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Canceled events impact businesses and non-profits

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:26 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - With the cancellation of many Chippewa Valley events, local groups are looking for ways to make up for lost revenue.

From the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, to Oktoberfest and many more, groups in Chippewa Falls rely on the revenue generated from events in the region. But what happens when those events are not able to happen. Now, the Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce and Chippewa Falls Main Street are looking to help businesses and non-profits bridge the gap.

With the cancellation of many Chippewa Valley events, local groups are looking for ways to make up for lost revenue.
With the cancellation of many Chippewa Valley events, local groups are looking for ways to make up for lost revenue.(WEAU)

“We’re going to miss these events, we’re going to miss the tourists coming into town absolutely no question,” says Chippewa Falls Main Street director Teri Ouimette. “We are a downtown that always has been supported by our local community and surrounding communities.”

According to Northern Wisconsin State Fairground executive director Rusty Volk, more than 250,000 people visited the grounds last year alone. Those events generated more than $12 million for the region.

“I don’t know how to bridge that gap,” Ouimette says.

For Chippewa Falls Chamber tourism director Jackie Boos, the impact from these events being canceled will be felt for a long time.

“The economic impacts we will see for months and even into next year,” Boos says. “Unfortunately, the trickle effect of lost revenue, weekend over weekend, sporting events having to cancel as well, our hotel and motel partners are taking a large hit.”

According to Chippewa Falls Chamber programs director Tasha Weiss, that hit hurts more than local businesses, it also hurts local non-profits.

“Oktoberfest was the first event that we had to cancel and that is obviously a big one for these groups,” Weiss says. “A lot of the things that they do have also been put on hold.”

In an effort to get dollars flowing once again, both the Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce and Chippewa Falls Main Street are promoting Chippewa Falls itself, instead of the missing events.

“The takeaway here is, as a community and a region, we are extremely lucky to have the type of amenities we push on a national and regional marketing strategy,” Boos says.

Ouimette says Chippewa Falls Main Street is in the middle of the 'Bounce Back Chippewa Falls' initiative, which aims to get more local dollars spent downtown.

“All you have to do is fill out a small registration form, they are in all the businesses, bring your receipts, doesn’t matter how many,” Ouimette says. “For every $10 dollars you spend, you get entered to win $1,000, $500 or $250 in downtown gift certificates.”

They hope the community steps up, to help out.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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