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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

La Farge

Welcomed into the Connect Communities program in 2014, La Farge has already made strides to formalize its downtown revitalization effort. Beginning with a strategic planning effort facilitated by the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, the community has also created a dedicated nonprofit entity (La Farge Area Progress Association); introduced streetscape elements including banners, holiday lighting and vacant window displays; created a local business brochure; and jumpstarted recreation planning activities. Located near multiple regional recreation attractions and suffering from an underutilized riverfront area in the wake of floodplain demolition, La Farge created a new 15-acre park, raising funds to install a fishing pier and disc golf course. The community is also leveraging local partnerships to support entrepreneurs, fill downtown vacancies and accommodate resident and visitor shopping and dining interests. Read More

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Firehouse Renovation, Rice Lake

WEDC contributed $260,000 toward the $1.1 million conversion of a former City Hall/firehouse property in downtown Rice Lake into a multi-tenant commercial structure. Tenants will include a fitness center and 6,000 square feet of office space. At full occupancy, the building will house 30 employees in the heart of downtown Rice Lake. Read More

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Zander Creamery, Cross Plains

WEDC contributed $6,225 in a Site Assessment Grant for the former Zander Creamery property, which had been vacant for more than a decade. The information from the assessment allowed for the successful redevelopment of the site, which was awarded an additional $288,130 in Brownfields Grant funding from WEDC for remediation costs (primarily cleanup of soil contaminated with arsenic, lead and petroleum) as part of the project. The final project resulted in a three-story, 45-unit apartment building, and represented $4.6 million in private investment, with additional city investment of $1.1 million. Read More

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Bancroft Dairy, Madison

WEDC contributed $459,529 toward a $31 million redevelopment project including housing, retail and a health care facility on the former Bancroft Dairy site. The dairy plant had closed 10 years prior, and the 1.64-acre site had residual soil contamination, which required disposal and capping. Read More

Read Story

Welcomed into the Connect Communities program in 2014, La Farge has already made strides to formalize its downtown revitalization effort. Beginning with a strategic planning effort facilitated by the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, the community has also created a dedicated nonprofit entity (La Farge Area Progress Association); introduced streetscape elements including banners, holiday lighting and vacant window displays; created a local business brochure; and jumpstarted recreation planning activities. Located near multiple regional recreation attractions and suffering from an underutilized riverfront area in the wake of floodplain demolition, La Farge created a new 15-acre park, raising funds to install a fishing pier and disc golf course. The community is also leveraging local partnerships to support entrepreneurs, fill downtown vacancies and accommodate resident and visitor shopping and dining interests. Read More

Read Story

WEDC contributed $260,000 toward the $1.1 million conversion of a former City Hall/firehouse property in downtown Rice Lake into a multi-tenant commercial structure. Tenants will include a fitness center and 6,000 square feet of office space. At full occupancy, the building will house 30 employees in the heart of downtown Rice Lake. Read More

Read Story

WEDC contributed $6,225 in a Site Assessment Grant for the former Zander Creamery property, which had been vacant for more than a decade. The information from the assessment allowed for the successful redevelopment of the site, which was awarded an additional $288,130 in Brownfields Grant funding from WEDC for remediation costs (primarily cleanup of soil contaminated with arsenic, lead and petroleum) as part of the project. The final project resulted in a three-story, 45-unit apartment building, and represented $4.6 million in private investment, with additional city investment of $1.1 million. Read More

Read Story

WEDC contributed $459,529 toward a $31 million redevelopment project including housing, retail and a health care facility on the former Bancroft Dairy site. The dairy plant had closed 10 years prior, and the 1.64-acre site had residual soil contamination, which required disposal and capping. 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