NewsHow can we revitalize Ellsworth's downtown districts? « Back to Search Results
By Sarah Nigbor on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:53 p.m.
One of the visions of the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce's Connect Communities Committee is to build a boardwalk/interpretive trail connecting the Creamery to the East End and Uptown business districts.
"Envision. Enhance. Enjoy. With your input, these three simple words can take on a new meaning for the Ellsworth, WI community. From the business and restaurant options you wish for, to the recreation, activities, and events that would draw you to downtown—This is a space to share your ideas for strengthening our downtown, leveraging our community's assets, and creating enjoyment for all."
That is the introduction for the "Ellsworth: Envision. Enhance. Enjoy!" group created by the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce in connection with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's Connect Communities program.
Connect Communities provides technical assistance, access to financial and technical assistance programs and networking opportunities to communities who want to revitalize their downtowns or urban commercial districts.
"It's maintaining and enhancing what they already have, but who don't have the money for a full-time director," WEDC's Mark Tallman, a community project manager of Wisconsin's Southwest Region, said last January.
Connect Communities is a complement to the WEDC's successful Main Street Program.
Menomonie is the closest designated Wisconsin Main Street.
Connect Communities is not a grant program, but it can facilitate a town finding grants.
The program follows a four-point approach, Tallman said: organization, promotion, economic restructuring and design.
Chamber Director Russ Korpela said Ellsworth is one in 50 Connect Communities in the state, which provides access and collaboration to communities roughly the same size and with roughly the same resources.
What are the benefits of Connect Communities?
• Creating a sustainable community increases the tax base, increases property values, and sustains population growth.
• Stimulating the local economy by improving visibility for businesses, increasing customer traffic, and growing profits and business value.
• Creating a strong quality of life with an enhanced marketplace, more job and career opportunities, more social and cultural offerings, and pride in the community.
"If business thrives, the community thrives," said Chamber Administrator Kim Beebe. "Small intimate downtowns where people know you and everyone says hi" also draw people to town. "Local residents will feel more connected to the business community."
The rest of the story can be found here.