La Crosse this year becomes the 36th Wisconsin city to receive the Wisconsin Main Street designation, making it eligible for technical support and training to maintain and improve its historic and commercial downtown district.
La Crosse is the only city in Wisconsin to earn the designation in 2014 and is the 36th active Main Street community, according to an announcement by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
WEDC said the Main Street designation is given to communities that demonstrate a sustained commitment to downtown revitalization.
La Crosse was selected because of its aggressive and innovative efforts to promote the city’s business district through its local downtown organization, Downtown Mainstreet Inc., said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC.
Hall said Downtown Mainstreet Inc. has taken a strategic and comprehensive approach to strengthening downtown La Crosse by working with city, county, local universities, and downtown business and property owners.
The Wisconsin Main Street Program is part of a nationwide program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Communities receive technical support and training needed to ensure that their downtown districts continue to thrive as centers of community activity and commerce.
According to WEDC, services in the first five years of Downtown Mainstreet designation include:
- Orientation and training sessions for new Main Street directors and committees.
- On-site planning visits to assist communities in identifying goals and objectives and help prioritize and develop projects.
- Design assistance to property owners and merchants in local Main Street districts.
- Business counseling in areas such as marketing, business planning, advertising, financial analysis and inventory control
- Downtown marketing analysis that will help with business development efforts
Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 4,500 new businesses and 17,000 new jobs since its inception in 1987.