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High hopes as business grant program in La Crosse begins taking applications



A boost for some businesses in La Crosse is on the way.

The city has begun accepting applications for a new program to provide small matching grants for minority and woman-owned businesses.

Grants will go to successful applicants until the money’s gone. It’s just $30,000 for 2018. For more info and to apply click here.

City Economic Development Planner Andrea Schnick says they’ll have to see what happens after that.

“We really want to start this program and see if that’s enough,” she said. “We want to see what it’s going to take to help these programs, help these new businesses get going.

“If it’s something that we need to continue in the future — which I’m hoping that this is a really successful program — then that’s something we’ll have to work out with the council.”

The city launched the program after finding that minorities and women were underrepresented in business ownership. Much of that having to do with, apparently, a perceived lack of access to traditional financing sources for their businesses.

How that success is define, however, is kind of up those businesses Schnick said.

“We really want to hear how they are able to judge success for themselves,” she said. “We want them to be able to put that into terms.

“And I think that that’s something that if they feel feel motivated and they feel like they’re successful then that’s something that’s going to keep that business going.”

How quickly the $30,000 goes might determine how much the city council is inclined to put in the program for next year.

There are other qualifying factors for applicants. Among them, businesses have to be privately owned with fewer than 50 employees.


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