City is only Wisconsin community to receive select honor in 2016

SHULLSBURG, WI. Aug. 24, 2016 – The City of Shullsburg has been designated as a Wisconsin Main Street community by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), joining a select group of communities that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to downtown revitalization.

Shullsburg, a city of about 1,200 in southwestern Wisconsin, is the only community in Wisconsin to earn such designation in 2016, and is the state’s 34th currently active Main Street community.

The Lafayette County community was accepted into the Wisconsin Main Street Program after an extensive application process that highlights local achievements as well as numerous ongoing projects that will continue to improve and enhance their downtown environment.

The Wisconsin Main Street Program, which is administered by WEDC, is a comprehensive revitalization program designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin. After a thorough application and review process, WEDC selects communities to join the program, which is part of a nationwide program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These communities receive technical support and training needed to ensure that their downtown districts continue to thrive as centers of community activity and commerce.

“WEDC welcomes Shullsburg to the Wisconsin Main Street Program,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, who announced joined state, regional and local officials in announcing the designation in Shullsburg on Wednesday. “Economic development is about leveraging our assets, and Shullsburg, like many of our Main Street communities, has the potential to be a catalyst for local job growth.”

Shullsburg earned the honor because its historic downtown remains largely intact, which signifies the city’s commitment to historic preservation. The Wisconsin Main Street Selection Committee was also impressed by the support expressed for downtown revitalization efforts by a broad cross-section of the community.

“Downtowns are important in rural communities,” said state Senator Howard Marklein, who represents Shullsburg and took part in the announcement. “They are the place where people gather, businesses support one another and communities begin.”

“I’m proud that WEDC has selected Shullsburg to be recognized by the Wisconsin Main Street Program,” added state Representative Todd Novak, who represents Shullsburg and also attended Wednesday’s event. “This program will help revitalize the community’s historic downtown and encourage economic growth and stability. I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact this investment will have in our area.”

“Main Street of Shullsburg is truly honored to be named a Wisconsin Main Street community,” said Mayor Gloria Swenson. “The best part is the community working with the state. It’s everyone raising the bar as a community with the state providing needed resources.”

Shullsburg and other communities selected to participate in the Wisconsin Main Street Program receive free technical assistance aimed at enabling them to professionally manage their downtown or historic commercial district to better compete with alternative commerce centers.

Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 2,500 net new businesses and more than 13,400 net new jobs since the program’s inception in 1987.

On top of that, more than $1.6 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities, representing $341 million from the public sector and $1.3 billion from the private sector.