Anzhe Zhang // Northern Wisconsin Times
Gov. Evers announced earlier this month, in a joint announcement alongside the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, that the Main Street Bounceback Program would be seeing an additional $25 million investment in grants, which will go towards helping an estimated 2,500 small businesses and nonprofits fill up commercial spaces across the state.
“I’m proud of our work making strategic investments in small businesses and I’m excited that today’s announcement means we’ll be able to continue our work supporting main streets and communities across Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers in a press release.
Marking a little over a year since the Main Street Bounceback Program first began in April of 2021, the grant program has helped around 4,200 small businesses and nonprofits across 72 counties in Wisconsin. The additional expansion in grants announced this month puts the total investment in small businesses by the governor at $75 million through this program alone.
An analysis ranking how well states allocated federal aid put Wisconsin in first place when it comes to supporting businesses. Under Gov. Ever’s Main Street program, small businesses receive a $10,000 grant for purposes such as relocation, improving business areas, and revitalizing rural communities affected by the pandemic.
“What we’re hearing from all of the communities where these businesses are opening is the sense of excitement that they bring, which will enable 2,500 more small businesses and nonprofits to fill empty storefronts throughout the state,” noted Hughes.
Main Street Bounceback grant recipients from last year noted that the funds served a litany of purposes, from providing financial security for a bakery about to open, to start-ups breathing life into new areas of town.
“Whether it’s a new restaurant, a hair salon, or an accounting business, there’s a feeling that there are new reasons to come to our downtowns and spend a little more time there,” said Hughes.
Reprinted with permission from the Northern WI Times.