Entrepreneurs In Mid-Sized Communities Will Have a Chance To Qualify For Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Grant
By Ross Terrell
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is turning its attention to rural and mid-size communities.
Programs that support entrepreneurs in smaller communities will have the chance to apply for WEDC grant money to help startup businesses. Grants will range from $10,000 to $100,000. Aaron Hagar, WEDC vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation, said the grant money has a chance to alleviate so-called brain drain — younger, highly educated workers leaving their communities for opportunities elsewhere.
“If it gives somebody an opportunity to put their idea into practice, I think that’s a huge win for keeping somebody here,” Hagar said.
Hagar said the $500,000 in grant money could support seven to 12 projects across the state.
Cedarburg City Administrator Christy Mertes said the money has a chance to make small communities more attractive to young workers.
“Or at least once they go off to college that they want to come back knowing that this opportunity was here for them,” Mertes said.
In a study released late last month by the Kauffman Foundation, Wisconsin was ranked last in startup activity for the second year in a row.
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