MADISON, Wis. — In case you missed it, Governor Tony Evers announced yesterday that more than 4,200 small businesses from all 72 counties have opened or expanded in previously vacant space with help from the Main Street Bounceback grant program.
Last year, Gov. Evers created the Main Street Bounceback program with an initial $50 million, and yesterday, Gov. Evers announced an additional $25 million for the program — bringing the governor’s total investment to $75 million. Gov. Evers’ latest investment will enable 2,500 more small businesses to fill empty storefronts.
Gov. Evers is establishing Wisconsin as the small business powerhouse of the Midwest, and because of his common sense leadership, as a share of federal aid our state has received, Wisconsin ranks first in the country in aid allocated to businesses and second in the country for aid directed to economic development. Wisconsin has also achieved the lowest unemployment rate in state history and has a labor force participation rate that is four points higher than the national average.
See below for a roundup of coverage on how Gov. Evers is doing what’s right for small businesses and Main Streets.
Governor Tony Evers announced a $25 million expansion of a small business investment program Tuesday.
According to Gov. Evers, more than 4200 small businesses throughout Wisconsin have received grants through the Main Street Bounceback program, including 431 in Western Wisconsin. Tuesday, the governor announced an additional $25 million for the now $75 million program that he says enables another 2500 small businesses to fill store fronts.
“The impact we’ve had through our Main Street Bounceback Grant Program over the last year has been tremendous, truly helping small businesses and main streets in every corner of our state,” Gov. Evers said. “We’ve heard from folks from across the state about how these funds have helped them take their businesses to the next level. We’ve also seen firsthand how these investments have helped support local economies in downtowns and communities that are now filled with unique businesses that otherwise might not be there today.”
According to Evers, 89 small businesses in La Crosse County have opened or expanded as a result of Main Street Bounceback grants. Local business development leaders like Downtown Mainstreet Executive Director Terry Bauer say the program has had a positive effect on La Crosse.
“The catalyst for this downtown explosion of new entrepreneurship is the Governor’s bounce back program,” Bauer said.
Evers made two stops in La Crosse Tuesday touting his small business grants, at La Crosse Promise and Audiolust Records.
Governor Tony Evers is providing $25 million for more development grants to small businesses in Wisconsin.
Evers is promoting the Main Street Bounceback Program on a statewide tour which kicked off Tuesday morning in La Crosse.
The governor and WEDC Secretary Missy Hughes visited the Doerflinger building, where the La Crosse Promise program recently opened new offices, and the Audiolust record store, which has moved from State Street to South 6th Street.
Promise executive director Aaron Czappa credits a Bounceback grant with helping make the move possible.
“Historically, we’ve been in the high schools,” says Czappa, “but the Bounceback grant allowed us to bring our main office to downtown La Crosse.”
Audiolust owner Jeffrey Buchholtz also says state funding was helpful in letting him expand from a previous site, next to the Salvation Army office.
“We outgrew our other spot real fast,” Buchholtz says. “With the help of the Downtown Mainstreet, our business is just increasing day by day.”
Downtown Mainstreet director Terry Bauer and state lawmakers Jill Billings and Brad Pfaff accompanied Evers on his La Crosse stops. Evers says the Bounceback grants have assisted 4200 businesses around the state, including 89 just in La Crosse County.
State officials are trying to make downtown areas more vibrant across Wisconsin.
The Main Street Bounceback Program was established last year to give grants to small businesses that wished to move into vacant downtown storefronts.
$50 million from the American Rescue Plan Act was initially put into the program, and money was distributed through $10,000 grants.
Looking back on the first year of the program, Gov. Tony Evers is pleased with what it’s accomplished.
“This program has succeeded in helping more than 4,200 businesses and nonprofits move into new spaces,” Evers detailed. “These businesses and nonprofits have created jobs, new opportunities, and revitalized downtowns in all 72 Wisconsin counties.”
Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that he will be investing an additional $25 million into the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program.
The grant program has already helped more than 4,200 small businesses and nonprofits across all 72 Wisconsin counties.
In total, Tuesday’s announcement brings the governor’s total investment in the program to $75 million, which will enable 2,500 more small businesses and nonprofits to fill empty storefronts throughout the state.
A recent analysis of state allocations showed that Wisconsin ranks second in the country for aid directed to economic development and first in the country in aid to businesses.