All posts by Tom Stocco

Riverwest Barn Raising Program

BRPWEbRIC’s Barn Raising Loan Program

Designed to Get You Started and Keep You Going

If you are starting or want to grow your business, consider securing your capital from the Riverwest Investment Cooperative (RIC) Barn Raising Loan program. RIC’s Barn Raising program is supported by the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC).

When you secure financing from RIC’s Barn Raising Loan program, you will receive all the support that comes from RIC and the outstanding one-on-one assistance that WWBIC is known for. This is an unbeatable combination of guidance and resources for any entrepreneur.



Neighbors Lending Money And Support BecauseYour Neighbors Care

Our business loan initiative is called the “Barn Raising Loan” because our program is about neighbors helping neighbors. Our loan program

Barn Raising Program is focused on the Riverwest Community. RIC’s Barn Raising program is an effort by Riverwest neighbors and supporters that have invested their own funds to lend to businesses that want to grow in the Riverwest neighborhood.

As founding members of RIC, we have seen the incredible effort and dedication of the membership to make the Riverwest neighborhood a better place to live and work. As a loan recipient from WWBIC, we received all the resources and guidance which has encouraged our successes. Simply put, the support now available to new businesses working with RIC & WWBIC will raise the likelihood for their success. We are so pleased these two organizations are working together!

– John and Penny Rossetto, Co-Owners of Transfer Pizza

It’s Easy To Apply For Your Barn Raising RIC Loan

Loans are available from $1,000 to $100,000. Rates vary depending on the loan. Loans can be used for machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, leasehold improvements, inventory, supplies and working capital. The average loan approval takes about six weeks!

Here’s how
you get started:

  1. Go to Click on
    the button ‘Contact RIC’ and leave us a message with your phone and email as well as your interest in securing a loan.
  2. RIC will get back in touch to discuss your goals, timing, needs and pre-qualification guidelines.
  3. Following initial RIC approval, you will be guided through the WWBIC loan application and business training processIt’s just that simple!

Download The Barn Raising Program Brochure 

Subscribe to The Barn Raising Newsletter to keep updated




Volunteer opportunities are perfect for those interested in

  • Learning about our communitity
  • Learning how the capital and real estate markets work
  • How homes are designed and built
  • How a cooperative business is run

If interested please subscribe to our Volunteer Newsletter to get the latest information and opportunities available.

Or if you have your own ideas on how you could contribute to RIC please contact Tom Stocco at


lntrested in the Riverwest Investment Cooperative?  Here we have all the resources that you need to learn about our mission, our goals, our cooperative framework and how to become a member. Take a moment and read through this presentation to help answer any question you may have.

Please look at these important documents as well


Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about us, you may be wondering how you can become more involved in the Riverwest Investment Cooperative. We hope so!
There are several “categories” of Member/Investment available.


A RIC membership can be purchased for $1000 by any Wisconsin resident. Only one membership is allowed per individual. Members are entitled to several rights, in particular, they are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors. Also, Members have one vote each to elect directors at the annual meeting as well as one vote toward investment/property decisions when requested by the Board of Directors. Members earn a distribution of year-end net proceeds.

You can become a RIC member by completing

  • This Form and sending RIC a check for the amount you wish to invest.
  • Feel free to contact us or RIC’s treasurer and a founding member of the organization, Tom Stocco.

Preferred Shares Investor

A preferred share in RIC can be purchased at $100 increments by any Wisconsin resident. Ten shares may be converted into one membership at the request of the investor. Preferred Shares Investors earn dividends at 3% APR.


This is an important category of involvement with RIC because “Friends” are a cadre of area residents who care about what we do, have an interest in the neighborhood and want to stay informed about our events, meetings, decisions and volunteer opportunities. To become a Friend or Volunteer check follow this link to the Volunteer Page

The Holton House: A Cooperative Achievement

The Holton House was purchased by the Riverwest Investment Cooperative in October of 2003. Previously a three-family rental property, this building had been destroyed by arson and sat vacant for many months. In fact, RIC’s purchase of it was completed just in time to save it from a City order for the wrecking ball.

In August 2005, RIC sold 2543 N. Holton to a family of four . The journey from distressed property (and nearly a vacant lot) to a renovated home full of life is a vision realized for RIC. Unfortunately, this family became victim to the foreclosure crisis that has plagued our country.

The Holton House earned RIC a profit of approximately 10%, but RIC was willing to risk an even smaller profit in order to make the project happen. Had RIC not operated in this manner, the Holton house would have been demolished in November 2003, and the land probably would have been sold to a commercial developer who probably would have built a multi-unit building to maximize profits. Instead, through bold initiative and shared risk, the members and investors of RIC assured a different course.