Press Release: DOA Visit Highlights $4 Million State Investment for Wisconsin Rapids Businesses

Wisconsin Department of Administration Logo



Tony Evers, Governor

Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary-designee

September 8, 2022

DOA Visit Highlights $4 Million State Investment for Wisconsin Rapids Businesses

Secretary-designee Blumenfeld and Mayor Blaser Tour Main Street Businesses Supported by Grant Funds


Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Today, Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld met with Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Shane Blaser and leaders from the Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to tour downtown businesses as part of a visit to highlight state investments. Governor Tony Evers made a combined $4 million investment in Wisconsin Rapids businesses as part of overall pandemic relief efforts, with over $78,000 going to support local tourism. Wood County received an overall $45 million investment.

“Main streets are part of the lifeblood of our communities,” said Secretary-designee Blumenfeld. “They provide places for us to gather, shop, learn, start a business, and connect with our families, friends, and neighbors. That’s why Governor Evers has prioritized investments in Wisconsin’s main streets: because this administration understands the vital role they play in our society. Today’s visit to Wisconsin Rapids provides further evidence that these investments have fueled a strong recovery throughout Wisconsin.” 

The Secretary-designee toured several Wisconsin Rapids businesses that were recipients of $10,000 Main Street Bounceback grants, including the Headquarters Bar, the cranberry and specialty food market Rubi Reds, and the Loyal-Phant Market, a specialty Asian grocery store.

“Thank you to the State of Wisconsin for investing American Rescue Plan Act funds into the Wisconsin Rapids small business community,” said Mayor Shane Blaser. “As a former small business owner, I understand the passion and drive it takes to run a successful business – and that was before COVID-19. The businesses selected to receive these funds are recovering from a global pandemic that upended their business practices, but they have been creative and persistent in serving our community. The financial and social impact of our small businesses cannot be overstated. These funds were well-deserved and will have a positive impact on the Wisconsin Rapids community.”

“We are grateful for the support of the Destination Marketing Organization grant and honored DOA Secretary-designee Blumenfeld is visiting the Wisconsin Rapids area,” said Meredith Kleker, executive director of the Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “DOA COVID-19 Response Programs including Routes to Recovery, We're All In, Lodging, Live Entertainment, Movie Theater, Cultural, and Wisconsin Farm Support, as well as testing and contact tracing funding to keep both residents and visitors safe, have helped hardworking families and their businesses continue to provide exceptional service while innovating for the future."

Governor Tony Evers announced the Main Street Bounceback grant program in the spring of 2021 with the first grants made in August, 2021, using $75 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, to help small businesses and communities grow by populating vacant storefronts with new businesses and nonprofits.

Visit to view pandemic-related assistance information for you, your business, organization, and community, as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.

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