Happenings

There’s always something happening on Platteville Main Street.

Jul 25, 2013

Platteville Massage Therapy has opened at 20 S. Fourth St. in Platteville.

Owner Becky Ambrosy grew up milking cows on the family farm in Sherrill, Iowa. She majored in animal science with a dairy emphasis at UW–Platteville, and eventually added a business degree.

Over the years, Ambrosy benefited directly from therapeutic massages, and that ultimately led to her desire to open her own massage therapy business.

Following graduation from UWP, Ambrosy attended Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork in Madison. Blue Sky appealed to her because of its rigorous coursework and its ability to specialize in the medical track.

Ambrosy’s business goal is to help people achieve a more balanced life and to reduce stress levels. Blue Sky’s medical track included Precision Neuromuscular Therapy Seminars, which demonstrate how to massage each specific muscle from one attachment to the other attachment.

Platteville Massage Therapy offers deep tissue, Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, relaxation, Swedish, prenatal, lymphatic, craniosacral and chair msssages.

Ambrosy got assistance starting her business from the UW–Platteville Pioneer Launch Lab, Platteville Main Street Program, and Fundunity LLC, a business consulting firm.

Fundunity provided Ambrosy with technical expertise in website design, search engine optimization, and social media.

“At the beginning of the year, I had no online presence,” she said. “Now I am number one in many searches for massage therapy in Google, have over 165 likes on my Facebook page, and have done various Facebook ad campaigns, which has built my clientele.” She has a website, www.plattevillemassage.com, and she is on Facebook.

The Launch Lab connects students and recent alumni with resources, training and contacts to pursue the development of their for-profit business, social or nonprofit venture. It is comprised of people who dedicate their time, expertise and experience to provide resources, consultation, connections, assistance and mentoring to members.

“Participating in the Launch Lab helped me with marketing ideas and enabled me to network with both aspiring and established entrepreneurs,” said Ambrosy. “The lessons I learned and connections I made were amazing. I was also able to compete in events like the Elevator Pitch and Business Plan competition.”

Ambrosy worked closely with Jack Luedtke, Executive Director of Platteville’s Main Street to secure her business location. She is a member of the Platteville Main Street Program and Platteville Optimist Club.

Jul 15, 2013

Platteville Main Street Program® has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center®. Each year, the National Trust and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four-Point Approach® methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards,” says Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which works in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring and individual Main Street program’s application of the Mains Street Four-Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnership, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress, and preserving historic buildings.

“The Platteville Main Street Program® Board of Directors is very pleased to have achieved accreditation for our program. Very few of the 39 main Street Programs in Wisconsin pass the rigorous standards to obtain this honor. It speaks volumes for the quality and effectiveness of the Platteville program”, said Jack Luedtke, Executive Director of the Platteville Main Street Program.

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 32 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $55.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 473,535 net new jobs and 109,693 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 236,418 building, leveraging and average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their main Street district revitalization efforts.

Jun 13, 2013

Editor, Platteville Journal

The 2013 All-America City Awards will be held in Denver Friday through Sunday.

Platteville is one of 20 finalists and the only finalist from Wisconsin in the 2013 All-America City Awards, sponsored by the National Civic League.

Platteville’s presentation will be made by a contingent of 13, representing the City of Platteville, Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Program and UW–Platteville. The group also includes three veterans, two UW–Platteville students and one Platteville High School student.

No Wisconsin community has been named an All-America City since 2003.

“I think our chances are pretty good,” said Angie Donovan, the city’s communications specialist. “To be a finalist has placed Platteville on the map. If we win the award, I think it’s going to help us with economic development. It goes with national recognition.”

This year, the program is spotlighting community-wide initiatives that honor and benefit veterans and military families. The projects submitted for the awards were the Veterans Honor Roll in City Park, entrepreneurship efforts in the community, and eco-municipality efforts.

“We have a community that’s huge in collaboration — that’s one of the things the All America City committee has focused on,” said Donovan. “There’s a ton of collaboration in Platteville that you don’t see in other communities. That’s one of things they look for — inclusiveness.”

The other finalists are Birmingham, Ala.; Downey, Calif.; Brush, Colorado Springs and Montrose, Colo.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami Lakes and Sarasota County, Fla.; Peoria, Ill.; Owensboro, Ky.; Natchitoches, La.; Canton, N.Y.; Dunn, Garner and Thomasville, N.C.; Folly Beach, S.C.; The Colony, Texas; and Norfolk, Va. Dubuque, which was named an All-America City in 2007 and 2012, is also a finalist.

The awards are scheduled to be announced Sunday evening.

“Platteville is a great community to work and live in,” said Donovan. “We have the amenities of a large city with a small-town feel. You can walk down the street and be safe. And there is very little that you cannot get in Platteville.”

All-America City Awards recognize local action through community-based problem-solving and civic engagement efforts involving the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The designation gives the winning communities “bragging rights” than can help them recruit new businesses, increase jobs and obtain grants for community betterment projects in the future.

“All-America Cities set an example and a standard of excellence for local problem-solvers throughout the country,” said NCL President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. “This is an award that gives us hope, ideas and inspiration as we look for ways to address the difficult challenges we face as communities and as a nation.”

“AAC is more than an awards program,” said NCL Interim Chair Liz Hollander. “It gives communities a unique opportunity to celebrate their successes, but also to take a clear-eyed look at their civic capacities.”

Once described by pollster George Gallup as a “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment, the awards have been given to more than 600 communities since its inception in 1949. Some have won it as many as five and six times. Not just cities, but neighborhoods, towns, counties and metropolitan regions can apply for the prestigious award.

Previous All-America Cities in Wisconsin include Green Bay in 1964, La Crosse in 1965, Beloit in 1971, Madison in 1977 and 1978, Wausau in 1983 and 1984, Greater Green Bay in 1999, and Greater Racine in 2003.

To qualify for AAC, participants fill out applications listing three examples of successful community change. Applicants are encouraged to use the National Civic League’s “Civic Index,” a widely used tool for assessing community strengths and weaknesses. In their applications, they describe their capacities for civic engagement, collaboration; inclusiveness and innovation.

NCL will produce a report based on the finalists’ projects to inform communities seeking to improve their current initiatives or establish new ones benefiting veterans and military families.

Sponsors and partners of the 2013 All-America City Award include The Piton Foundation, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, PCL Construction Enterprises, Southwest Airlines, Greenberg Traurig, Merrick & Co., City of Aurora, Colo., BBVA Compass, City of Dublin, Calif., El Pomar Foundation, FirstBank, City of Lakewood, Colo., Alameda Gateway, RubinBrown, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Kettering Foundation is a research partner. The Colorado National Guard is a partner.

•    Platteville is also competing in a YouTube contest for All America City videos, with the winning city determined by the most Likes. The video is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AW403-_y1I.

 

Jun 4, 2013

VOTE FOR PLATTEVILLE!!  The City of Platteville is the ONLY nominated city in the State of Wisconsin this year for the All-American City Competition.  Let's all work together to bring success to Wisconsin.

Our video for the All-America City awards is now live at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AW403-_y1I [1]. Per the All America City directions, The winner of the contest will be the community that has the largest number of votes. The way to vote is to view the video on You Tube and click on the "like" button. Voters can use your original You Tube link or the You Tube links on our channel.

May 14, 2013
This Friday, May 17th, the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee is unveiling four new additions to Main Street: three artistic bike racks and the Second Street Arch, all built by local artists and all adding to the cultural heritage of downtown.  The unveiling, which begins at 5pm at Driftless Market, 95 W Main St, will feature short introductions to each of the artists and to the partners who made the projects possible.  Artists include the Fields Family of Platteville, WI; Baker Iron Works of Platteville, WI; Rich Fizzell of Brooklyn, WI; and the Schwert Family of Gays Mills, WI.  Artists will be present to answer questions.
 
Following the Unveiling Ceremony, at 6pm, a 3.4 mile family bike ride will be hosted by Momentum Bikes, 25 W Main St, and at 6:45 -8:30pm a brat grill out (and BYOB) at City Park will feature live music by Grandpa's Headache ($2 brats, all profits will be donated to improve the City Trail).  
 
A growing community, Platteville has recently seen an increase in bicycles throughout town.  These bike racks help support our bicycling community, keep cars off the road, and bring art to our downtown.  The bicycle racks were made possible through a generous grant from the Plattteville Community Fund.  This event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.
 
Questions or inquiries may be directed to Amy Seeboth, Platteville Main Street Committee Member, (608) 778-0873 amy.seeboth@gmail.com
 
See photographs of our new art here: http://www.facebook.com/events/166838593479297/
Apr 30, 2013

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement hosted the third annual Business Plan Competition at the Markee Pioneer Student Center April 17.

Participants submitted written business plans and had 10 minutes to present their business plans to a panel of three judges. The judges were Les Hollingsworth, UW-Platteville assistant marketing professor; Jack Luedtke, director of Platteville’s Main Street Program; and Craig Sauey, director of The Nordic Group.
Winners of UW-Platteville's third annual Business Plan Competition

Jordan Riemer, from Brodhead, Wis., received first place and was awarded $1,000 for his Grower’s Advantage, LLC business plan.  Riemer also received a professional consultation package sponsored by Platteville’s Main Street Program. The package includes four one-hour consultation sessions with Bob Stauffacher, executive vice president of American Bank of Platteville; Brock Waterman, owner of Fundunity, LLC; Terry Vaassen, CPA and PFS at Vaassen, Pluemer Certified Public Accountants; and Mike Olds, attorney at Kopp McKichan, LLP.

Tom Aronson, from Clinton, Iowa, received second place and was awarded $750 for his Droptine Apparel business plan. Becky Ambrosy, from Sherrill, Iowa, received third place and was awarded $500 for her Platteville Massage Therapy, LLC business plan.

Other participants were Joshua Inglett, from Portage, Wis., with Inglett Enterprises; Joshua Joseph, from Viola, Wis., with Richland Maple Syrup; and Jacob Luginbuhl, from Verona, Wis., with Hometown Painting Services, LLC. Each received $250 for their presentations.      

The Business Plan Competition was sponsored by the Platteville Main Street Program, W.R. and Floy A. Sauey Family Foundation, Wisconsin Bank and Trust of Platteville, and Robert Hoffland, of Montgomery, Texas.
  
Contact: Kathy Neumeister, UW-Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement, (608) 342-6020, neumeisterk@uwplatt.edu

Formatted by: Nicole Smith, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, smithnico@uwplatt.edu

Apr 22, 2013

You’re Invited! We hope that you will be able to attend the Unveiling Ceremony Creative Bike Rack winners, along with the Metal Arch spanning Historic 2nd Street, on Friday, May 17th at 5pm on Main Street. See complete details below.

Thanks to the creative designs of several local and regional artists and metal workers, Platteville’s Main Street will soon be home to three unique bike racks.  The creative designs were submitted in response to a competition, which was organized and managed by the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee and generously funded by a grant from the Platteville Community Fund.  This is the result of the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee’s Creative Bike Rack Design Competition, in which community members and metal workers were invited to submit design proposals for functional public art bike racks to enhance the Main Street district.

Creative Bike Rack and 2nd Street Arch Unveiling Ceremony: Friday, May 17th

5:00 – 6:00 pm we meet in front of Driftless Market (95 West Main Street) and will walk down Main Street spending approx. 10 minutes at each rack and the 2nd Street Arch to recognize the artists, hand out award check, and photograph the artist with their rack. **Be prepared to make a brief statement about the inspiration for your design.

6:00 – 6:30 pm interested riders will meet in front of Momentum Bikes to set off on a 30 minute community / family ride. (this will be the location of the last rack to be recognized).

6:45 @ City Park – Join us for a celebration with food and music in the Platteville City Park – just off of Main Street near the Driftless Market where we started. Music will be provided by Grandpa's Headache -  http://www.facebook.com/GrandpasHeadache?fref=ts

Apr 11, 2013

Editor, Platteville Journal

Platteville is one of 20 finalists in the 2013 All-America City Awards.

The National Civic League has invited 20 communities, including representatives from Platteville and Dubuque, to the annual All-America City Awards competition in Denver June 14–16.

The other finalists are Birmingham, Ala.; Downey, Calif.; Brush, Colorado Springs and Montrose, Colo.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami Lakes and Sarasota County, Fla.; Peoria, Ill.; Owensboro, Ky.; Natchitoches, La.; Canton, N.Y.; Dunn, Garner and Thomasville, N.C.; Folly Beach, S.C.; The Colony, Texas; and Norfolk, Va.

Platteville is the only Wisconsin city to reach the 2013 finals. Dubuque was named an All-America City in 2007 and 2012.

This year, the program is spotlighting community-wide initiatives that honor and benefit veterans and military families. Next year, the 65th anniversary of the program, the focus will be on communities that foster healthier lifestyles for their residents.

“All-America Cities set an example and a standard of excellence for local problem-solvers throughout the country,” said NCL President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. “This is an award that gives us hope, ideas and inspiration as we look for ways to address the difficult challenges we face as communities and as a nation.”

A committee composed of Kathy Kopp, executive director of the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce; Jack Luedtke, executive director of the Platteville Main Street Program; Melissa Pahl, executive director of the Platteville Area Industrial Development Corp.; Ed White, executive director of the Platteville Business Incubator, Inc.; Rose Smyrski, Special Assistant to the Chancellor at UW–Platteville; City Manager Larry Bierke; and Angie Donovan, Communications Specialist for the City of Platteville, assembled the applications and determined which three projects best exemplified Platteville.

“We are honored to be a finalist community for this award,” said Bierke. “Platteville should be proud of all the accomplishments we have, as it was a challenge to narrow down our top three projects. All the people here and all the things we do are what makes our community great.”

The projects submitted for the awards were the Veterans Honor Roll in City Park, entrepreneurship efforts in the community, and eco-municipality efforts.

All-America City Awards recognize local action through community-based problem-solving and civic engagement efforts involving the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The designation gives the winning communities “bragging rights” than can help them recruit new businesses, increase jobs and obtain grants for community betterment projects in the future.

“AAC is more than an awards program,” said NCL Interim Chair Liz Hollander. “It gives communities a unique opportunity to celebrate their successes, but also to take a clear-eyed look at their civic capacities.”

Once described by pollster George Gallup as a “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment, the awards have been given to more than 600 communities since its inception in 1949. Some have won it as many as five and six times. Not just cities, but neighborhoods, towns, counties and metropolitan regions can apply for the prestigious award.

The 2012 All-America Cities are San Francisco; Tahoe/Truckee, Calif.; the Quad Cities; Dubuque; Marshalltown, Iowa; Louisville; Baltimore; Pittsfield and Springfield, Mass.; Southern Pines, N.C.; Providence, R.I.; San Antonio; Roanoke, Va.; and Seattle and South King County cities, Wash.

Previous All-America Cities in Wisconsin include Green Bay in 1964, La Crosse in 1965, Beloit in 1971, Madison in 1977 and 1978, Wausau in 1983 and 1984, Greater Green Bay in 1999, and Greater Racine in 2003.

To qualify for AAC, participants fill out applications listing three examples of successful community change. Applicants are encouraged to use the National Civic League’s “Civic Index,” a widely used tool for assessing community strengths and weaknesses. In their applications, they describe their capacities for civic engagement, collaboration; inclusiveness and innovation.

NCL will produce a report based on the finalists’ projects to inform communities seeking to improve their current initiatives or establish new ones benefiting veterans and military families.  

Sponsors and partners of the 2013 All-America City Award include The Piton Foundation, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, PCL Construction Enterprises, Southwest Airlines, Greenberg Traurig, Merrick & Co., City of Aurora, Colo., BBVA Compass, City of Dublin, Calif., El Pomar Foundation, FirstBank, City of Lakewood, Colo., Alameda Gateway, RubinBrown, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Kettering Foundation is a research partner. The Colorado National Guard is a partner.

Apr 4, 2013

On Monday, April 1st, a group of 19 Platteville Main Street® merchants made a bus trip to Prairie du Chien to attend a workshop presented by award-winning designer, Lyn Falk.  Lyn and her talented team of professionals have spent over 25 years studying the subtleties of consumer behavior and applying a proven holistic philosophy to retail store design.  They help merchants create beautiful, productive, and profitable environments in their stores where customers feel welcome, and spend both more time and more money when they shop.

Successful businesses have an image or signature look that tells a “story”.  When stores have remodeled using the principles of design, appealing to the six senses, they realized an increase in traffic and sales of 25% or more.

Besides the workshop on Monday night, Ms. Falk was in Platteville on April 4th for 1-on-1 visits with several of the stores who attended the workshop.

Ms. Falk’s workshop and 1-on-1 visits were sponsored, at no cost to our merchants, by the Wisconsin Main Street® Program and coordinated by the Platteville Main Street® Program.

Apr 4, 2013

Alyssa Bloechl, Editor in Chief, UW Exponent

Downtown Platteville attracts residents and students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with small shops, unique attractions and a charming historical atmosphere.  A bike store, movie theater, hair salons and places to grab a bite to eat draw people to the pavement on Main Street.  There is more to the downtown area than the local shops, and a non-profit organization which advocates for its improvement.

The Main Street Program is what keeps the business atmosphere in Platteville so vibrant.  Established in July of 1999, the Main Street Program has been working as an independent non-profit organization to assist and preserve the established quality of the area as well as introduce new ideals of business to downtown.  The program is nationally accredited through the National Historic Trust and is separate from the City of Platteville.

One hundred and seventeen businesses are part of the Main Street Program which decides how the buildings themselves are filled and how improvements are made. Executive Director of the Main Street Program Jack Luedtke said that the Program ensures the storefronts are full and inviting to keep businesses running in downtown Platteville.

“Our mission is to help the new businesses and entrepreneurs that want to move into the downtown area,” Luedtke said. “The city does not own any property or business on Main Street.”

Along with collecting new running businesses, the Main Street Program works with grant programs to help improve the look of the businesses in Platteville. Currently, there is a Curb Appeal matching grant available for use. If a business were to improve the front of their buildings, a grant would match the funds the business used to make the repairs.

The city accepted a plan in January of 2011, which allows the Main Street Program to use a strategic plan for redevelopment purposes of current businesses as well as locate viable tenants for empty locations.

Second Street has seen improvements including new sidewalks and recycling bins. Other improvements to 2nd Street include the rebuilding of Chicago’s Best, the building of a new restaurant, Gina’s Bar and Restaurant and soon there will be a new archway distinguishing the 2nd Street district.

Newer business additions that the Main Street Program helped bring in and establish into the downtown area include Jimmy John’s, MVP Sports Cuts, Noodle House, Etc., Miner’s Sports Bistro and Kassie’s Critters.

Kassie Burbach, certified veterinary technician, recently opened Kassie’s Critters pet shop on Main Street next to Jimmy John’s. Burbach offers small animals to buy including guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, fish and more. She also sells pet supplies, treats and tools. She will have a grooming addition with a certified groomer ready for use in late April.

“I am always looking for suggestions for what people would like to have available in the store,” Burbach said. “ I wanted it to be a place that I would like to shop.”

Burbach said that she wanted to run a business on Main Street in Platteville because it was close to campus and people like to look in the stores on Main.

Deshira Zeneli and her husband Tony opened the Miner’s Sports Bistro on the corner of 2nd and Main St. The couple is local to Madison where they own a Subway, but they came here because they heard about the growing campus.

“We thought it was a shame this location was empty,” said Deshira Zeneli. “This town is full of history and originality. We even have pictures of historical Platteville featured in the restaurant.”

The Main Street Program works to improve all aspects of the downtown area, but it has had to deal with some challenges when it comes to the rowdy atmosphere around 2nd Street bar time.

“It has been an issue in Platteville for a long time,” Luedke said. “Whether you see it as a positive or negative is up to individuals. The positive effect of student volunteers to Main Street projects and employment really pushes aside the minority of negative complaints that are stated.”

The Main Street area businesses are beneficial to students in ways other than volunteering, shopping and fun. Many UW-Platteville students are employed at the various businesses as either general employees or as interns. Los Amigo’s Restaurant, Miner’s Sports Bistro, Driftless Market and Momentum Bikes are just a few examples of the different businesses that take on student employment.

“We see the University as being our westward anchor to Main Street and east towards the Mining Museum,” Luedke said. “Our goal is to continually build that relationship.”

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