The Main Street Bounceback Grant Program provides $10,000 to new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors. Funds can be used to pay leases or mortgages, operational expenses and other business costs related to the newly opened location. The program is open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021. Grant funds are available as part of the American Recovery Plan Act and will be distributed by Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to high program demand, the wedc has implemented new guidelines requiring that all spaces (new or expanding) must be larger than 400 sq. ft. this rule will be implemented as of June 1st, 2022. any applications received prior to june 1st that are under 400 sq. ft. will be carefully reviewed and a site visit may be necessary to confirm. Thank you for your understanding and please contact us if you have any questions.
Main Street Bounceback Grants are available to for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations meeting the following criteria*:
- The business is located within the Bay-Lake region (Brown, Door, Florence, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Sheboygan counties)
- The business either has moved into a vacant commercial space and has signed a minimum 12-month lease or purchased a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022.
The business can certify that is has not or will not vacate a commercial space in Wisconsin to become eligible to claim this grant
The space (new or expanding) is equal to or greater than 400 sq. ft. in size.
*Grant awards are limited to one per business and one per applicant.
Businesses are ineligible to apply for the grants if they are:
- Leasing/subleasing a shared working space or cubicle
- A food truck
- Building new construction on purchased vacant land, unless replacing a previously vacant building.
- Part of a national or regional chain, unless the business is an independently owned and operated franchise
- 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
- Engaged in any illegal activity under federal, state or local law
- A business that vacated an existing commercial space in Wisconsin to become eligible
- A business that renewed an existing lease in the same building
- A business identified (or a 20% or greater owner is identified) on any of the following lists, Wisconsin Department of Revenue Delinquent Taxpayer List, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Debarred Contractors List, Wisconsin Department of Administration Compliance Vendor Director, Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry;
Or if they intend to use the space for:
- Storage only
*Other conditions may apply. Every business sitaution is different.
How to Apply:
Download and prepare the application. Save the completed application as MSBB Application_[Your Business Name] and move on to step 2 to gather the required application attachments.
As noted in Section III of the application, you will need to provide the following attachments when submitting your application:
- Proof of Business - Acceptable forms include: incorporation documents, government registration (federal, state, county, or city), Permits, Doing Business As (or Fictitious Business Name, or Assumed Business Name), or business tax returns. Unacceptable forms/documents include: Tax IDs/EINs as proof of business for sole proprietorships. Sole proprietorships may include a signed Registration of Firm Name that has been filed with the Register of Deeds Office in their County.
- Property Information (Lease/Purchase Agreement) - Provide a complete copy of a fully executed 12-month lease with a term 12 months or greater reflecting the Applicant as the tenant or a Land Contract/Contract for Deed or Warranty Deed reflecting the Applicant as the purchaser. The Lease/sale documents must meet these conditions:
- Executed on or after 1/1/2021 and before or on 12/31/2022;
- Contains the location of the commercial property. If it is not contained, Applicant must provide additional documentation on the physical location for the property being leased/purchased by the Applicant.
- Leases must state the square footage of the space being leased.
- Space must be equal to or greater than 400 sq. ft. in size.
- Acknowledgement Letter - Provide a letter from an Economic Development Organization. We have identified a few organizations in each county that are expecting inquiries from applicants. Please use this map to determine the appropriate organization to contact for an acknowledgement letter. Please include your application and property info (lease/deed) when requesting an acknowledgement letter. The letter must state that:
- The applicant is a business occupant that represents a new tenant/owner to the commercial space or an expansion of an existing tenant into additional commercial space; and
- The applicant has lease/sale documents dated on or after 1/1/2021 and before or on 12/31/2022.
- Completed IRS form W-9
- Photo Documentation (Highly Recommended) - To speed up the review process, please provide photo evidence of your business established in the commercial space you are applying for. Please include interior/exterior photos that clearly show your business is established in the space for which you are applying for. If photos are not included with your application, the grant review team may reach out and request photo documentation or perform a site visit to ensure occupancy.
Double check that you have the following five required documents:
- Completed application;
- Proof of business;
- Property information;
- Acknowledgement letter;
- W-9; and
- Photo Documentation (Highly Recommended).
Send the documents in one single email to email@example.com with the subject line: Completed MSBB Application_[Your Business Name].
Pending approval, awards will be mailed to the address listed under the "contact" section of the application. If you wish to have your award sent elsewhere, please indicate that when sending the application.
Review and Approval
Your application will be reviewed by staff to ensure you have the required documents and are eligible to receive the grant. We will reach out to applicants if they are awarded, denied, or if their application is incomplete. With the high volume of applications that we are receiving, please allow a minimum of eight weeks to process the application before contacting us about the status of application. We appreciate your patience.
Please note that any applicant that is found to be fraudulent or suspected to be fraudulent will be reported to the WEDC, DOR, DOJ and/or the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC). If you are aware of a fraudulent applicant, please let us know. Applicants may withdrawl their application at any time.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact: