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Gov. Evers Visits Small Businesses Across the State PDF Print E-mail
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Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 16 September 2022 15:17

small-business-ownersGovernor’s visits highlight some of the more than 6,000 small businesses and nonprofits that have received $10,000 Main Street Bounceback grants.


MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers this week visited local small businesses and met with their owners in communities across the state, including Green Lake, Princeton, Waukesha, Stevens Point, and Sturgeon Bay. Several of the businesses the governor visited were recipients of the popular Main Street Bounceback Grant Program, and earlier this week, the governor announced an additional $25 million investment in the program, bringing his total investment to $100 million. To date, 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. 

The Main Street Bounceback Grant Program was first announced in April 2021. In May, Gov. Evers announced an additional $25 million investment to support the program due to greater-than-expected demand, and the investment announced this week will help ensure there is funding available to help a total of 10,000 small businesses and nonprofits. 

tony-evers“With every business we’ve visited since starting our Main Street Bounceback Grant Program, we've seen just how impactful these grants have been for small businesses and communities across our state,” said Gov. Evers. “Our investments have already helped more than 6,000 businesses and nonprofits across Wisconsin, and I was glad to announce we're continuing to invest in this program to help even more small business owners turn their dreams into a brick-and-mortar reality and to bring new life and excitement to Wisconsin’s Main Streets and downtowns.” 

The governor began his business visits in Green Lake on Mon., Sept. 12, where he stopped by Walk the Dog, a local business that serves gourmet hot dogs and French fries, as well as an array of Wisconsin-themed gifts. A recipient of a Main Street Bounceback grant, co-owner Angela Zodrow used the funds to help decorate and prepare the store for its opening in July 2021. Photos of the governor’s visit are available here and here. After hearing about Walk the Dog’s successes over the last year and meeting with Angela’s family, the governor went on to Princeton where he visited Whimsy Mountain, a gift and home décor shop that also received a Main Street Bounceback grant. While there, owner Debbie May showed the governor the creative studio where they host group workshops and private events. Photos of the governor’s visit are available here and here

On Tues., Sept. 13, Gov. Evers, together with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, visited several small businesses in Waukesha. First, the governor and secretary visited The Steaming Cup where they met with local leaders to discuss local issues and continued support for the Waukesha community and Main Street businesses across the state. Photos of their visit are available here and here. Next, they visited Chef Pam’s Kitchen, which received a Main Street Bounceback grant, where the governor met three local artisans who have grown their businesses with the help of this commercial kitchen, including A to Z Dinners, Vegan Bakers Man, and Prairie Junction Farms. Photos of their visit are available here, here, and here. Following this, they visited the Waukesha Civic Theatre, where the governor announced that the city of Waukesha will be receiving a $250,000 Community Development Investment Grant from WEDC to support expansion efforts at the theatre designed to spur cultural growth and bring more visitors to the downtown area. Photos of their visit are available here, here, and here. Finally, the governor and secretary visited Martha Merrell’s Books and Toys. Photos of their visit are available here and here

Additionally, Gov. Evers and WEDC Secretary and CEO Hughes met with business owners in Stevens Point on Tuesday where they first visited the Assembly Shop, which is a local women’s clothing boutique that also supports a scholarship fund at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to help nontraditional students and students of color pursue their higher education goals. Photos of their visit to the Assembly Shop are available here and here. Following this visit they visited Gepetto’s Workshop, which has been a staple in the Stevens Point community for over 40 years. Photos of their visit to Gepetto’s Workshop are available here and here

On Wed., Sept. 14., the governor and Secretary and CEO Hughes concluded their business visits in Sturgeon Bay. While there, the governor and secretary visited The Marketplace, a shared retail space housing various small businesses under one roof, including Bliss, a home goods store; Lola May’s, a women’s boutique; SmithMaker Artisan Co., a craft and attire store; and Monticello on Jefferson, a store specializing in women’s clothing, jewelry, and handbags. In 2020, the city of Sturgeon Bay received a $250,000 Community Development Investment Grant from WEDC to redevelop the former Younkers building into The Marketplace, and several of the tenant businesses have received small business recovery grants from the Evers Administration, including Monticello on Jefferson, which received a Main Street Bounceback grant to expand into their new space. Photos of their visit are available here, here, and here. Following this, the governor and secretary visited Dancing Bear Toys and Little Luxuries, where they explored an extensive puzzle collection and made friends with their store pets, and then Avenue Art and Co. On Third, as well as SOMI Gallery, where the governor and secretary met with the three owners and heard about the success of both their gallery and their new store space, for which they received a Main Street Bounceback grant. Photos of their visit to Dancing Bear are available here and here, and photos of their visit to Avenue Art & Co. On Third are available here, here, and here.

 
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