Today, Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld toured Monroe Street businesses with Deputy Mayor Dr. Linda Vakunta as part of a visit to highlight state investments. Gov. Tony Evers made a combined $40 million investment in Madison small businesses as part of overall pandemic relief efforts, with Dane County receiving more than $325 million, including over $60 million for small business support.

The Secretary-designee, Deputy Mayor, and local stakeholders, including Rep. Sheila Stubbs, met with business owners, and toured Monroe Street Framing, which received funding from We’re All In and Wisconsin Tomorrow Grants, as well as Berke & Benham Seafood, which received a $10,000 Main Street Bounceback grant.  

“Helping our businesses and local neighborhoods continue to thrive has been a central accomplishment for the Evers Administration,” said DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “We’re excited continue supporting small businesses across the state, and work towards an economy that works for all Wisconsinites.”  

“The pandemic assistance, the funding, those were very often lifelines that ensured many of us could make payroll, pay bills, keep the community going. Even if it was just for one day, one week. And that meant everything,” said Michelle Waldeck, owner of Monroe Street Framing and member of the Monroe Street Merchants Association.

Overall investments supporting small businesses have totaled over $1 billion statewide. Gov. Tony Evers announced the Main Street Bounceback grant program 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. Earlier this week, Governor Evers announced state will provide an additional $25 million investment into the program, for a total investment of $100 million to help entrepreneurs open new businesses or expand their existing operations.

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