Local shopping directory brings downtown direct to your door

MADISON, WI. May 26, 2020 – A new online retail portal is now available to connect shoppers within and beyond our state’s borders with more than 230 Main Street businesses across Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced today.

The website, www.mainstreetwi.com, provides a searchable database of more than 230 locally owned shops that offer online sales and shipping. Visitors can choose to search by geography or by product category.

“Local small businesses have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “This is a great opportunity to help sustain local and small businesses in our downtown districts throughout Wisconsin.”

Many small businesses affected by the pandemic have had difficulty letting customers know their favorite products are still available online, while buyers who have sought alternatives to chain stores and major online retailers haven’t always known where to look. The Main Street Marketplace helps businesses and consumers make these connections while also showcasing the wide variety of retail offerings available in Wisconsin—from clothing to coffee and from vintage vinyl records to decorative glass.

Currently, there are more than 230 shops listed on the site, offering a wide array of goods—specialty food, apparel, home goods, toys, gifts and more. To be listed, shops must be located in one of the 34 Wisconsin Main Street communities. Additional offerings from local businesses in Connect Communities member communities will be added in the future. A map of the Main Street communities is available here.

Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 34 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Main Street Center.

Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 2,800 new businesses and more than 15,000 net new jobs. In addition, more than $2.1 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.