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PEOPLE BUILDING PLACES

Thriving communities fuel creativity and ambition. In Wisconsin, we invest in our communities to help both people and businesses grow, develop and contribute to our state’s economic vitality. From our industrial city centers to the tree-lined streets of our town squares, WEDC’s comprehensive community development programs and funding initiatives empower local officials to develop sustainable economic development strategies that increase prosperity while redevelopment programs provide financial assistance for activities that revitalize commercial districts. By providing community and business leaders access to this knowledge and support, we’ve helped them create stronger community cornerstones and build vibrant economic epicenters throughout Wisconsin.

WEDC PROGRAMS

BROWNFIELDS GRANT PROGRAM

Grants to local governments, businesses, nonprofits and individuals for developing commercial and industrial sites that have been adversely affected by environmental contamination.

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BROWNFIELDS SITE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

Grant funds for approved projects to assist local governments with conducting initial environmental assessment and demolition activities on an eligible abandoned, idle or underutilized industrial or commercial site.

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CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS

Grants to assist local and regional economic development groups to create an advanced economic development network within the state.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT GRANT PROGRAM

Financial support for shovel-ready projects, with emphasis on downtown community efforts that deliver measurable benefits in job opportunities, property values, and/or leveraged investment by local and private partners.

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CONNECT COMMUNITIES

Resources, technical assistance and networking to support communities’ efforts to revitalize downtown districts.

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HISTORIC PRESERVATION TAX CREDIT

State income tax credit for 20 percent of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures for eligible buildings.

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IDLE SITES REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Program for Wisconsin communities to support redevelopment plans for large sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for at least five years.

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MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Includes revolving loan funds offered through minority business associations and an annual conference that is the state’s premier event for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.

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WISCONSIN MAIN STREET PROGRAM

Program recognizes a commitment to preserving and revitalizing historic downtowns, and supporting these efforts with technical support, training and networking opportunities.

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WEDC SUCCESS STORIES

Downtown Branding, Watertown

WEDC contributed $10,750 toward Watertown’s $50,000 downtown planning effort. Since completing this plan, Watertown has been able to attract a private investor to acquire and redevelop a downtown anchor that has been vacant for 15 years, and is also establishing a municipal loan fund to address upper-floor vacancy issues identified in the planning process. Planning is also under way for a library expansion, and the city is working to acquire properties and recruit a downtown hotel to meet additional identified demand. Read More

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Al Ringling Theatre Renovation, Baraboo

WEDC contributed $249,455 toward a $3.2 million project to renovate and preserve the historic Al Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo. The project, completed in time for the theater’s 100th birthday, restored many of the building’s original fixtures, while also adding modern conveniences like updated restrooms and a bar. The theater regularly draws visitors from Madison and Milwaukee, and is responsible for driving foot traffic in the downtown area to support additional businesses. Other funding partners included the City of Baraboo, Jeffris Family Foundation and private contributions. The theater is in the process of expanding its staff by five to accommodate increased volume of activities and tours as a result of the project Read More

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Garver Feed Mill, Madison

In 2016, WEDC awarded $500,000 toward the $4 million redevelopment of the historic Garver Feed Mill and adjacent 10.5-acre site into an artisanal food processing facility including a food incubator, office and retail tenants and hotel/residential space. Read More

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Grafton Lumberyard, Grafton

WEDC contributed $336,815 toward a $17 million project to clean and redevelop a 4.6-acre site in Grafton. A former lumberyard, printing company and auto repair site had resulted in various types of contamination including PAH, PCB, arsenic and PCE, requiring a mix of disposal and capping. The village worked for a decade to assemble the 13 properties and address remediation needs for the entire corridor. Following cleanup and an RFP, the village transferred property to a developer for 72 apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. Anticipated future phases include additional retail, office and market-rate residential. Read More

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WEDC contributed $10,750 toward Watertown’s $50,000 downtown planning effort. Since completing this plan, Watertown has been able to attract a private investor to acquire and redevelop a downtown anchor that has been vacant for 15 years, and is also establishing a municipal loan fund to address upper-floor vacancy issues identified in the planning process. Planning is also under way for a library expansion, and the city is working to acquire properties and recruit a downtown hotel to meet additional identified demand. Read More

Read Story

WEDC contributed $249,455 toward a $3.2 million project to renovate and preserve the historic Al Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo. The project, completed in time for the theater’s 100th birthday, restored many of the building’s original fixtures, while also adding modern conveniences like updated restrooms and a bar. The theater regularly draws visitors from Madison and Milwaukee, and is responsible for driving foot traffic in the downtown area to support additional businesses. Other funding partners included the City of Baraboo, Jeffris Family Foundation and private contributions. The theater is in the process of expanding its staff by five to accommodate increased volume of activities and tours as a result of the project Read More

Read Story

In 2016, WEDC awarded $500,000 toward the $4 million redevelopment of the historic Garver Feed Mill and adjacent 10.5-acre site into an artisanal food processing facility including a food incubator, office and retail tenants and hotel/residential space. Read More

Read Story

WEDC contributed $336,815 toward a $17 million project to clean and redevelop a 4.6-acre site in Grafton. A former lumberyard, printing company and auto repair site had resulted in various types of contamination including PAH, PCB, arsenic and PCE, requiring a mix of disposal and capping. The village worked for a decade to assemble the 13 properties and address remediation needs for the entire corridor. Following cleanup and an RFP, the village transferred property to a developer for 72 apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. Anticipated future phases include additional retail, office and market-rate residential. Read More

Read Story
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AWARDED
$
MILLION IN TOTAL AWARDS
$
LEVERAGED FOR EVERY $1 WEDC INVESTED

Source: WEDC FY19 Annual Report on Economic Development

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Information, tools, programs and partners fuel growth and new market opportunities.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Our passion is supporting yours—through funding solutions, workspaces, mentoring and more.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Revitalizing commercial districts and preserving our state’s history enriches public spaces and helps encourage business activity.

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INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

Public-private partnerships investing in “Centers of Excellence” that drive research, startups and business attraction to advance Wisconsin’s competitive advantage.

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INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Experts here and abroad that help Wisconsin companies navigate exporting logistics to successfully expand their global reach.

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“This is one of the best new programs (Certified Sites) that the state has started through WEDC. This is a big step for the step to help the Village of Howard move forward with its economic development strategy.”

PAUL EVERETT • VILLAGE ADMINISTRATOR, VILLAGE OF HOWARD

“Because of the funding from WEDC through the CDI Grant, this grocery store and hardware store will help attract and retain homeowners and businesses, bring jobs, and spur further economic development projects that will revitalize this area.”

KELLY KLEIN • COORDINATOR, IRON COUNTY DEVELOPMENT ZONE

“On behalf of the City of La Crosse, we are very excited and honored by the recognition from WEDC for our local Main Street program,” said Mayor Tim Kabat. “Downtown Mainstreet Inc., its members and our community partners have helped to create a downtown that we are all proud of and we look forward to collaborating with WEDC and the state of Wisconsin to raise historic downtown La Crosse to new heights.”

TIM KABAT • MAYOR, CITY OF LACROSSE