Wisconsin Tomorrow Main Street Bounceback Grant
***Program funds for the NWRPC Region (Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn Counties) are no longer available. Applications will not be accepted.***
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Wisconsin Tomorrow Main Street Bounceback Grant?
The goal of the Wisconsin Tomorrow Main Street Bounceback Grant is to provide one-time assistance to new and existing businesses opening a new location in a vacant commercial building or expanding operations in a vacant commercial building. $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. Grants to businesses provide immediate recovery funding from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) and lead to improved odds of a business opening or expanding and remaining open long-term.
2. Who is eligible and what are the eligible use of funds?
The Wisconsin Tomorrow Main Street Bounceback Grant program funds are available to for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations meeting the following criteria:
A business that is a new tenant or new owner of a previously vacant commercial space or a tenant or owner that has expanded their existing footprint into additional previously vacant commercial building where the lease commences, or sales contract closes, on or after January 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022 in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn Counties. The minimum square footage requirement set forth by the WEDC as of June 1, 2022 is 400 square feet.
Must certify that the business has not or will not vacate a commercial space in Wisconsin to become eligible to claim this grant
Your business will not qualify for grant funds if you are renewing an existing lease
Once awarded, eligible uses of the grant funds include, but are not limited to the following activities:
Commercial lease/mortgage payments
Business operating expenses
Commercial building repair and tenant improvements*
*Please note that the business needs to be open and operational at the location that makes it eligible for the grant to be awarded funds. In this 10-county region (Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Washburn), grant awards will not be approved or made to a business who hasn't opened yet due to renovation needs. This is a non-negotiable requirement in NWRPC's administration of this grant.
3. When and how can I apply for the grant?
The application and supporting materials are available for businesses located in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn Counties and can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
If you are outside of our region and want to apply, find the contact in your region here: https://wedc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/BAM_Regional-Partner-Map_Contact.pdf (PDF). Questions must be directed to your regional contact!
4. What information do I need to complete the application?
The following documents are REQUIRED for your application to be processed. Incomplete applications WILL NOT be processed.
- Completed Wisconsin Tomorrow Main Street Bounceback Grant Application and Certification Statement
- Proof of business - must provide a copy of proof of business. Acceptable forms of business include, but are not limited to: 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. Not accepted are Tax IDs/EINs as proof of business for sole proprietorships.
- Property Information- must provide a copy of a fully executed 12-month lease with a term of 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:
The lease commences, or sales contract closes, on or after January 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022 and must contain the location of the commercial property. If it is not contained Applicant must provide additional documentation on the physical location for the property that was leased/purchased by the Applicant. The commercial property being applied for must be a minimum of 400 square feet. We will require proof of size of the space.
- Acknowledgement Letter - must provide a 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, stating that that business occupant represents a new tenant/owner to the commercial space or an expansion of an existing tenant into additional commercial space, with lease/sale documents stating that the lease commences, or sales contract closes, on or after January 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022.
- Completed IRS form W-9 - download the most current IRS W-9 Form here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf (PDF)
- Interior and Exterior Pictures of the location - When you email your application, please also provide interior and exterior pictures of the location that makes you eligible for the grant. As a part of our due diligence, we need to ensure that the business is open and operational at the new location. In some cases, a site visit may occur before an award can be made.
5. I am planning to expand my business or open a business in a vacant commercial space, but haven't executed a lease or purchase agreement yet. Do I qualify for this grant?
As a part of the application process, you must provide a copy of a fully executed 12-month lease with a term of 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 dated between 1/1/21 and 12/31/22. If you do not have these documents yet, do not submit an application as it can not be processed. Once you do have the required documents, you can then submit your application.
6. I have an executed lease for 12 months or greater or a purchase agreement, but have not opened my business yet. Do I qualify?
Your business needs to be open and operational (at the physical site that makes you eligible) for any grant awards to be made. Proof of operation will be required (via pictures or a site visit) for the funds to be disbursed.
7. I purchased a vacant space or executed a lease on a vacant space prior to January 1, 2021, but didn't open my business until after that date. Do I qualify?
Possibly. We will rely on your acknowledgement letter as a proof that your business began operations after 1/1/21 and will require a copy of a fully executed 12-month lease with a term of 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 in late 2020. These scenarios will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
8. How much are the grant awards?
Grants amounts are $10,000 per eligible applicant
9. How will I know if my application is approved or denied?
You will receive an email or letter from Northwest Regional Planning Commission indicating if your application is approved or denied. Due to the high volume of applications received, it may take 6-8 weeks to be notified of your application approval status. We appreciate your patience.
10. Where do I submit my application?
Applications can be submitted by emailing the required documents to Kate Costello, Accounting and Loan Administration Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending to Northwest Regional Planning Commission, Attn: Main Street Bounceback Grant, 1400 South River Street, Spooner, WI 54801.
11. What if I have other questions?
Please read through the above FAQ's carefully to see if your business is eligible for this grant. If you still have questions, you can contact Kate Costello by email at email@example.com.