At events across the state, Lt. Governor and other leaders will recognize downtown revitalization projects and welcome new program members
MADISON, WI. July 24, 2019 – State officials will join local leaders in six communities to highlight the important role that downtown business districts play in Wisconsin’s economy as part of Wisconsin Main Street Day on Wednesday, July 24.
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Deputy Secretary and chief operating officer Tricia Braun and other officials will visit the communities to celebrate the success of the Wisconsin Main Street and Connect Communities Programs, which provide technical support and training for organizations dedicated to downtown or commercial corridor revitalization activities. Many of the events will also include announcements about local business openings and other downtown initiatives.
“Main Street Day recognizes the importance of downtowns in all our cities and towns, as well as the Main Street and Connect Communities programs from WEDC that help them grow,” Lt. Gov. Barnes said. “It reflects our commitment to all our Wisconsin communities, which is why we’ll be honoring them throughout the state today.”
Wisconsin Main Street Day events will take place in the following communities: Two Rivers, Wausau, Ashland, Jefferson, Green Bay and Eau Claire.
The Wisconsin Main Street Program, overseen by WEDC and launched in 1987, provides support and training for organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization efforts. Since the program’s creation, Wisconsin Main Street communities have created more than 2,700 net new businesses and more than 14,000 net new jobs. They also have spurred more than $1.9 billion in public and private investment in downtowns.
Along with the Wisconsin Main Street Day, WEDC announced today that six new members have been accepted into the Connect Communities Program, an initiative designed to provide training and networking for communities or organizations working on revitalization efforts. The new participants include Blanchardville, Eastside Business Improvement District (Milwaukee), Eau Claire, Evansville, Mukwonago and Windsor.
With these additions, there are now a total of 78 Connect Communities. The program offers options for communities looking to provide additional resources to support local commercial district businesses and property owners, as well as individuals interested in networking with other professionals. Since the Connect Communities Program launched in 2013, participating communities have created more than 300 net new businesses and nearly 1,700 net new jobs and spurred $1.2 billion in public and private investment.
“The Connect Communities Program aids communities in leveraging the unique assets of their downtowns and commercial districts by providing them with access to resources, training and networking opportunities with other downtown organizations,” explained WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan. “This program, along with the Wisconsin Main Street Program, has helped propel new businesses and revitalize downtowns, and we are looking forward to the same type of success in our newest Connect Communities.”