Two dozen small downtown businesses La Crosse County have received grants from a business consortium that is providing aid in the wake of COVID-19 challenges.
Couleecap Inc., Downtown Mainstreet Inc., La Crosse County, the La Crosse Area Development Corporation, and North La Crosse Business Association partnered to create the Launch La Crosse Small Business Recovery Fund to assist small businesses in central commercial districts.
The grant fund was launched with about $100,000 in private donations, fueled by contributions from Wells Fargo, Dave and Barb Skogen, The Weber Group, Gail, Kristine and Sandra Cleary, State Bank Financial, Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions, Kwik Trip and Associated Bank.
The fund was started to help address the significant and immediate financial need facing area small business owners amid the growing public health concern, including business closings and changing market conditions.
“Many small business owners operate on extremely thin margins under normal conditions, so we knew there would be an immense need for financial support,” said Aaron Reimler, a business and income developer for Couleecap. “We’re extremely grateful for the donors who stepped up to help, allowing us get this program off the ground and start getting funds to small business owners as quickly as possible.”
In order to continue to support the program and work toward expanding eligibility, partner organizations are seeking private donations and funders to assist in continuing to support this fund.
These funds are being mobilized locally to help respond to financial gaps and provide relief with a quick turnaround time.
“Due to the unprecedented and quickly evolving nature of the circumstances surrounding this pandemic, we’re going a little beyond our usual methods to help our community try and weather this storm,” Reimler said. “We recognize that the financial need for our small business community will continue to remain significant and that these local resources can provide a lifeline, which is why we are asking for the community’s help”, said Robin Mosses, executive director of Downtown Mainstreet. “As a community we can make a difference in the future survival of our businesses.”
Contributions can be made at Couleecap.org/business-recovery or by sending a check to Couleecap Inc. at 201 Melby St., Westby, WI 54667 with “Launch La Crosse” written in the memo line.
“Many small business owners operate on extremely thin margins under normal conditions, so we knew there would be an immense need for financial support.” Aaron Reimler, a business and income developer for Couleecap.
Here is a list of businesses that have received grants through June 30:
- Amanda’s Academy of Dance
- Audiolust Records
- Cannabiz Depot
- David Reay’s
- Dublin Square
- Fat Porcupine
- Full Circle Supply
- Games People Play
- Generous Earth Pottery
- Handmade Natural Beauty
- La Crosse Escape Room
- Lush Salon
- Marge’s On Rose
- Mind Altering Tattoo
- Monet Floral
- Mueller Photography
- Pla Mor Lanes
- Twisted Skull
- Weber Center for the Performing Arts
- Willow Boutique