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UNION GROVE – Racine County officials will pay entrepreneurs to open businesses in the village’s downtown, according to a city press release.

The Racine County Economic Development Corporation will offer up to $500 to business owners who sign a lease between three and five months in the downtown area. They will also receive assistance for finding a storefront, and business and marketing plan assistance from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Small Business Development Center.

The program is known as Union Grove BYOB for Build Your Own Business.

Businesses who remain downtown after the initial lease could receive additional grants and financing, according to the program’s website.

The program is designed to target new business ventures with a retail component, entrepreneurs who are looking to develop a storefront for an existing home-based business, seasonal businesses, and experienced business owners interested in a new location.

The program is also designed to attract businesses that are currently under-represented in the Union Grove downtown, including gifts, sporting or special interest stores, home goods, boutiques, décor, art, apparel, local goods, accessories, florists, specialty food businesses, children-focused businesses, and booksellers.

More information about the program is available by phone at (262) 898-7530 or online at

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.