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The nonprofit Couleecap Inc. agency, in cooperation with other organizations, is looking for small business entrepreneurs and landlords interested in participating in a new pop-up shop program for the holiday season in the downtown and Old Towne North areas in La Crosse and in downtown Bangor.

The effort, with a focus on retail businesses, is modeled after the existing pop-up shop program in Viroqua.

Participating entrepreneurs will be able to operate their shop for three months rent-free, as a state grant will be used to pay the landlords. The pop-up shop concept allows them to test their business idea in a storefront without making any initial long-term commitments. Retailers could remain in the space after the three months by signing a lease.

Applicants will be expected to have regular store hours, maintain the interior and exterior of the building and actively market their business.

They also will have the opportunity to consult with other small businesses and economic development professionals.

The program is an opportunity for a new business to get started, or for an existing small business to test a new market for expansion. Its goals are to create small businesses and fill vacant commercial spaces.

Some of Couleecap’s partners in the effort include La Crosse County, the city of La Crosse, Downtown Mainstreet Inc., the North La Crosse Business Association and the village of Bangor.

Entrepreneurs and landlords interested in participating can contact Aaron Reimler, Couleecap business and income developer, at 608-797-5746 or by email at

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