Wisconsin Main Street Bounceback Program

This new program helps provide one-time assistance to new and existing businesses opening a new location or expanding their existing footprint into additional previously vacant commercial space as of 1/1/21 and on or before 6/30/22. $10,000 grants will be awarded to eligible businesses to assist with costs associated with leases, mortgages, operational expenses and other business costs related to the newly opened location. The more businesses that fill these vacant spaces around the state, the stronger our economy will be. If you’re interested in applying, check out the Main Street Bounceback Grants Program detail page on This is where businesses can learn more about the grant, and more importantly, connect with the regional organization administering the grant in their area by filling out the contact form. To get more acquainted with this program, here is a map listing the local contact who is handling grant applications for businesses in that region, and an informational overview sheet.

Another important resource is the Economic Well-Being section on, where businesses can learn about the importance of programs like the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program. Here, we outline our vision for a comprehensive approach to economic development focused on economic well-being for all Wisconsin residents.

Applicants for this program will need a letter to verify their occupancy or expanded footprint for eligibility.  Rusk County Development can provide a letter for you. To request a letter, please email to request one. To create this letter, we will need to have the following information:
-the name of the business
-the business mailing address
-the date the lease contract was entered
To see an example of the letter, click here (updated version). 


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) made a few changes to the contract to administer the program, providing some additional flexibility for businesses that may have signed a lease or purchase agreement prior to 2021, but the lease commences, or sales contract closes, on or after January 1, 2021. Prior to this change, any documents submitted would have had to been executed between 1/1/21 and 6/30/22. The new guidance states, “it is commercially responsible that leases or purchase agreements could be signed as early as 9/1/20 for occupancy or closing in 2021”. Also, the guidance had originally said that a business could not relocate under any circumstance to become eligible for this grant. The updated guidance states that a business can relocate if their other lease has expired and if they are expanding their existing footprint into additional previously vacant commercial space. They cannot break a current lease to become eligible for this opportunity.

As a requirement of the application process, businesses must submit an acknowledgement letter from an economic development organization, including but not limited to: regional economic development organization, local municipality, Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District, Main Street or Connect Community organization. Please note, the application and letter template have been revised and can be found on the website. Any applications submitted prior to today (8-13-21) will be processed as submitted – future applications will require the updated acknowledgement letter and application.


“I was born and raised in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. After high school, I took off, went to college in the Twin Cities, and traveled to many parts of the world like Tanzania, Ecuador, Mexico, the UK, and several US states. I moved to a small beach town in Florida for awhile after college but somehow found myself thinking about my hometown. After exploring parts of the world, I moved back to Ladysmith and found peace in the comfort and familiarity. It’s awesome being back home and seeing people from different generations come together and work towards making our small town a great place to live. I love going to local businesses and seeing many people I know, the live music opportunities at several of the local establishments, and the plethora of outdoor activities in nature. You can always venture out and explore the world, but there’s just something about that friendly small town vibe that keeps bringing me back home.”

McKenzie Morgan
Rusk County Resident

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