The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has allocated $1,675,000 for nine regional groups and three diverse chambers of commerce as Key Strategic Partners (KSPs) for the coming year. 

According to a statement from the WEDC, the ongoing assistance comes at an especially critical time for the regional economic development organizations (REDOs) as they face private-sector funding challenges while supporting their communities in recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses throughout our state, especially the small businesses that many of our key strategic partners work with daily,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO. “Our relationships with our key strategic partners help put ‘boots on the ground’ in communities that are working to recover.” 

The funds provide support to the base level operations and initiatives identified that align with WEDC’s fiscal year 2021 priorities. Each region will receive a grant of $75,000, $100,000 or $125,000 depending on its size, as determined by the Regional Leadership Council. 

Among the nine regional groups, Grow North, an organization dedicated to economic development in the eight counties of northern and northeastern Wisconsin, will receive $75,000. Visions Northwest, which serves Douglas County, the Ashland/Bayfield area, and Iron County, will also receive $75,000.

New North, serving Northeast Wisconsin, will receive $100,000.

“We are incredibly grateful to WEDC for their support and partnership,” said Barb LaMue, president and CEO of New North Inc. “We do not take lightly our responsibility in aligning our regional strategies with both local partners and the State of Wisconsin in the areas of rural development, diverse business development, business intelligence, marketing, business retention-expansion-attraction efforts and talent development.” 

Additionally, WEDC’s relationship with the three diverse chambers of commerce—the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the First American Capital Corporation (FACC), and the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC)—help meet the needs of diverse businesses throughout the state and reflects WEDC’s commitment to ensuring that every community has the resources needed to grow and thrive.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Visit wedc.org or follow WEDC on Twitter @WEDCNews to learn more.