Pop – Up Shops Coming soon to Prairie du Chien

Prairie du Chien Pop-Up Shop ProgramInformational Town Hall
September 10.

(Prairie du Chien, WI) Prairie du Chien Main Street, Couleecap, UW Extension Crawford County, the City of Prairie du Chien, and Viroqua Chamber Main Street, with support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, is holding a Town Hall informational session for business owners, prospective entrepreneurs, commercial building landlords, and anyone else interested in learning more about Pop-Up Shop Programs. The program will be offered in Prairie du Chien during the holiday shopping season.

The informational Town Hall will take place at the Event Center address, 103 E. Blackhawk Ave, Prairie du Chien, on September 10 at 12:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Modeled after the successful Viroqua Pop-Up Shop Program, the effort serves as a catalyst for local, small business development. In the program, participating landlords, with the help of local economic development professionals, attract businesses into vacant store fronts for a period up to three months. Rent for the space is supported by grant funding, which allows new businesses to operate in the space rent-free. The model provides new business owners an opportunity to test their ideas without the intimidation of long-term commitments, and existing businesses to test out new markets in different communities. All Pop-Up Shop participants receive at least one consulting session with a small business expert.

If retailers wish to remain in the space after the three-month period ends, they must assume full responsibility and costs of the lease. The goals of this program are two-fold; create businesses and fill vacant commercial spaces. Retailers get to enjoy the benefits of a store front in a commercially viable area; landlords will see increased foot traffic in their previously empty space, and a greatly increased chance at finding a long-term tenant; and the existing businesses in the central commercial district will benefit from new activity and excitement.

In similar programs in Viroqua, La Crosse, Sparta, and Bangor most entrepreneurs participating in the Pop-Up Shop Program signed long-term leases at the end of the three-month grant period.

The Pop-Up Shop Program is made possible by funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Entrepreneurial Support Grant Program. This is the third year Couleecap, Inc., with partner Viroqua Chamber Main Street, has received the grant and is working with organizations across the region to support local small business development.

Landlords and businesses interested in participating or learning more about the program in Prairie du Chien can contact Jessica Spayde, Community Development Extension Educator, at 608-326-0223 or spayde@wisc.edu, or Aaron Reimler, Couleecap Business and Income Developer, at 608-797-5746 or aaron.reimler@couleecap.org. Couleecap also offers technical assistance to entrepreneurs including business planning, model building, market feasibility studies, and other business development services.

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About Couleecap
Couleecap, Inc. is a private non-profit 501c3 charitable organization. Couleecap helps people in need with housing, food, transportation, and more. Created in 1966, we are a community action program that fights poverty and promotes self-sufficiency in Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon counties. Learn more at www.couleecap.org.

About Prairie du Chien Main Street
The PdC Main Street Program is a non-profit and volunteer-run organization with the mission to re-establish our downtown as the heart of our community. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/mainstreetpdc/.

About Viroqua Chamber Main Street
The Viroqua Chamber Main Street is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of the Viroqua community through leadership, facilitation and collaboration. The organization is focused on keeping Viroqua vibrant by strengthening the business community, preserving the history and beauty of the historic downtown district, supporting community-wide events throughout the year and providing resources to tourists visiting from all over the world. Learn more at http://viroqua-wisconsin.com/chamber-mainstreet.