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WEDC Offers $10,000 Grants to Help Main Streets 'Bounce Back'

Erin Gottsacker/WXPR

Boarded-up buildings scattered through downtown streets aren’t just eyesores. They come at a serious cost to local governments.

So the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is trying to fill vacant commercial properties by offering Main Street Bounceback grants.

These $10,000 grants are designed to help businesses pay for mortgages, operating expenses and building repairs if they move into an empty building.

“The goal is to build a solid foundation for the long-term success of small business and strengthen Wisconsin’s main streets and commercial corridors at the same time,” says Karen Margelofsky, the executive director of the Eagle River Main Street Program.

She says she hopes people take advantage of this opportunity after an especially challenging year.

“A lot of people were forced to be home, so their hobbies came out or remote businesses popped up,” she says. “We’re hoping this is a new market for a lot of businesses. This gives them the opportunity to show how they’ve come out of COVID with.”

The program has $50 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Anyone who moves a business into a vacant commercial property between January of this year and June 30, 2022 is eligible to apply.

Erin Gottsacker joined WXPR in December 2020. As a Morning Edition host and reporter, Erin reports on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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