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Revitalizing Milwaukee through E-commerce

Founded by Lilo Allen and Tiffany Miller, Bronzeville Collective MKE in Milwaukee sells the handcrafted goods and art of more than 25 Black, Brown, queer, and ally creators. Allen is proud that her small business is “one of the few retail spaces in the city that celebrates not only Black culture but the culture and history of the historic neighborhood with which we share our name.” Through their mission to honor and revitalize an area that once held the most Black-owned businesses per capita, Allen and Miller brought a new creative concept to town while helping small businesses and artists gain visibility and sell their work.

Allen and Miller’s new business helped revive their historic neighborhood and helped other small businesses and artists gain visibility and sell their work. As Bronzeville Collective MKE grew, Allen and Miller utilized digital tools like Google Workspace to help keep track of inventory and sales to handle a steady increase in business.

At the onset of the pandemic, Allen and Miller harnessed the power of digital tools to help manage fluctuations in business. Luckily, Bronzeville Collective’s e-commerce website launched on the day Milwaukee’s mandated shutdown began, which immediately resulted in an uptick in online sales. Now that their storefront has reopened, Allen has found their free Google Business Profile critical to “helping customers know our exact location, safety precautions, and new hours.”

Digital tools have enabled Bronzeville Collective MKE’s growth through challenging times. They hope Congress doesn’t pass legislation that gets in the way of ensuring small businesses maintain access to the same tools and technologies that help them grow and succeed.

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