"Use this and do good." That was the directive from Mayor Paul Soglin, armed with $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds approved by the City Council, when his concept of a quasi-public economic development organization was created in 1977.

Over forty years later that organization, Madison Development Corporation (MDC), is still doing good by providing loans to young businesses, affordable apartments to Dane County residents, and debt financing to emerging growth companies.

Today, MDC has provided more than 300 business loans totaling over $20 million. These loans have helped to create 4,000+ jobs over the past three decades; most paying at least twice the federal minimum wage.

Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Q: How does MDC help local businesses?
    A: We provide capital for businesses which other lenders may deem hard-to-finance or cannot fully meet the underwriting standards of private commercial lenders.
  • Q: Are your loans at discounted interest rates?
    A: No, they are market-rate loans, and we almost always charge what banks charge. We don't want people coming to MDC because they want free money, grants or 2% interest. We want them to come to us because we provide an opportunity they could not find anywhere else.
  • Q: Where does MDC get the money to make loans?
    A: The money has primarily come from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that the city of Madison obtained from the federal government. Over a number of years, MDC built up $3 million in CDBG allocations, which has become our revolving loan fund. The principal goes out to Madison businesses and the payments come back in. Every year, we get about $700,000 in payments, so we loan about $600,000 to $700,000 a year. We also earn about $200,000 a year in interest; that pays the bills to run MDC's office and projects.
  • Q: What is MDC's aim with its housing properties?
    A: Quality, affordable housing is part of our mission. We buy a property that may be troubled, fix it up, manage it efficiently and rent it at lower-than-usual prices to lower-paid, working-class people.

MDC Service Equal Opportunity Policy.

MDC will assure the equitable and accessible delivery of our services to the general public by assuring that services are administered and provided in compliance with federal, State and local civil rights legislation. MDC insures that no otherwise qualified person, based on protected status, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program, service or activity which we provide. Protected status includes age, race, color, disability, association with a person with a disability, gender, creed or religious conviction, national origin and ancestry.

To assist us in complying with all applicable equal opportunity rules, regulations and guidelines, Joan Frost, CFO, has been appointed as Equal Opportunity Coordinator. You are encouraged to discuss any perceived discrimination problems in employment or service delivery with this employee. Joan may be reached at (608)256-2799, ext. 211 or via e-mail at jfrost@mdcorp.org Information about our discrimination complaint process is available to you upon request.