Waterford Road Construction Loan Program Alleviates Pressure for Local Businesses
WATERFORD, WI – As you drive through the heart of Downtown Waterford, you will undoubtedly experience the activity from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Hwy 20/83 Construction Project. This portion of the project has significantly affected local citizens, passerby’s and most importantly, the business community who decided to set up shop in this district.
Since the Main Street/1st Street portion of this project began in April 2018, these businesses saw a significant reduction in sales simply due to inaccessibility.
In October 2019 the Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) and the Village of Waterford identified an opportunity to alleviate the pressures of decreased business, with a no-interest loan program provided by local financial institutions and serviced by RCEDC’s finance division, Business Lending Partners (BLP).
Following a successful reception in 2019, BLP and the Village of Waterford are once again offering this opportunity to the businesses affected by construction in 2020.
John Kojis, owner of Mealy Funeral Home, located on 225 W Main St., said he had customers look elsewhere for their service because the construction caused such a confusion with parking. He took advantage of the program and purchased several signs directing those attending funerals to the back of the building where there is plenty of parking available.
“Think about what you can do with the extra funds to help during construction,” said Kojis. “Don’t let the construction take away revenue. Build trust by using the construction project to your advantage, along with these programs.”
The program offers working capital loans of $5,000 for new or existing, for-profit businesses located in the impacted areas of Waterford. Those areas include Main Street and Highways 20, 83 and 36. Other areas affected by the street closures are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Jim Filicetti, owner of KJ Tax & Accounting, Advanced Office Solutions and QBO Hero, all located at 501 E Main St., said he had to turn away 400 individuals from March 27 through August 15 due to limited access to their office. Several working days were lost when his water and sewer services were shut off, forcing Filicetti to send employees home during normal working hours.
“I can’t thank the BLP team enough for providing this intermediary opportunity to businesses like mine,” said Filicetti. “Whether the impact is minimal or extremely significant, I would highly recommend local businesses apply for this program. It is a quick and easy approval process and it helps alleviate some of the stress caused by this construction project.”
Loans are provided at 0 percent interest through December 31, 2020. The Waterford Road Construction Loan Program is made available through partnerships and funding by the following companies and financial institutions:
- BMO Harris Bank
- Johnson Financial Group
- JP Morgan Chase Bank
- S.C. Johnson
- Tri City National Bank
- US Bank
- Wells Fargo