Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: Five state businesses named finalists in Wisconsin’s Main Street Makeover Contest

Winner in first-ever competition to receive up to $10,000 to give their business a whole new look

MADISON, WI. April 15, 2015 – Five businesses throughout the state have been named finalists in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) first-ever Main Street Makeover contest and have a chance to win up to $10,000 in upgrades for their store.

Modeled after the popular reality TV show, the contest asked businesses located in the 36 Wisconsin Main Street communities to provide details on how their establishment could benefit from a “makeover” from the WEDC’s Main Street staff. The winning business will receive personalized technical assistance and up to $10,000 to implement the changes that could include interior and exterior design improvements and marketing, business planning and merchandising assistance.

The five finalists are:
· Driftless Café, a restaurant in Viroqua that features food from local farmers and producers.

· Miner Theatre, a movie theater in Ladysmith that has been in operation since 1948.

· Schroeder’s Department Store, a fourth-generation business in Two Rivers that was founded 1891.

· The Bagelmeister, a sandwich shop and bakery in Fond du Lac.

· The Looking Glass, a rapidly growing vintage merchandise store in Osceola.

The winner and a runner-up will be announced at the 24th annual Wisconsin Main Street Awards dinner on Friday in De Pere.

The winning business will be visited by the Main Street team, which will spend several days at the store to implement the improvements. The new downtown storefront will be formally unveiled during a public celebration featuring state and local officials. The winning business also will be featured in a promotional video and is expected to receive statewide media coverage.

The “makeover” that the winning business will receive could include:
· Renovated façade, including signage, awnings, windows, masonry or cornice repair.

· Upgraded interior space, including storefront merchandising, improved layout and/or space design.

· Updated marketing materials and plan, including social media, e-marketing and print marketing promotions design and plan.

· Statewide media coverage, including press release and promotional video.

· Additional one-on-one technical assistance as needed from Main Street staff during implementation period.

· Cash mob on opening day organized by local Main Street program.

The runner-up will receive a makeover valued at $5,000 and a visit from the Wisconsin Main Street staff, and all 37 businesses that entered the competition will receive some level of assistance.

The Wisconsin Main Street Program is a comprehensive revitalization program designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin. Communities selected to join the prestigious program receive technical support and training needed to restore their Main Streets to centers of community activity and commerce. The Wisconsin Main Street Program, part of a nationwide program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has been recognized nationally for its participation, initiatives and outcomes.

For more information on the Wisconsin Main Street Program, visit InWisconsin.com/MainStreet.

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.