News Release: La Crosse small businesses receiving $366,200 in relief grants


Photo taken by Carly Rundle-Borchert.

Rivoli Theater will be closed until further notice.

City of La Crosse, Guest Contributor

The City of La Crosse notified 59 businesses that they would receive a total of $366,200 in emergency relief grants earlier this week. According to the applicants, this will help the businesses sustain 948 jobs.

When Jennifer Walker of Charlotte’s Bridal and Formal Wear heard the news, she was thrilled. “These funds will help ensure that I can keep my staff. They are the lifeblood of my business. They are my greatest asset. I don’t want to lose them. ”

The City received 114 applications, all reporting a range of immediate needs for assistance. Restaurant owners wrote of the dilemma having to throw out spoiled inventory that they could no longer sell due to lack of business and retail business owners described the mounting bills on their desk, such as rent and electricity, with no incoming revenues to pay for them.

Mayor Tim Kabat was proud of how rapidly City staff were able to organize and award funding to suffering small businesses, who often run on very tight margins.

“We cannot imagine how difficult these past weeks have been for our retailers, restaurants and taverns, hotels, salons, service providers and more.  The list of businesses we are able to assist is a who’s who of La Crosse.  These businesses and their staff represent so much good in our community including incredible customer service and products, hospitality and more.  These businesses and their people also support our community in many ways including help to non-profits, schools and charities.  We are pleased to offer the small business relief program during this time of need.”

The Common Council approved $350,000 in funding to launch the Small Business Relief Grant Program, which included $150,000 in HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.  Couleecap, a local economic development partner of the City, contributed $18,600 in addition to the Council-approved funds.

“Small businesses are the bedrock of our community. During this unprecedented time, it’s clear how resilient our small businesses are,” said Representative Ron Kind, who supported the CDBG funding. “Although times are tough, they have continued to find innovative ways to lend a helping hand to those around them and support their community throughout the ongoing pandemic. Just as we’ve seen small businesses support our community, I’m glad to see them receive the support they need as well.”

Couleecap was able to provide its support for the Small Business Relief Grant recipients thanks to the support of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Associated Bank, Wells Fargo, and private donors.  “Couleecap is proud of our long history of working alongside the city to support small businesses and create an economically equitable community.” said Hetti Brown, Couleecap Executive Director. “We commend the City for their quick response to the needs of local businesses and are glad we can help in a small way.”

Since the City of La Crosse was unable to fund all eligible businesses that applied, the Common Council will consider whether or not to approve an additional $174,000 in HUD CDBG funds from the CARES Act at their next meeting, Thursday, May 14.  This will allow the City to fund additional applicants.

City of La Crosse Awards

Amanda’s Academy of Dance

AmericInn Riverfront/Moxies

Applause Dance Academy

Arterial Bar & Grill

Balanced Bodywork Massage

Bean Juice

Bodega Brew Pub Inc

CannaBiz Depot

Charlotte’s Bridal and Formal Wear

Coulee Family Dental, LLC

Country Inn & Suites

Crescent Jewelers Co., Inc

Deaf Ear Records

Driftless Axe & Arcade

Dublin Square Irish Pub & Eatery


Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fayze’s Restaurant

Games People Play

Greengrass Café

Wise Owl Auctions)

Hmong Golden Egg Roll


King Street Kitchen

La Crosse Dance Center

LAX Print

Leithold Music

Meringue LLC

Metropolitan Salon & Spa

North Country Steak Buffet

Pearl Street Brewery

Performance Elite Gymnastics LLC

Piggy’s Restaurant and Blues Lounge

Pizza Doctors

Quality Inn

River Town Dental

Rod’s Ride on Powersports

Rosie’s Cafe

Snap Fitness

Stratton Cleaning Services

Sunshine Home Services


The Damn Tasty

The Great Escape of La Crosse

The Mac Guys

The Rivoli Theatre and Pizzeria

Top Hat Inc (CTS Taxi)

Trim Design of La Crosse Inc.

Uno Venti Pizzeria

Vendi Advertising, LLC

Yours Truly, Inc. (Wedding Tree)

Couleecap Awards

Jennifer H Johnson (Reflections Salon)

Le Chateau

Melanin Beauty Bar llc

Rejuvenate Nail Waxing and Skin Care Studio LLC

Rooster Andy’s Catering

Salon Inspired

Su Casa Salon and Bridal Suite

Task Karate

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