NEW – 2011-2012 Wisconsin Main Street Annual Report
Wisconsin’s main streets are the hearts of our towns. They are the focal points for visitors. They are the hub for businesses in the community. They are the foundation of where our families enjoy life in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a great track record of helping small businesses and creating jobs in our historic downtowns through the Main Street Program.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) works with communities ranging from towns with populations of less than 1,000 to large neighborhoods in Milwaukee and Green Bay.
This commitment by communities and WEDC through the Main Street Program over the years has resulted in nearly $1.2 billion being invested in our communities to grow businesses and create jobs. This annual report covers the Main Street Program’s performance from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, andprofiles a few of last year’s community success stories.
Wisconsin Main Street Program
The Wisconsin Main Street Program is a comprehensive revitalization program designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin. Each year, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation selects communities to join the program. These communities receive technical support and training needed to restore their Main Streets to centers of community activity and commerce.
Main Street Program Benefits
$125,000 investment from the state of Wisconsin in on-site visits, training and technical assistance
More than 80-day presence of staff and consultants
Annual investment of approximately $5,000 in each Main Street community after start-up phase for quarterly assistance
- Onsite volunteer training programs
- Director orientation and training sessions
- Advanced training on specific downtown/ urban neighborhood issues, such as marketing, business recruitment, volunteer development, and historic preservation
- Onsite visits to help each community develop its strengths and plan for success
- Onsite design assistance
- Onsite counseling to business owners and managers
- Materials such as manuals and PowerPoint programs
Main Street Annual Reports
- 2011-2012 Annual Report NEW!
- 2010-2011 Annual Report
- 2009-2010 Annual Report
- 2008-2009 Annual Report
- 2007-2008 Annual Report
- 2006-2007 Annual Report
- 2005-2006 Annual Report
- 10th Annual Report
More reports are available. Please contact us for more information.
Main Street New
The Four-Point Approach
There are no quick fixes for declining downtowns/ urban neighborhoods. Success is realized through the comprehensive and incremental approach of the Main Street Program. Four elements combine to create this well balanced program:
Design involves creating an environment where people want to shop and spend time. First impressions can have a lasting influence. Rehabilitated buildings, attractive storefronts, enticing window displays, clean streets and sidewalks, and properly designed signage together present an appealing image to potential customers, tenants and investors.
Organization involves building a Main Street framework that is well represented by civic groups, merchants, bankers, citizens, public officials, and chambers of commerce. Everyone must work together to renew downtown/urban neighborhoods. Fundraising, volunteer development, and public relations are examples of organization activities.
Economic restructuring involves analyzing current market forces to develop long-term solutions. Sharpening the competitiveness of Main Street’s traditional merchants, recruiting new businesses, and creatively converting unused space for new uses are examples of economic restructuring activities.
Promotion creates excitement in the downtown/ urban neighborhood district. Street festivals, parades, retail events, and image development campaigns are some of the ways Main Street encourages consumer traffic in the downtown. Promotion involves marketing an enticing image to shoppers, investors, and visitors.
Jim Engle, Manager
Joe Lawniczak, Design Specialist
J.D. Milburn, Small Business Specialist