Mequon, Wis. – Today, Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld and Deputy Secretary Chris Patton toured businesses in the City of Mequon as part of a visit to highlight state investments. Governor Tony Evers made a $4.7 million investment in Mequon small businesses, including 58 recipients of the Main Street Bounceback grant. Ozaukee County received an overall $40 million investment, with $14 million going to small businesses and farms in Ozaukee County.
The DOA officials met with business owners from Let’s Celebrate, a children’s party service provider, Trailside Recreation, a bike shop, and North Shore Boulangerie, a French bakery. Each business received a $10,000 Main Street Bounceback Grant.
(L-R: Rep. Deb Andraca, DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld, Let’s Celebrate owner Kim Angeli, DOA Deputy Secretary Chris Patton)
“Investing in our businesses has a positive ripple effect for the entire community, and that was both the intention and the impact of Governor Evers’ investments,” said DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “We’ve witnessed it across the state, and we have seen it here in meeting with local business owners right here in Mequon.”
(L-R: DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld, Trailside Recreation owner Sam Wolf, DOA Deputy Secretary Chris Patton, and Rep. Deb Andraca)
“The assistance that the Main Street Bounceback Grant provided was greatly appreciated by the business recipients in our area,” said Tina Schwantes, executive director for the Mequon-Thiesenville Chamber of Commerce. “The grant offered the businesses a range of opportunities and support. Some businesses reported that the grant enabled them to expand their space resulting in growth in products, services and employees. Others were able to move out of a home office into a commercial space or fulfilled a dream to start a new business knowing there would be assistance with operation expenses at the start.”
Governor Evers made more than $1 billion in investments statewide in support of small businesses and economic development. The Main Street Bounceback Grant program was announced in the spring of 2021 with the first grants made in August 2021, using $75 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, to help small businesses and communities grow by populating vacant storefronts with new businesses and nonprofits. The Governor recently announced an additional $25 million investment into the program, for a total investment of $100 million to help over 6,600 entrepreneurs open new businesses or expand their existing operations.
(DOA Deputy Secretary Chris Patton and DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld speaking with North Shore Boulangerie owner Gene Webb)
“While it is often a favored pastime to criticize government and elected officials, the speed and focus of action that the pandemic brought about at all levels of government (municipal, county, state and federal) is to be appreciated and applauded,” said Gene Webb, owner of the North Shore Boulangerie. “What we have and continue to experience is a lesson in the incredible complexity of economies (local and all the way up to global economies); to halt these interactions and then to restart them is extraordinarily difficult and entails patience and continued support, such as what was seen in the Main Street (Bounceback) initiative.”
Visit BadgerBounceback.wi.gov to view pandemic-related assistance information as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.