and service establishments. Most recently, Rock Paper Scissors, a local gift shop featuring a one-of-a-kind selection of artwork, furnishings and gifts joined Luci's Boutique, Urban Milwaukee, and Planet Bead on the two block stretch. A shopper can visit the first floor retailers on East Wisconsin Avenue as they make their way toward Broadway Street, ultimately heading south to the Historic Third Ward shopping district. But don't forget to check out the home furnishing trends at Residence on your way.

Downtown's retail renaissance is expected to continue growing thanks to new residential projects, like the combined 650+ units in the Northwestern Mutual apartment tower and The Couture. Retailers will also be able to leverage new office projects that attract a growing downtown workforce and infrastructure investments like The Milwaukee Streetcar, which will be traversing the streets of downtown Milwaukee in 2018. To make finding a retail location along The Milwaukee Streetcar route easy, BID #21 created a tool that allows you to search for space based on proximity to the various streetcar stops. To view a complete listing of available retail leasing opportunities, click here.

Companies in the Milwaukee 7 (M7) region are invited to apply for grants up to $5,000 to support their export strategies. Applications are due March 31 for the next round of funding. 
With a collaboration between M7 and JPMorgan Chase, the grant program is open to companies that do not yet export, as well as existing exporters that would use the funds to help them enter new markets. Companies can use the funds for a range of purposes, including business development, consulting, compliance, education, financing and marketing. Learn more on the M7 website .

Wed, April 20 I  9 am to 6:30 pm

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Commercial Association of REALTORS ® (CARW) are partnering together to present Wisconsin's only annual retail conference on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The conference will attract nearly 300 retail professionals from across the state of Wisconsin. This not-to-miss retail event features keynote speaker Ted Balistreri, co-owner of Sendik's Food Markets, and Jon McGlocklin, known as the "Original Buck" from the Milwaukee Bucks organization. In addition, our very own Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, will facilitate one of the 25 roundtable discussions at the event.    

Register today and experience everything from a high-energy retail runway and featured speakers to the state's premier networking event. For complete details, including a list of roundtable topics and registration information, click here .

In This Issue
Social architecture and young professional firm, NEWaukee announced its 2016 Bubbler Award Winners for the Top 10 Best Places to Work for Young Professionals, and Milwaukee-based Penrod Software LLC will take home the top honor! The Bubbler Awards Ceremony will kick-off 2016's Young Professional Week.
Four out of the ten firms recognized for their workplace culture are located in the Milwaukee area. Check below for the complete list.

For more information about NEWaukee and the 2016 Young Professional Week, click here.

President, Penrod Software 

In just a few years, Penrod has made a name for itself as having a top workplace culture. Hear from Joe Taylor, one of the firm's co-founders, about what it takes for companies and Milwaukee to compete for top talent.


Penrod provides consulting, implementation and software development services alongside cloud products like, Heroku, and Google. Penrod works with clients all over the United States to help achieve business transformation goals.

Penrod was recently named the "Top Wisconsin Workplace for Young Professionals" by NEWaukee. What does Penrod do differently that creates a standout workplace environment?
We put a lot of process behind what we do. We don't just say we give access to our company's leaders, we schedule access for everyone on a regular basis. Even if it's 10 to 15 minutes, we can turn quick insights into actionable items that make our workplace better and our product a global leader resulting in customer success. Communication, collaboration and engagement are what we strive to do better than anyone. We can only deliver these results outwardly if we achieve them internally. This has allowed us to scale quickly, as we fully believe culture scales.

Why is it important to be a leader in establishing a top workplace environment?
We compete globally against firms in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco. We are not measured against our neighbors down the road; we are measured against global competitors. It's an absolute must to have the best and brightest workers for us. Building a great company is hard and we recognize it starts with a cohesive team effort. This is why we put people first.

What downtown Milwaukee development or initiative are you most excited about?
I am always excited when the city fixes what's wrong and ensures the little things are taken care of. There are far too many potholes and streetlights that do not work. I am excited for the city to continue to repair itself. When I go to another city, I really notice the little things that make the city inviting: great schools, well-lit safe streets, properly paved roads and walkable areas. I hope Milwaukee continues to provide the resources to support and better our existing infrastructure.

What do you see as Milwaukee's biggest challenge?
Milwaukee needs to focus as a whole on having a 2050 plan of where it wants to be. I think Milwaukee has made some mistakes, including not properly activating the riverfront and other natural areas. In some cases, Milwaukee needs to be willing to start over to get where it needs to go.

What peer cities do you believe offer the best qualities for Milwaukee to aspire towards?
Growing midwestern cities like Kansas City and Minneapolis offer the best blueprint to make an admirable and inviting city. Both have influential accredited universities, built infrastructures like Google Fiber and established technology initiatives to drive growth.

What is one of your favorite hobbies or pastime?
I travel 15 to 22 weeks a year so travel is definitely my pastime. I also very much enjoy public speaking.

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Matt Dorner
600 East Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-3811
(414) 220-4700 ext. 4