Create Portage County using SPRINT grant to help local businesses, entrepreneurs

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - After being awarded the Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology, or SPRINT grant by the Economic Development Administration, Create Portage County is turning its attention to north-central Wisconsin. The goal of the SPRINT grant is to create entrepreneurial services like Create Portage County in 10 Wisconsin counties.

“What this grant allows us to do is to provide support for other communities in the area that’s doing similar work to what we’ve been doing in Portage County,” Create Portage County Executive Director Greg Wright said.

COVID-19 moved a lot of people into different workforces. Wright says many people ended up in the entrepreneurial sector.

“We’re trying to take advantage of that growth in entrepreneurship to provide that growth for people who are starting their own businesses. So we can grow and strengthen more businesses in central Wisconsin,” Wright said.

Create Portage County is partnering with the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. One observation was that rural Wisconsin communities were struggling to support entrepreneurs.

“The goal is to get the small businesses to move out of the garages and build businesses and business parks and add people,” North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Dennis Lawrence said.

Ultimately the goal is to make central Wisconsin a better place to work and live.

“We see a real future for north-central Wisconsin, and branding all of the small communities here as really supportive places for creative people,” Wright said.

If you would like to apply to partner with Create Portage County, you can find more information here.

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