Traffic moves along Main Street Monday morning in
downtown West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News
WEST BEND — The West Bend
Commons Task Force met Monday to prepare updates for a meeting next
Committee chair Peggy Fischer said it was a great meeting and she
will put together a more formal informative review for the bid
The group consisted of Fischer, two members of the Downtown
Association, Adam Gitter and four Business Improvement District
board members. They discussed a grant opportunity and timelines.
Member Tony Jasen suggested the group work to drive traffic downtown
to promote area businesses, and the task force has since been
working on plans to do so. After discussion, they decided foot
traffic would be beneficial and could further other city goals,
which could have a positive domino effect on the city.
Another suggestion by Jasen that has since been furthered is an
entrepreneurial grant opportunity. One way to make this possible is
securing a reduced rent for an entrepreneur in the beginning stages
and gain footing downtown.
Overall assistance was discussed including marketing, banking, legal
services, information technology, space, networking lunches, lending
and Small Business Administration assistance, monthly mentoring
meetings, and an onboard program facilitated by the city.
Task force members agreed to reach out to people throughout West
Bend to lend a hand in this endeavor. In this way, whomever receives
the grant will be handed the necessary tools to succeed and have
important connections as well. It also furthers the process of
starting new businesses and ensures the niche that led to past
successes is continued, Fischer said, possibly encouraging others to
set up shop in West Bend.
By the end of April, the task force plans to meet with grant
West Bend presently offers 10 community services, 19 financial
service companies, 22 restaurants, 23 health and beauty stores, 34
shopping-related enterprises and 41 service providers. Through this
grant, the city is looking to increase those numbers as well as the
diversity of offerings to residents and visitors alike.