Local businesses opening or moving in 2021 can get $10,000

Filling Empty Storefronts

$10,000 Grants Available

There's a $10,000 check waiting for a local business going into that empty commercial space you drive past everyday may soon hold a startup company, a nonprofit, or an additional location. Plus, all businesses that moved in 2021 can get a $10,000 check as well.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is incentivizing companies to fill empty commercial buildings by offering them $10,000. They're calling it the Wisconsin Tomorrow - Main Street Bounceback Grant Program.

“These grants are designed to give entrepreneurs a helping hand in establishing their physical storefronts and reward small business owners for investing in empty commercial properties across the state,” said Missy Hughes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) secretary and CEO. “The businesses that move into these spaces become integral parts of our communities, offering not only goods and services but spaces to gather and celebrate.”

The funds are part of the federal American Recovery Act money coming to the state. Governor Evers earmarked $50 million for this program.


  • A business that is either moving into a vacant commercial space or has moved into one as of January 1, 2021, qualifies.
  • Businesses or nonprofits must be moving into a vacant commercial space in Wisconsin
  • The business or nonprofit must not be closing another Wisconsin location to make this move.
  • Can be used for rent or mortgage payments, operating expenses, building repairs and improvements, and more
  • Businesses or nonprofits that would use the new location for storage, to hold for investment purposes, or to rent out as residential housing are not eligible.
  • National and regional chains are also ineligible unless owned by an independent franchisee.
  • The business can certify that is has not or will not vacate a commercial space in Wisconsin to become eligible to claim this grant
  • Ineligible: 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
  • Can't be used for storage or residential purposes

Applications Open Now

HURRY: Ends June 30, 2022

Regional Point of Contact:

Dave Bonifas
Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission


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