Cross River and Upstart Kitchen team up to provide resources and empowerment to Milwaukee entrepreneurs

Cross River Bank on Friday announced it gifted a $50,000 grant to Milwaukee-based nonprofit Upstart Kitchen, an incubator for entrepreneurs who want to grow or start their food-oriented business.

“Cross River is collaborating with Upstart Kitchen because they share our vision of providing small businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to thrive and drive positive change,” Phil Goldfeder, senior vice president, global public affairs, at Cross River, said. “Upstart Kitchen is a mission-driven leader that creates life-changing opportunities, and this grant will enable them to further power the next generation of chefs and culinary leaders.”

Fort Lee-based Cross River’s grant solves a specific pain point and effectuates immediate change in the lives of Upstart Kitchen members, as many have difficulty obtaining credit from traditional banks and lenders.

Upstart Kitchen provides local food entrepreneurs access to an affordable, fully equipped commercial kitchen and business resources to grow their own business while also providing community meals. The entrepreneurs have access to shared kitchen space, resources, training, mentoring and community to help launch their dream businesses and create generational wealth in Milwaukee.

The relationship between Cross River and Upstart Kitchen began during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Milwaukee-based Prism Economic Development Corp., which developed and now operates Upstart Kitchen, approached Cross River for Paycheck Protection Program loans to help the small business continue operating and supporting the community.

Cross River became a leader in providing PPP loans to the smallest businesses across the country, having saved more than 1.4 million jobs through the program. The company continues to provide lifelines to those in need through its technology and community efforts.

“I’m grateful for the support Upstart Kitchen provides and thankful that this contribution from Cross River will allow them to continue helping entrepreneurs, like myself, build our food businesses and feed Milwaukee,” Tomira White, owner and CEO of Delicious Bites, an Upstart Kitchen member, said.