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Thrive Rural program offers assistance to smaller Wisconsin communities

March 20, 2024
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Bonduel, Wis. – NiCole and Keith Fischer recently opened The Mill in Bonduel.

The business is bringing new life to a building in the community that sat unused for decades. The Mill is a coffee shop and boutique that also incorporates bourbon, whiskey and wine sales.

“We renovated an old building, an old feed mill that the last time it was working was in the ‘80s and made it into something that can bring people together, the community together and be a destination spot,” NiCole Fischer said.

The village of 1,400 people is one of 10 communities around the state that are part of the Thrive Rural program. It offers access to grants up to $25,000 as well as technical assistance for things like planning and grant writing.

It is administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. with help at the county and local level.

State officials said the goal of the two-year program is helping small communities take on their biggest economic hurdles and long-term planning.
Jesse Rankin is the director of municipal operations in Bonduel.

“What we plan on doing with that is to increase the housing pool in the village,” he said. “The second objective of that program is to revitalize the downtown area.”

[Adapted from: Thrive Rural program offers assistance to smaller Wisconsin communities. March 20, 2024, Spectrum News 1]

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