Program Goal:

The goal of the Main Street and Connect Communities Program is to support downtown community development in the state of Wisconsin.

This program primarily supports the following WEDC Strategic Pillar and Focus Area:

Community and Economic Opportunity: Downtown Development

Program Description:

WEDC provides technical assistance to communities in the planning, management and implementation of strategic development projects in downtowns and urban neighborhoods. This includes Main Street support (under Wis. Stat. § 238.127) and Connect Communities, which is aimed at supplementing the Main Street program by expanding services to more downtowns across the state.

WEDC will maintain partnerships and develop new ones with other state and local public and private entities such as the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, UW-Extension and USDA Rural Development to provide services to municipalities undertaking downtown revitalization projects.

WEDC will annually develop a plan that describes the objectives of the state Main Street Program and the methods for 1) coordinating with public and private sector, 2) soliciting private sector funds, and 3) helping municipalities engage in revitalization with help from interested individuals and organizations. WEDC matches technical assistance from our own staff, the National Main Street Center and outside consultants to needs of respective municipalities and non-profit organizations. WEDC will also work with local communities to set strategies to solicit funding from the private sector in those communities to support the local downtown revitalization effort.

Goals for the program are based on reinvestment categories such as private and public development, building rehabilitation projects, new businesses and jobs created. WEDC’s work to support community efforts to revitalize downtowns supports the core strategy of enabling a world-class, high performing economic development network to drive business startup, retention and expansion. Participants in the Main Street Program and Connect Communities increase tax base, jobs, reinvestment, and appeal of the downtown districts and long term vitality of their respective communities.