Press Release:DOA Visit Highlights How State Grants Have Helped Spur Economic Development in Janesville, Beloit

Wisconsin Department of Administration Logo



Tony Evers, Governor

Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary

June 21, 2023

DOA Visit Highlights How State Grants Have Helped Spur Economic Development in Janesville, Beloit 


Janesville and Beloit, Wis. – Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld today met with entrepreneurs and business leaders from Rock County to highlight how state investments have helped stimulate the creation of new or expanded businesses in the area. Blumenfeld visited with several small business owners who have been supported by Rock County Jumpstart, a collaborative initiative that provides minority business owners with training and resources they need to start, grow, and scale their business. Rock County Jumpstart received a $1 million Diverse Business Assistance grant from Governor Tony Evers to advance its work.

“Strategic investments by Governor Evers have created opportunities for a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, particularly among diverse businesses, by removing barriers to capital, technical assistance, and expertise,” Blumenfeld said. “Organizations like Rock County Jumpstart are on the front lines of this important work, and I’m grateful our state has the opportunity to partner with them and build a more equitable future for Wisconsin.”

Visit with Pompking Pomades in Janesville

From left to right: Manuela Perez, Pompking Pomades business manager; Hector Tapia, owner of Pompking Pomades; DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld and Senator Mark Spreitzer. 

Blumenfeld kicked off the day with a visit to Pompking Pomades in Janesville, where she was joined by Sen. Mark Spreitzer. Rock County Jumpstart helped Pompking move from a house garage to a space at the Janesville Innovation Center with the aid of a Main Street Bounceback Grant. Blumenfeld then traveled to Rock County Jumpstart in Beloit to meet with Jumpstart officials and representatives of several Jumpstart businesses, including Covenant Care Counseling Center, Blessed Divine Creations, Can Do Crew, and Bridge Over Trouble Water. 

Rock County Jumpstart business visit with DOA Secretary Blumenfeld

From left to right: Joseph Purnell, owner of Can Do Crew; Paquita Purnell, owner of Blessed Divine Creations; Kendra Roman, owner of Covenant Care Counseling Center; DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld; Genia Stevens, executive director of Rock County Jumpstart; Mikal Cooks, founder and executive director of Bridge Over Trouble Water; Charles Ray Quince Jr, education and training director for Rock County Jumpstart. 

"The DOA grant has allowed us to significantly increase our capacity and improve on the services we provide to the most underserved businesses in Rock County," said Rock County Jumpstart founder and executive director Genia Stevens. "We truly appreciate the support we've received from Governor Evers and his administration."

Gov. Evers made more than $1 billion in investments statewide in support of small businesses. The popular Main Street Bounceback Grant program has helped over 9,400 entrepreneurs open new businesses or expand their existing operations, helping communities grow by populating vacant storefronts with new businesses and nonprofits through a total $100 million investment statewide. In his 2023-25 budget proposal, Evers called for a $50 million investment to continue the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program. Unfortunately, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance voted to remove that investment along with more than 540 other provisions from his budget.

More than $73 million, meanwhile, was awarded to several dozen chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations through the Diverse Business Assistance Grant program. Also funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, these grants support the work of chambers of commerce across the state in providing coaching and mentoring, technical assistance, equipment and internet services, digital literacy, online marketing and social media training, financial aid, and financial literacy support, as well as networking and educational opportunities for new business owners and emerging entrepreneurs.

Visit 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. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.


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