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Partner to Empower program

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

On May 13, 2021, we launched Partner to Empower, a program that addresses the systemic racial barriers that members of our communities face and helps business owners and entrepreneurs by providing retail expertise along with information imperative for growing a business. Accepted participants will receive guidance, funding, and support in order to bring more diversity to our shopping centers, and in turn, better reflect the local communities they serve.

We will invest up to $25 million over the next five years to support Black- and minority-owned businesses opening physical retail locations in our shopping centers. As a part of this program, an exclusive Retail Workshop is launching on July 19 and will be led by industry insiders to create an environment that encourages our communities to work together and excel in success.

The first round of applications is now closed and will re-open early 2022. See below for details.

Application Update

We are overjoyed by the response Partner to Empower has received since its initial launch. Hundreds of applications have been submitted, each one inspiring us with its unique story and vision for the future. 

Although the application is now closed, please be in touch to ask questions about the program or how to get involved via community partnerships or sponsorship opportunities. The application will re-open in 2022, and we hope you’ll consider applying and sharing the program with your networks at that time. 

Our team is actively reviewing applications and working with businesses on their store buildouts. Stay tuned to hear about the various Black- and minority-owned businesses opening at our centers.


Frequently Asked Questions

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

We define Black- and minority-owned businesses 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?

If you have a great idea, product, service, or business and have always wanted to open a store or expand your current physical footprint, this program is right for you. Today our shopping centers offer our communities everything from the traditional in-mall retail experience to entertainment, medical services, and office space. Whether you’re ready now, or will be within the next 1-2 years, we are thinking out of the box and would love to learn more about your business ideas.

What is a selected business’s commitment, and what exactly is the funding used for?

The commitment we ask of the participants is to be avid about learning and improving upon their business plans, which includes utilizing resources, vetting additional funding to support their growth, and signing a lease. The funding received does not need to be paid back but must be spent on your store build-out and growth of a physical retail location as defined by Brookfield Properties.

What are the different lease options for my physical retail space?

We are committed to working with you to determine what type of physical space and build-out is right for you and your business. While there is flexibility, we anticipate the signing of 1–2-year leases in any of the following store formats:

  • Inline Store: Traditional space within a shopping center.
  • Kiosk: Versatile and customizable spaces in a shared common area within a shopping center.
  • Food Court or Restaurant: Full-service, fast-casual, franchise, food court, and/or food hall space located within a shopping center.

What are the details of the Retail Workshop?

We have 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. Starting on July 19, there will be virtual courses to attend over the span of four weeks which will cover many topics crucial to setting up a successful business in a physical retail space. And yes, the Retail Workshop is free for those accepted into the Partner to Empower program — it is our commitment to your success.

What if this program isn’t right for me? Can I still do business with Brookfield Properties?

We are committed to supporting our communities and diversity within our shopping centers across the nation. If Partner to Empower isn’t the right program for you, we can discuss potential business opportunities within our portfolio of more than 170 properties across 43 states. We will continue conversations with you regarding your brick-and-mortar retail goals to explore how we can support your business in other ways. If you would like to discuss opportunities outside of the Partner to Empower program, you can contact us today here.

Get Involved

To learn more about community partnership and sponsorship opportunities or for other questions, please contact us at

For media inquiries, please reach out to


Partner to Empower Highlights

Program at a glance


community partners involved


businesses attending our Retail Workshop

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
RVP, Business Development & Partner to Empower Lead

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