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Ashland's Main Street Recognized for Success and Growth

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: July 24, 2019 06:19 PM

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation recognizes main streets across the state for their uniqueness and economic role in the state. Ashland’s main street was recognized for the third time in a row in the third annual Wisconsin Main Street Day Celebration.

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State officials and local leaders gathered at Menard Park to celebrate Ashland's special recognition.

“We know downtown is what’s memorable and what people really love about their community. We want to recognize the locals that make those investments and entrepreneurs that make their livelihoods in downtown,” said Errin Welty, the Downtown Development Program Manager for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation(WEDC).

Ashland is one of six Wisconsin communities along with Two Rivers, Wausau, Jefferson, Green Bay, and Eau Claire, recognized and chosen for the Main Street Day celebrations.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed Wednesday as Wisconsin Main Street Day.

“We love our community and love Main Street. The fact that people are willing to come out for us here and get excited about us opening a store and getting excited about the expansion, it’s exciting to feel the support. We feel it with our costumers every day and our vendors,” Kriss Weber, an employee of Red Bicycle Gift Shoppe, said.

Little Red is an expansion of the Red Bicycle Gift Shoppe in Ashland's main street. Little Red offers furniture and unique antiques. It was one of the new business highlighted in downtown. Another business highlighted was the Cobblestone Hotel, which now offers visitors a cozy spot to stay and explore the city.

“The beauty of the success and vibrancy of the Ashland Main Street district is the relationships, the cooperation, and people working together,” Mary McPhetridge, the president of the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, said.

“Finding a way to make things work that’s what small businesses are all about,” Mark Gutteter, the owner of Cobblestone Hotel, said.

The Chequamegon Food Co-op has a new mosaic mural made by local artists, highlighting the local organic food the grocery store offers to the community. It’s the second community mural in the city.

“Ashland is a beautiful success story, they’re always growing and changing and evolving. They recognize that downtowns are never done. They are really doubling down in the artistic investment here and entrepreneurship support and it really shows,” Welty said.

Ashland’s downtown is 100 percent locally owned and operated.

Since the Wisconsin Main Street program started in 1987, the 34 main street communities have received more than $1.9 billion in public and private investments. This has created over 2,700 net new businesses and 14,000 net new jobs.

In the 2018 fiscal year, main street communities created 137 net new businesses and 619 net new jobs. The main street communities reported $138 million in private and public investments.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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