Mequon, Wis. – Today, Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Designate Kathy Blumenfeld and Assistant Secretary Chris Patton toured businesses in the city of Mequon as part of a tour to highlight the state investments. Governor Tony Evers has invested $4.7 million in Mequon small businesses, including 58 Main Street Bounceback grant recipients. Ozaukee County received an overall investment of $40 million, including $14 million for small businesses and farms in Ozaukee County.
DOA officials met with business owners from Let’s Celebrate, a children’s party service provider, Trailside Recreation, a bicycle shop, and North Shore Boulangerie, a French bakery. Each business received a Main Street Bounceback grant of $10,000.
(L to R: Rep. Deb Andraca, DOA Secretary Designate Kathy Blumenfeld, Let’s Celebrate Owner Kim Angeli, DOA Deputy Secretary Chris Patton)
“Investing in our businesses has a positive ripple effect for the entire community, and that was both the intent and the impact of Governor Evers’ investments,” said DOA Secretary-designate Kathy Blumenfeld. “We’ve seen it across the state, and we’ve seen it here meeting with local business owners right here in Mequon.”
(LR: DOA Secretary-Designate Kathy Blumenfeld, Trailside Recreation Owner Sam Wolf, DOA Assistant Secretary Chris Patton and Representative Deb Andraca)
“The assistance offered by the Main Street Bounceback Grant has been greatly appreciated by the recipient businesses in our area,” said Tina Schwantes, CEO of the Mequon-Thiesenville Chamber of Commerce. “The grant has provided businesses with a range of opportunities and support. Some businesses reported that the grant allowed them to expand their space, resulting in growth in products, services and employees. Others have been able to move from their home office to a commercial space or have fulfilled their dream of starting a new business knowing there would be support for upfront operating expenses. »
Governor Evers has invested more than $1 billion statewide to support small business and economic development. The Main Street Bounceback Grant program was announced in spring 2021 with the first grants awarded in August 2021, using $75 million in US federal Rescue Plan Act funds, to help small businesses and communities grow by populating vacant storefronts with new businesses and non-profit organizations. The Governor recently announced an additional investment of $25 million in the program, for a total investment of $100 million to help more than 6,600 entrepreneurs open new businesses or expand their existing operations.
(DOA Assistant Secretary Chris Patton and DOA Secretary Designate Kathy Blumenfeld speak with North Shore Bakery owner Gene Webb)
“While criticizing government and elected officials is often a favored pastime, the speed and focus of action the pandemic has prompted at all levels of government (municipal, county, state and federal) should be appreciated and applauded.” said Gene Webb, owner of North Shore Bakery. “What we have and continue to experience is a lesson in the incredible complexity of economies (local and even global economies); stopping these interactions and then restarting them is extraordinarily difficult and requires patience and ongoing support, such as was seen in the Main Street (Bounceback) initiative.”
Visit BadgerBounceback.wi.gov to view pandemic-related assistance information as well as the latest data and success stories on how COVID relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up to the Badger Bounceback update list.