Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. expands “Connect Communities” Program

The Town of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin has joined a state program to help revitalize its downtown.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation‘s Connect Communities Program recently told the town they were accepted into the program. Connect Communities Program is similar to the betterknown Main Street program.

President of the Boulder Junction Community Foundation, Barbara Boston, says several volunteers organized a group and with the help of the town board, they were recently approved by the WEDC. Boston says some empty stores prompted the group to take action.

Connect Communities Program is similar to the betterknown Main Street program.

Downtowns and historic commercial districts play an important role in their communities and in Wisconsin’s overall economy, functioning not only as prominent employment and business centers, but oftentimes as the historic foundation of the municipalities they serve. Successful commercial districts don’t just happen.

They need to be planned and nurtured. Their prosperity requires interest and action from many stakeholders who share a vision for the community.

Connect Communities helps local leaders leverage the unique assets of their downtowns and commercial districts, providing access to resources and networking opportunities to local leaders interested in starting a district revitalization effort.

Connect Communities program participants will have immediate access to experienced staff within the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and to the leaders within the Connect Communities Network. Program services include:

  • A ListServ/network group to get new ideas from staff and other participating Connect Communities
  • Participation in Main Street Executive Director Workshops with a focus on downtown revitalization topics
  • An on-site visit from one of WEDC’s community development staff to assist in identifying needs and offering assistance
  • Training for your downtown director or board president
  • Roundtable discussion groups on pertinent topics held twice per year
  • Access to WEDC’s online downtown development library
  • Access to resources and training materials that have been developed for Wisconsin Main Street communities
  • Invitation to the annual Main Street Awards Program, plus eligibility to nominate a project for a Connect Communities award
  • Webinars/regional training

Boulder Junction is one of 15 communities added to the program this year, now totaling 67 participants. Past participants in the program include Crandon, Wabeno, Antigo, Marathon City, Mosinee, Neillsville, and Wisconsin Rapids.

See full article.

See Wisconsin’s Connect Communities website.

See Town of Boulder Junction website & photo credit.

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