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Business owners get Main Street awards

May 2, 2018 GMT

Wisconsin Main Street held its annual awards ceremony in Ripon on Friday evening where Sandra and Jeff Budewitz of Sandra D’s Bridal took home top honors for their building façade restoration project and Susanne Bradow of Bradow Jewelers was recognized as Watertown’s outstanding program volunteer for 2017.

Watertown has been a designated Wisconsin Main Street community since 2000. Each year, the annual awards ceremony, which is hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and held in different locations across the state, recognizes volunteers and outstanding projects in a variety of categories. During the 2016 Wisconsin Main Street Awards, Watertown won for Best Creative Fundraising Effort for its Santa House fundraising campaign.

“WEDC congratulates Sandra and Jeff Budewitz and Susanne Bradow for their outstanding efforts to revitalize and improve their downtown,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “A vibrant downtown is critical to a community’s overall economic development as well as the quality of life for its residents, and we commend the Budewitzes and Ms. Bradow for being among the best in the state when it comes to strengthening their downtown.”

Sandra D’s Bridal won in the category of Best Façade Rehabilitation Under $10,000. Using a façade rendering provided by WEDC and a grant from the Watertown Main Street Program, the Budewitzes restored the building’s second-story windows, rebuilt the wooden framing surrounding the store-front window adding decorative accents and repainted the façade in historically appropriate colors. They also added new signage and decorative lighting.

Bradow was recognized for her volunteer contributions to the Main Street Program which include her leadership in organizing Women’s Only Weekend, Maxwell Street Days, Pumpkin Palooza and more. Bradow also works closely with Main Street Program Executive Director Melissa Lampe to initiate new projects and activities downtown.

“Watertown was well represented at the Main Street Awards and we are very proud of our award winners,” said Lampe. “The awards are very competitive, and there are always so many exciting projects nominated by Main Street communities from across the state. It’s very rewarding when our efforts in Watertown are recognized and it’s always great to see what other communities are doing to revitalize their downtowns.

Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to 33 participating Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 2,600 new businesses and more than 14,000 net new jobs. In addition, more than $1.7 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.