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.

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WEDC PROGRAMS

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WEDC SUCCESS STORIES

Since joining Connect Communities in the program’s inaugural year in 2013, this village of 1,500 has made significant strides to reverse a rise in vacancies that followed the decline of the pottery craze that had sparked a retail and property boom in the 1990s. In the past three years, the community has welcomed 21 new businesses and $1.8 million in private investment in the downtown area. Activity has included the conversion of a shuttered candy factory into a riverfront senior living complex, expansion of the library and community center (complete with a wifi plaza), and many new programs and events such as a community branding initiative, pop-up art markets, a girls’ night out series and entrepreneur meet-ups. In additional, the community has created a building improvement program to help renovate front- and rear-facing facades to make empty spaces appealing to new businesses.

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After a historic paper mill in downtown Neenah closed in 2006, the 16-acre site was in danger of becoming an eyesore that lowered property values and hindered economic development.

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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.

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WEDC contributed $147,438 toward a $5 million project to transition a vacant 7.5-acre brownfield into an 88,000-square-foot intergenerational care facility in inner-city Milwaukee. The site, vacant for more than two decades, included 27 separate parcels spanning two city blocks. Brownfields funds helped to contain and cap soils contaminated with PAH and other chemicals. The project also utilized PECFA funds for additional cleanup.

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0
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AWARDED
$0
MILLION
IN TOTAL AWARDS
$0
MILLION
IN LEVERAGED INVESTMENT GENERATED
$0
LEVERAGED FOR EVERY $1 WEDC INVESTED
0
KEY STRATEGIC PARTNERS FUNDED
Source: WEDC FY17 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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WEDC NEWS

WEDC board chair Lisa Mauer names members of new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee

September 11, 2019|Comments Off on WEDC board chair Lisa Mauer names members of new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee

Lisa Mauer, the chair of the board of directors of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), today named 15 members to the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee, which will meet later this month. Read More

Huffcutt Concrete LLC expands operations in Lake Hallie

September 10, 2019|Comments Off on Huffcutt Concrete LLC expands operations in Lake Hallie

Officials from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), local leaders and company officials today celebrated a ribbon cutting as Huffcutt Concrete LLC officially opened its new facility in Lake Hallie, a $20 million project that expects to add 150 new jobs over the next five years. Read More

“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