More than 200,000 jobs were created in July 2017 across the United States. Those numbers brought the national unemployment rate to less than five percent. The local economy reflects that positive trend as businesses continue to pop up and grow in Downtown La Crosse.
In the last five years, more than 100 new businesses have set up shop in Downtown La Crosse. Many of those businesses continue to grow and expand.
Robin Moses, Executive Director of Downtown Mainstreet, Inc., said there are currently 13 open units available to prospective business owners. Downtown business owners old and new said it takes one vacant space to make dreams a reality.
For Addie Tourville, it started with a dream.
"When I first decided that I wanted to open up a store front, I was weighing all of the options in the area," said Addie Tourville, founder of Addiecakes. "Ultimately, I fell in love with downtown."
Just one year later, the community support is leading Addiecakes to take the next step in business.
"When we first opened here, we didn't predict the overwhelming support that we have received from the community," Tourville said. "We just announced that we are opening our second location in Valley View Mall."
As businesses grow and expand, Unwound Artisan Yarn Shop, the newest downtown business, opened on Tuesday.
"Opening a shop downtown felt like we were filling a void," said Carolyn Zick, co-founder of Unwound Artisan Yarn Shop. "There weren't any shops that focused like we do on the artisan yarns."
"What I really love is that we have a lot of young entrepreneurs, people in their twenties and thirties starting their first business," Moses said.
Entrepreneurs bring new products to the area.
"La Crosse has just an amazing, creative vibe around it," said Kait Holton, co-founder of Unwound Artisan Yarn Shop. "We can feed off of that with this shop. Not only will that environment help us, but we can give back to that."
The vacancies could jump start passion into profits.
"It's not that people are just opening a business downtown, but they're opening their business and they're succeeding," Moses said. "That's what's really exciting."
"If you can put in the hard work, and you have the dedication to do it, and you're super passionate about it, there's nothing that can hold you back," Tourville said.
The new Launch La Crosse website provides resources for business owners of all experience levels. The website is a collaboration between economic development groups in the area. Moses said another great starting place for those interested in opening a business is classes offered at the Small Business Development Center and Couleecap.
If you are interested in opening a business downtown, you can call Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. at 608-784-0440. From there, Robin Moses will lead you through a walk and talk to find what location would work best for you and your business goals.