Initiated in December 2017, the Watertown Redevelopment Authority (RDA) Revolving Loan Fund program has, to date, provided almost $1.2 M in loans and grants to 15 downtown businesses.
“The results are evidence that the program is working as intended,” said Mason Becker, RDA Executive Director. “These low, fixed-rate loans do provide the supplemental financing needed to assist owners with repairs and upgrades to improve infrastructure and curb appeal,” he added.
To better showcase the results of this successful program, the RDA recently offered window decals to all program participants. “By doing this, we hope to engage the community in recognizing the value of partnerships between small business owners/developers and the RDA and attract more participants,” Becker continued. Currently, three community-focused banks, Bank First, Bank of Lake Mills, and Ixonia Bank help fund the Revolving Loan Fund program.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the City of Watertown’s downtown. Not only do they provide jobs, they play an integral role supporting the preservation of the historic places that give Watertown its distinctive character. In 2017, “Around the Corner” host John McGivern agreed stating, “Downtown Watertown has a feeling of historic significance. The well-preserved downtown commercial properties are charming examples of late 1800’s architecture.”
With Small Business Saturday approaching, the RDA encourages residents and visitors to explore the shops along Watertown’s main streets. “Let’s show our appreciation for the small business owners who work hard every day to make Watertown a great place to live, work, eat, shop, and play,” Becker concluded.