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Madison365 | Evers adds $25 million to Main Street Bounce Back grants

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Source: Madison365

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced Monday that his administration will invest an additional $25 million to a fund making grants to storefront small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Evers made the announcement at events alongside Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. Evers said the programs has already helped more than 4,200 small businesses and nonprofits across all 72 Wisconsin counties. In total, the announcement brings the governor’s total investment in the program to $75 million, which the administration said will enable 2,500 more small businesses and nonprofits to fill empty storefronts throughout the state.

The grants are administered by regional economic development agencies.

recent analysis of state allocations showed that as a share of federal aid received by states, Wisconsin ranks second in the country for aid directed to economic development and first in the country in aid to businesses.

“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,”  Evers said in a statement. “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. 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.”

The Main Street Bounceback Grant Program was first announced in April 2021, and since, more than 4,200 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.

“From barbershops to candy stores and from physical therapists to local economic development groups, the businesses and organizations that have received Main Street Bounceback grants vary widely,” Hughes said in a statement. “But what we’re hearing from all of the communities where these businesses are opening is the sense of excitement that they bring. 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.”

The deadline for grant applications for the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2022, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all the funds are disbursed. WEDC is working with nine regional economic development organizations to quickly disburse grant funding to eligible businesses and nonprofit organizations. More information about the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program and how to apply is available on the WEDC website here.

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MadREP to Administer WEDC Main Street Bounceback Grants for Madison Region

Madison, WI – The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) today announced its partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on an exciting new program to support regional businesses and nonprofits. Those considering moving into a vacant Wisconsin commercial space may be eligible for a $10,000 Wisconsin Tomorrow – Main Street Bounceback Grant through a newly created program.

According to MadREP President & CEO Jason M. Fields, “this tool will allow us to support communities throughout the Madison Region to restore business activity to their commercial centers. I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to our partners , especially Secretary Hughes and Governor Evers, for bringing MadREP to the table on this initiative. We’re honored the State of Wisconsin is trusting MadREP to administer $4 million of this exceptional program.”

“These grants are designed to give entrepreneurs a helping hand in establishing their physical storefronts and reward small business owners for investing in empty commercial properties across the state,” said Missy Hughes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) secretary and CEO. “The businesses that move into these spaces become integral parts of our communities, offering not only goods and services but spaces to gather and celebrate.”

In April, Governor Tony Evers announced the state would dedicate $50 million toward helping small business owners open physical locations and helping communities fill vacant storefronts. The funds for the Wisconsin Tomorrow – Main Street Bounceback Grant Program come from the state’s share of federal American Recovery Plan Act aid.

To be eligible, businesses or nonprofits must have moved into a vacant commercial space in Wisconsin on or after January 1, 2021 or be moving into a vacant commercial space in Wisconsin. The business or nonprofit must not be closing another Wisconsin location in order to make this move.

The grant funding can be used for rent or mortgage payments, operating expenses, building repairs and improvements, and more.

Businesses or nonprofits that would use the new location for storage, to hold for investment purposes or to rent out as residential housing are not eligible. National and regional chains are also ineligible unless owned by an independent franchisee.

WEDC is working with MadREP and eight other regional economic development organizations to quickly disburse grant funding to eligible businesses and nonprofits in all of the state’s 72 counties. Applications open on Aug. 9 and the program runs through June 30, 2022. Businesses and nonprofits interested in learning more about the grants should go to:

Interested individuals who fill out the online form on the site will automatically be directed to the regional partner disbursing grants in their area for more information and next steps.