As governor, Tony Evers has delivered common sense solutions to the challenges facing our state. By bringing Republicans and Democrats together, he has helped keep Wisconsin’s economy strong, with a record surplus and historically low unemployment, while also investing in our small businesses to help them succeed.
Today, Wisconsin’s economy is booming and stronger than it was when Gov. Evers took office just three years ago:
Wisconsin’s success is a result of Gov. Evers doing the right thing to support the heart of Wisconsin’s economy: working families and small businesses.
When he ran for governor in 2018, he promised to cut taxes for working families by 10 percent. Today, he’s exceeded that and most Wisconsinites are seeing a 15 percent income tax cut as a result. Combined with tax cuts for small businesses, Gov. Evers has authorized $4 billion in tax relief in his first term.
In addition to lowering taxes for thousands of small businesses, Gov. Evers has been a valuable partner in helping small businesses grow and succeed, especially as they recover from the pandemic. Our entrepreneurs are innovative and resilient, and with the right support from the state, they have overcome these challenges to not only survive, but thrive.
Starting in the summer of 2020, the state’s “We’re All In” grant program invested in Wisconsin small businesses to help them get back on their feet by rehiring or retaining workers, keeping the lights on, or stocking their shelves. He also took steps to help the restaurant and lodging industry recover stronger than before. These investments alone directed over 125,000 grants to Wisconsin small businesses.
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For our communities to grow, Gov. Evers has helped revitalize Main Streets by helping entrepreneurs open up new storefronts with the Main Street Bounceback grant program. This program has delivered grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses who have opened new brick and mortar locations in downtown areas across the state—not only creating new jobs, but revitalizing downtown areas and priming economic growth for surrounding small businesses.
Wisconsin prioritized our small business recovery. In fact, as a share of the federal aid our state has received, Wisconsin ranked second in the country for aid we’ve directed to economic development, and we ranked first in the country in aid we’ve allocated to businesses.
When we bring people together, Wisconsin’s communities and our state’s economy.
Terry Bauer, the executive director ofDowntown Mainstreet, Inc., said “the catalyst for this downtown explosion of new entrepreneurship is the Governor’s bounce back program.”
Joel Fawcett, store manager of the Wisconsin Clothing Company in La Crosse, said that Gov. Evers’ Main Street Bounceback program has “helped a lot with getting the space together and being able to employ.”
Kevin Abercrombie, a small brewery owner in Waunakee, likened Gov. Evers’ Bounceback efforts to a “set of jumper cables, it kind of got the car going again.”
“The grant has been incredible,” said artist John Hopkins, who opened an art gallery in Washburn. “That is an engine of growth in a community that was essentially a drive-thru thru [sic] community. We have something wonderful here … Washburn is more than anyone ever thought of us.”
“We had a lot of vacant buildings, a lot of empty space (before the grants),” said Melissa Martinez, the executive director of the Washburn Area Chamber of Commerce. “It says a lot about our community that businesses are willing to open in such uncertain times.”
Gov. Evers’ Main Street Bounceback program has helped artist and photographer Jamey Penney-Ritter move her studio from her basement to a previously vacant commercial space. The Milwaukee Independent reported that the “Main Street Bounceback grant has allowed her to purchase new equipment for her business and prepay her rent.”
Gov. Evers’ Main Street Bounceback has helped bring a record-breaking 30 new small businesses to downtown Racine. Kelly Kruse, executive director of Downtown Racine Corp., said that small business owners “can cover rent with that, merchandise, whatever to get their feet on the ground (with) how fragile the first year of a small business can be. And then in addition, it’s filling up our Downtown.”
Kruse also said that this “grant will allow our downtown to become more dense and robust with businesses. It’s thrilling to have the dollar amount be significant enough to truly inspire small businesses to open that brick-and-mortar store they always dreamed of.”
Katie Anhalt, owner of the Twisted Thread in downtown Fond du Lac, said, “It’s fantastic. To have this support is wonderful, because it’s super scary to start something new. I really wanted to be here so this is wonderful that it’s happening. This is a dream come true.”
Dusty Weis, the founder of Podcamp Media, opened a new podcast studio in downtown Milwaukee with help from Gov. Evers’ Main Street Bounceback. “The renaissance taking place in downtown Milwaukee is something of which we’re proud to be a part,” said Weis.
Crystal Priebe, owner of The Sweet Tooth in Prairie du Chien, said that she’s grateful for Gov. Evers’ Main Street Bounceback program. “We’re very very grateful for them for the support and the help that they’ve given us because there was a couple of times that we ran out of funds so without them we would not be here and we’re very appreciative of them,” said Priebe.