Black man and woman laughing Black man and woman laughing

Partner to Empower program

Brookfield Properties is committed to partnering with, empowering, and providing resources for Black- and minority-owned businesses.

Partner to Empower is a program dedicated to addressing and breaking down the systemic racial barriers that members of our communities face.

We will invest $25 million through 2025 to help Black and minority business owners open brick-and-mortar stores in our malls, as well as provide them with one-on-one guidance and an invitation to participate in a tailored Retail Workshop packed with resources and networking opportunities. It is our mission to bring more diversity to our shopping centers and help support equity within our industry.


Sign Up for Program Updates

We’re excited to announce the next window to submit applications will open in early 2022!

Complete this form to be the first to know when applications are being accepted and receive program updates.


Plus, check out these additional resources that can also support the growth of your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you define a Black- or minority-owned business?

We define a Black- or minority-owned business as a for-profit small business concern where socially disadvantaged* individuals own a significant interest (e.g., majority ownership) and also control management and daily business operations.

*African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans are presumed to be socially disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.


How do I know if my business or idea is right for this program?

We are passionate about finding businesses that want to open their first brick-and-mortar store or expand their portfolio of existing locations. We’re looking for Black- or minority-owned businesses that are:

  • Interested in opening a store within the Brookfield Properties U.S. mall portfolio.
  • At a point in their growth to be able to open a brick-and-mortar store. This includes having the correct funding to support their business operations and inventory outside of the funding that the program provides for store buildout expenses.
  • Ready for the commitment to sign a license agreement, ideally for two years, in which both parties agree on factors such as rent price and store design.
  • Specifically selling merchandise or providing a service that we are looking for. Each mall has a unique category mix to which we do not want to over index, as the key to a successful shopping center is to have a differentiated offering of retailers and services. 

How does the Partner to Empower funding work and what can it be used for?

Partner to Empower funding is specifically for the expenses associated with building out your physical store within a Brookfield Properties mall. Imagine flipping your store upside down and shaking it — everything that would stay put is what Partner to Empower funding can be used for (think construction, merchandising units, and signage, for example). Other important aspects of running your store such as purchasing inventory, staffing, and operations are not covered by our funding. When working through the details of the license agreement for your store at a Brookfield Properties mall, the amount of funding you will receive for your buildout and the specifics on what you can use it on will be clearly laid out with our team. The funds provided through this program are unique to each business and will align with what is required for your specific buildout. 

What are the details of the Retail Workshop?

We’ve built a network of support through partnering with national and local organizations, banks, businesses, and retail leaders to break down the many barriers in building and expanding a successful business. This culminates in a four-week Retail Workshop hosted by Brookfield Properties, which will be facilitated by our friends at Global Core Solutions

Topics covered include building business plans, business banking, marketing, staffing, store operations, leadership, and more. And yes, the Retail Workshop is free for those accepted into the Partner to Empower program — it is our commitment to your success. 2022 dates for our Retail Workshops will be announced soon.


Get Involved

Download our partnership deck if you are interested in becoming a community partner or want to sponsor our workshop programming.


If you have questions about the program, please contact us at


For media inquiries, please reach out to

Michelle Isabel

"Partner to Empower is just the first step in Brookfield Properties’ pursuit to break down barriers and make our malls more diverse. We’ve been inspired, not only by the stories businesses have shared with us, but by the overwhelming support of the community and their contributions to the program. Together, we’re changing the retail landscape and I can’t wait to see what the future of this program holds."

Michelle Isabel
VP, Partner to Empower

Success Stories

We are overjoyed by the response Partner to Empower received in its initial launch in May 2021. Hundreds of applications were submitted, each one inspiring us with its unique story and vision for the future.

The inspiration continued when we hosted our first Partner to Empower Retail Workshop in July 2021, bringing together retail experts, business leaders, and a cohort of wonderful business owners, creating an environment that encouraged our communities to work together and move toward their store buildouts.

Our program at a glance


businesses now open


community partners involved


businesses attended our Retail Workshop

Stay connected

To get updates on our Partner to Empower program, follow us on LinkedInInstagramFacebook, and Twitter.