Akis Tax Receives FHLBank Chicago Community First® Accelerate Grant Through Partnership with Horicon Bank

Lambert Asumami, owner of Akis Tax, LLC was awarded a $25,000 grant through his partnership with Horicon Bank to expand his business in Milwaukee.

Asumami is a Congolese refugee who grew up in a United Nations camp in Tanzania. Six years ago, Asumami and his parents, two brothers, two sisters, a sister-in-law and two nephews were randomly selected by lottery to be settled in the United States, with the help of Wisconsin Catholic Charities.

Horicon Bank President, Fred C. Schwertfeger befriended Asumami after his family’s resettlement in Milwaukee. Schwertfeger worked closely with Asumami to switch him out of a fee-based checking account at another institution and later educate and build his credit.

“Through his moxie and work ethic, Lambert completed his education at Milwaukee Area Technical College,” said Schwertfeger. “While working several jobs and supporting his family, Lambert opened his company Akis to serve the refugee community with their tax needs. Our business banker, John Zanghi worked closely with Lambert on his grant application, and we celebrate this exciting award with him.”

Zanghi helped Asumami complete the grant application and says Akis Tax is creating an impact in Milwaukee.

“Lambert continues to broaden his knowledge base by taking classes with a desire to learn,” said Zanghi. “His energy level, his personality and willingness to learn is all creating an impact on his community. He is a great inspiration to those he serves.”

This grant was one of 172 deserving businesses awarded a total of $4.3 million in critical funding through FHLBank Chicago’s Community First® Accelerate Grants for Small Business (Accelerate Grants) program. Small businesses are facing challenges with growing or enhancing their operations due to surging borrowing costs in a high-interest rate environment. In response to this need, FHLBank Chicago awarded Accelerate Grants for a second year to support a variety of purposes, including purchase or improvement of property, equipment, workforce development, and technology.

“Small businesses in our members’ communities provide valuable products and services that contribute to local economies,” said Katie Naftzger, Community Investment Officer, FHLBank Chicago. “Accelerate Grants provide an opportunity for our members to strengthen their partnerships with local small businesses, thereby supporting economic growth and job opportunities and strengthening the fabric of the rural, urban, and small-town communities served by our members.”

About Akis Tax, LLC

Akis Tax is a full-service tax preparation firm based in Milwaukee, WI serving both individuals and businesses. The firm specializes in helping the refugee community across the nation, specifically Swahili speakers with their tax preparation needs.

About Horicon Bank

Headquartered in Horicon, WI, since 1896, Horicon Bank recently opened their Milwaukee flagship location at the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa. Founded by an inventor and business owner, Horicon Bank has long supported local business in their communities.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

FHLBank Chicago is a regional bank in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. FHLBanks are government-sponsored enterprises created by Congress to ensure access to low-cost funding for their member financial institutions, with a focus on providing solutions that support the housing and community development needs of members’ customers. FHLBank Chicago is a self-capitalizing cooperative, owned by its Illinois and Wisconsin members, including commercial banks, credit unions, insurance companies, savings institutions, and community development financial institutions. To learn more about FHLBank Chicago, please visit fhlbc.com.

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