Hi, this is Rep. Gary Hebl with this week’s Democratic radio address.

What do you think of when you hear the words Main Street? For many, it conjures an image of a tree-lined street with local stores where you might run into neighbors and friends. While that image does not always match the reality we face today, the good news is, thanks to the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program, more than 6,200 small businesses and nonprofits across all 72 Wisconsin counties have been approved for $10,000 grants to help them move or expand into vacant commercial spaces.

I know many of my Republican colleagues didn’t want to take the federal pandemic recovery funding. But Gov. Tony Evers knew that these funds would help us bounce back from the pandemic. This week Governor Evers announced another 25 million dollar investment in the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program, ensuring that funding will be available to help another 4,000 small businesses and nonprofits on top of those businesses he already helped.

When you look at how states are using federal recovery funds, Wisconsin ranks second in the country for the amount of aid directed to economic development, and first in the country in aid to businesses. These investments have truly helped Wisconsin bounce back. Wisconsin has an unemployment rate that continues to be near or at record-low numbers. Our exports are up. And new businesses are opening their doors on Main Street.

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