Five state businesses named finalists in Wisconsinís Main Street Makeover Contest

Winner to receive up to $10,000 to give their business a whole new look in spring 2018

Published Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Five Wisconsin Main Street businesses throughout the state have been named finalists in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) Main Street Makeover Contest and have a chance to win up to $10,000 in upgrades for their storefront.

Modeled after the popular reality TV show concept, established businesses located in one of the state’s 33 Main Street communities had the opportunity to nominate themselves for a “makeover,” which will take place next spring.

The winning business will receive personalized technical assistance and up to $10,000 to implement recommended changes, which could include interior and exterior design improvement or marketing assistance, individually designed to boost the businesses’ image and operations.

The five finalists are:

  • Annie’s Fountain City Café, Fond du Lac, which hopes to more fully utilize its existing space to create a comfortable environment for customers while improving the functionality of the dining and retail space as it continues to grow its customer base;
  • K Sera Salon and Spa, De Pere, which wants to grow its retail space and create a 15-minute hairstyling bar and beauty boutique to provide more services in the space;
  • Sam’s Pizza, Wausau, which is seeking a facelift that can help increase the restaurant’s visibility and help the local institution welcome a new generation to share their love of pizza and community;
  • Sir James Pub, Port Washington, which hopes to enhance its 18-foot-wide bar and turn the hidden historic gem into a must-visit destination; and
  • Tomahawk Sew N Vac, Tomahawk, which wants to create more demonstration spaces for its unique products and free up space for its popular classes.

Finalists were selected based on their business track record, the vision for their business, and the potential for the makeover to have a positive impact on the Main Street district.

The winner will be announced in January after follow-up interviews with each of the businesses. The winning business will spend several months working with Main Street staff and consultants from Retailworks Inc., a Milwaukee-based interior design, branding and display firm, to develop the makeover plan. That will be followed by a two-day “makeover” event in late spring.

The new downtown storefront will be formally unveiled during a public celebration featuring state and local officials. All 20 businesses that submitted applications for the competition will receive technical assistance from the Main Street team to help achieve their goals and improve their business.

The Wisconsin Main Street Program is a comprehensive revitalization program designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin. Communities selected to join the prestigious program receive technical support and training needed to restore their Main Streets to centers of community activity and commerce. The Wisconsin Main Street Program, part of a nationwide program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has been recognized nationally for its participation, initiatives and outcomes.

For more information on the Wisconsin Main Street Program, visit


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