Mayor Soglin Receives National Award for Work Supporting Local Business

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 2:50pm

Mayor Soglin has been selected to receive the 2018 Small Business Advocate Award from Partner American and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Award recognizes the Mayor’s hard work and dedication to supporting Madison’s small businesses. The award will be presented at a brief event celebrating Madison’s small business community on Tuesday, May 1 from 10:30am to 11:30am at the Orpheum Theater (2016 State Street).

To earn this distinction, Madison’s efforts to support small businesses include:

  •  Now in its 18th year, Madison’s Façade Grant program has provided $1.3 million in matching grants to 99 businesses investing in improving their buildings
  •  In 2017, the City implemented the State Street Retail Grant program that invested $250,000 in matching grants to support expansions and improvements for 10   local retail businesses on State Street
  •  Continuing the City’s "Business Walks" Program where volunteers walk through a section of the City to survey every business and gather information on key issues facing the area
  •  The City recently became a member of Dane Buy Local, which is one of the nation’s largest membership organizations focused on supporting locally owned businesses.
  •  Madison launched the Cooperative Enterprise Program to support the creation of more coop businesses
  •  The City is making progress on plans for the Madison Public Market, which will highlight products from local businesses and create platform for local entrepreneurship.
  •  As part of the Public Market, the City has launched the "MarketReady Program" to provide training and startup funds to 30 diverse entrepreneurs preparing to launch in the Public Market when it opens in 2020.
  •  The City is expanding its Street Vending Program, which issues over 500 permits and licenses to food carts, local arts/crafts vendors, restaurant sidewalk cafes, and other local merchants.
  •  Madison recently provided funding to the Doyene group and StartingBlock Madison, which are organizations leading Madison’s continued growth as a hub technology entrepreneurship.
  •  The City is continuing to support the Madison Black Chamber, the Latino Chamber, and other organizations with CDBG funds focused on investing in community-based businesses.

Supporting local businesses is central to Madison’s economic development efforts and small businesses are driving Madison’s economy forward. According to the ReferenceUSA business database, over 500 new businesses have started within the City of Madison since the end of the great recession and 86% of all current Madison businesses have fewer than 50 employees. Thanks to this robust small business environment, Madison’s overall economy is flourishing. Over 20,000 jobs were created in Madison since 2010, the City’s population is adding 3,000 new residents per year, and Madison’s tax base has grown by nearly $5 billion in the last five years.

Additional details on the award can be found at this link.