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GRID Set to Launch Later this Month, Organization Supports Business Development in the Northwoods

Nicolet College

A new organization is working to help support and grow businesses throughout the Northwoods.

The GRID was recently awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to help with its launch. GRID stands for Guiding Rural Innovation and Development.

The GRID is currently based out of Nicolet College. Toni Van Doren is the business solutions coordinator at the college. She wants the GRID to be the place business owners and startups can reach out to for connections and solutions.

“They don’t have to know what questions to ask, they don’t have to know where to go, they don’t have to know the right people because that what the GRID does. It connects them to those people, those innovators, those small business owners to the right resources when they need them,” said Van Doren.

GRID received grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Associated Bank totaling $95,000.

The money is meant to help launch the GRID. It will be used to find all the resources that are available and create a database.

Van Doren said the GRID is officially launching later this month, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic its work started months ago.

“We had to prelaunch because that’s the whole point of the GRID is to help people when they need it and they needed it sooner,” said Van Doren.

The organization serves businesses in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Florence, and Iron counties.

The GRID isn’t replacing any services already available. It’s connecting businesses with those resources.

“If we can amplify those points of light to make the Northwoods so bright and such a great place to be it will also start bringing more people, more businesses to the area and creating this culture of entrepreneurship  which brings a lot of new services , a lot of new businesses, a lot of remote workers. That’s one good thing that came out of COVID is giving the opportunity to show people that this is where you want to be,” said Van Doren.

For more information on The GRID, call (715) 365-4425 or email info@thegridwi.org.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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