Bounceback Grant Program aims to fill vacant storefronts across Wisconsin with $10,000 grant

NOW: Bounceback Grant Program aims to fill vacant storefronts across Wisconsin with $10,000 grant

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Governor Evers designated $50 million to brick and mortar businesses earlier this year as part of the Bounceback Grant Program.

Secretary and CEO of Wisconsin's Economic Development Corporation, Missy Hughes, was in Milwaukee to talk about the program on Wednesday, August 4. 

It will offer $10,000 to any new or existing business that moves into a vacant storefront downtown or any other commercial corridor.

320 E Clybourn is one of Milwaukee's historic buildings that's sat vacant in recent years.

Now Central Standard Brewing is giving it a facelift and bringing in back to life- thanks to this grant.

Evan Hughes, one of the owners of Central Standard Brewing says state help is important to small businesses.

"It gives us the courage, and it gives folks the courage to invest in the communities they live in," said Evan Hughes.

The grant can be used for whatever the business owner chooses from fixing up an old building to restocking product.

City and state leaders say filling vacant storefronts will also help existing businesses succeed.

"If you've survived the pandemic but your neighbors haven't and you're alone on a street or in a corridor you're not going to have as many people walking by people aren't going to jump out of their car and walk down a street," said Missy Hughes. 

There are many areas around the city that Lafayette Crump, Milwaukee's commissioner of city development, would like to see make use of the grant, like the Bronzeville area. 

"Along the North Avenue Corridor in the city of Milwaukee just outside of downtown, but really connected to downtown," said Crump. "Martin Luther King Drive, think of areas just south of downtown-- Walkers Point, Walkers Square. Businesses that may not get that immediate attention that others do." 

Any business that has moved into a vacant building since January 2021 is eligible. Here is how to apply for the grant. 

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