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IMPORTANT: As of July 1st, 2011, functions once performed by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce have been moved to other state agencies and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The former Commerce web site will continue to exist for the next several months as resources are moved to new web site locations. We will make every attempt possible to direct our users to the new locations as web resources are moved.

Forums Help Small Communities Learn Strategies for Growth

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2010
Contact: Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661

MADISON - Wisconsin communities with population of 1,500 or less that are interested in revitalizing their downtowns and promoting community-wide business development should plan to attend one of two regional Small Town Forums, to be held July 13 in Shullsburg and July 14 in Tigerton.

"Small communities face unique competitive challenges as they work to retain and attract businesses and maintain economic vitality," said Department of Commerce Secretary Aaron Olver. "These forums will offer participants the opportunity to learn proven success strategies from case studies, roundtables and discussion groups."

Participants from any size community are welcome, but this forum was designed to promote dialogue among leaders of small communities.

Discussion groups will focus on creating a successful business mix in small downtowns and raising funds for community projects.

Roundtable discussions will focus on improving the local business climate; attracting tourists; promoting unique community assets; improving the appearance of downtowns; encouraging volunteers and establishing effective local groups and organizations; creating and implementing successful great community events; and establishing community gathering places.

The cost of the forum is $10. Registrations are due by July 7, 2010. A copy of the brochure that includes agendas for each site and how to register can be found at

The forums are sponsored by the Wisconsin Main Street Program; the University of Wisconsin - Extension; Wisconsin Rural Partners; and the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council.

For more information about the Small Town Forums, please contact Catherine Dunlap, Department of Commerce, or at 608-267-3855.