ICYMI: Evers Administration Visits Highlight Business and Community Investments in Calumet, Juneau, and Marathon Counties

Wisconsin Department of Administration Logo



Tony Evers, Governor

Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary

February 2, 2023
Contact: DOACommunications@wisconsin.gov

ICYMI: Evers Administration Visits Highlight Business and Community Investments in Calumet, Juneau, and Marathon Counties

Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez and DOA officials met with business owners, attended groundbreaking and community events


Chilton, Elroy, and Wausau, Wis. – Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez and Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Assistant Deputy Secretary Danielle Williams, as well as local officials and representatives from local businesses, healthcare and nonprofit organizations, and communities highlighted local economic development investments by Governor Evers, with visits around the state Wednesday.

"It was great to join the groundbreaking for an exciting new clinic we supported in Elroy and to visit small businesses and nonprofits in Chilton and Wausau that received support directed by Gov. Evers,” said Lt. Gov. Rodriguez. “As we travel across Wisconsin, we can see firsthand the transformative impact these programs have had on Wisconsinites’ lives and livelihoods. We look forward to continuing our efforts to bolster our state and local economies and strengthen our communities by ensuring they have the resources and support they need to thrive.”

In Chilton, State of Wisconsin officials met with Calumet County leadership and local business owners and entrepreneurs, including several recipients of the Main Street Bounceback (MSBB) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG-CV) for microenterprise assistance. In addition, an overall $4.7 million investment by Governor Evers supported small businesses in Calumet County using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, including $350,000 through Main Street Bounceback.

After touring the Rustic Charm Salon in downtown Chilton, a Main Street Bounceback grant recipient, representatives met with area business owners to hear about how state grants have helped local small businesses bounce back, expand operations, and make innovative decisions that helped fuel local economic development across Calumet County. A $921,000 CDBG-CV grant to Calumet County helped create a Microenterprise Resiliency Fund for businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic, and especially focused on supporting businesses owned by veterans, women, and people of color, given the outsize pandemic impact on those populations.

Lt. Gov. Rodriguez with local business owners and Calumet County Economic Development director Mary Kohrell. 

Stakeholders gather with state and local officials in Chilton to celebrate local CDBG-CV and Main Street Bounceback grantees. First row, from left: DOA Assistant Deputy Secretary Danielle Williams; Joann Schmidt, co-owner of JJMRS Recreation; Jessica Williams, owner of Doggie Dos by Jess; Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez; Nicole Schwarz, owner of Rustic Charm Salon; Mary Kohrell, Calumet County economic development director; Colleen Bies, program director, Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) Appleton office. Second row, from left: David Pawlisch, firector for the Bureau of Community Development, Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources at DOA; James Schmidt, co-owner of JJMRS Recreation; Jason Pausma, economic development director; and Jon and Keri Woelfel, owners of Woelfel Homestead Farm Venue.

Through our CDBG-CV micro-business grant program funded by the Department of Administration, we were able to support nearly 70 very small businesses that had faced negative financial impacts from COVID,” said Mary Kohrell, Calumet County Economic Development Director.  The results of this program, combined with the Main Street Bounce Back grants, were absolutely critical to the survival and success of nearly 100 businesses in our region that received these grants. 

In Elroy, the Lieutenant Governor took part in a groundbreaking for the Gundersen Elroy Clinic, which aims to expand healthcare services for rural residents, and make critical infrastructure improvements to revitalize downtown Elroy. The City of Elroy and the Gundersen Health System received a combined $6.4 million in awards from the Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment Grant that will not only provide key medical and community services, but will also be 100 percent energy independent by using on-site geothermal and solar technology.

Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez joins stakeholders to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new Gundersen Health System clinic in Elroy. 

Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez (center) helps break ground on the new Gundersen Elroy Clinic with local leaders and former Gov. Tommy Thompson (third from right). 

“Keeping care local is important for rural communities like Elroy. But this isn’t just about how a clinic can address the physical health of the community. By placing the new Gundersen Elroy Clinic in the heart of downtown, we’re doing our part to get even further ahead of disease by improving the economic health of the community, too,” said Kristie McCoic, Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics Administrator. “We’re very thankful for the support Gov. Evers and his administration have given to this project and appreciate the partnerships it has fostered in reducing health disparities in our communities.” 

In Wausau, state officials attended an open house for Community Partners Campus, a collaborative hub for nonprofit organizations providing primary medical care, shelter, meals, and other critical services for area schoolchildren, seniors, and low-income residents. The City of Wausau was awarded a $1.5 million Neighborhood Investment Fund grant for the project.

I am thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of Wausau’s Community Partners Campus that is bringing our region’s critical human service non-profits together under one roof so that the people we serve can access everything they need in one place,” said Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg. “We are so grateful for the partnership from the State of Wisconsin, especially the Department of Administration, in helping us get this project over the finish line with a $1.5 million grant through the Neighborhood Investment Fund. This project will be a model for the rest of the state and we’re already looking forward to an expansion! 

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez celebrate local grantees with City of Chilton and Calumet County officials

From left, Community Partners Campus (CPC) co-founder Brian Gumness, Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg, Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, DOA Assistant Deputy Secretary Danielle Williams, and CPC co-founder Kevin Noel celebrate the grand opening of the CPC building in Wausau, in front of a new mural from Rise Up.

“The State of Wisconsin ARPA dollars allowed us to fast track the opening of the Catholic Charities Warming Center to ensure our unhoused neighbors had a safe and warm place to go once the 2022-2023 cold season began in November,” added Tara Glodowski, Executive Director for the Community Partners Campus. “Since then, the remaining partners have all moved in and began their daily operations, serving the most vulnerable populations in Marathon County.”

Visit BadgerBounceback.wi.gov to view pandemic-related assistance information as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. 

Find us on Twitter: @WisconsinDOA
Like us on Facebook: Wisconsin DOA
Find more DOA news in our Newsroom.
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.