The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission are bringing a new grant program to the region.

The focus of this program is to provide grants to businesses moving into vacant commercial spaces. The goal is to strengthen cities’ main streets and commercial corridors. Eligibility is based on new and existing businesses that are leasing or purchasing new space between Jan. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.

Renewing an existing lease is not eligible; this is for new or expansions only. The Main Street Bounceback Grants will be for $10,000.

Nonprofit organizations are also eligible.

The goal of the program is to provide financial support to businesses that move into existing vacant commercial properties, helping to create a foundation for long-term success for themselves and their communities.

Funds can be used to pay leases or mortgages, operational expenses and other business costs related to the newly opened location. Grant funds are available as part of the American Recovery Plan Act and will be distributed by WEDC’s regional partners. Businesses must apply through the partner organization for the region in which they are located.

Main Street Bounceback Grants are available to for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations meeting the following criteria:

— The business is located within the region administered by the regional partner organization to which it applied.

— The business either is moving into a vacant commercial space or has moved into a vacant commercial space as of Jan. 1, 2021.

— The business can certify that it has not or will not vacate a commercial space in Wisconsin to become eligible to claim this grant.

Businesses are ineligible to apply for the grants if they are:

— Part of a national or regional chain, unless the business is an independently owned and operated franchise.

— A home-based business or property landlord, unless they are moving their business functions into the vacant commercial space.

— Real estate investment firms that intend to hold the property for investment purposes only.

— Engaged in any illegal activity under federal, state or local law.

Or if they intend to use the space for:

— Storage only.

— Residential purposes.

For more information or to apply, visit https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/mainstreet-bounceback-grants/ or contact Angie Close at the Langlade County Economic Development Corporation at 715-623-5123 or aclose@co.langlade.wi.us.

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