City of Madison Announces Retail Improvement Grant Program

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 2:59pm

Strengthening Downtown Independent Retail

As the City of Madison, residents, business owners and the development community continue to invest in creating a vibrant downtown Madison recognizes the need to invest in independent retailers to ensure the independent flavor that makes Madison special is maintained.

Modeled after the City’s successful Façade Grant program, the Retail Improvement Grant Program announced today, encourages business and property owners to reinvest in downtown business areas by offering matching grants up to $50,000 to assist with the capital costs associated with renovating the interior and exterior of retail spaces occupied by independent retail businesses.

"Unique and successful independent retail has a significant effect on the attractiveness and marketability of the surrounding area." Ruth Rohlich, Business Development Specialist, City of Madison.

"This is a great opportunity for the City to assist small business owners as they strive to maintain the vitality of our community," said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

Alder Mike Verveer has helped with the planning and shares, "I am very excited with the launch of this new initiative. I am confident that the retail grant program will be as effective and successful as our long standing Façade Improvement Grant Program."

"The strength of our downtown has always been in a locally owned mix of businesses on State Street and the Capitol Square. In order to keep a healthy mix of retail, restaurants, services and entertainment venues, we need to invest in the retail sector," said Susan Schmitz, Downtown Madison Inc President.

To learn more about the program, see the program area map and application guidelines please visit the City’s web-site: or contact Ruth Rohlich, Business Development Specialist,, 608-267-4933.