Main Street Wisconsin is a program of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

In 2020, small businesses were stuck in a pretty tough place. Not only were the unknowns of the pandemic affecting their livelihood, Amazon and other large, non-local corporations continued to increase their market share with the convenience of online ordering and doorstep delivery.

Small businesses in Wisconsin needed a way to easily showcase their ability to provide curbside services and/or delivery during the lockdown – without much time or a budget to do so.


In partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, our team developed the MainStreetWI directory site leveraging the breadth of WordPress & advanced analytics within Google Tag Manager.

Other features aiding in support of small business and customer experience included:

  • Options to denote curbside pickup or delivery/shipping availability.
  • 37 Listing types – ranging from specialty foods to jewelry, sporting goods to relaxation offerings.
  • Supporting minority- and veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin was also really important. makes it easy for site visitors to search and shop for businesses that are Asian-, Black-, Hispanic-, LGBTQ-, Native-, Veteran, or Woman-owned.
  • Use of Google Tag Manager to track actions taken to support small, local businesses (website click, email, phone number) as well as store data on the popular filters being selected by site users (apparel, arts & crafts, etc.).

Other noteworthy highlights:

  • Site launch – from idea to completion – happened in less than one month. Due to our geeky & creative experience with directory sites and other supporting web tools, we had the framework ready to go. We made intentional and specific tweaks to support small business needs and the user experience.
  • Content was key here, and to keep with the fast pace and turnaround time to get this out in the wild, we turned to user-generated content. Local main street organizations and other small businesses helped to spread word and submit small business information in order to populate the listings/site. By December 2020, over 400 businesses were entered. In mid 2021, almost 650 small, local businesses were featured.

When we needed to pivot and offer new services to our programs during COVID, wisnet’s quick turnaround, forward-thinking ideas, and responsive team made it easy for us to launch a quality product, as well as to tweak and refine its function over the following year as conditions changed. The team was a great partner to us in the launch of a new website and functionality for our program during a tough time.


scope of work:

  • Project planning & business rules development
  • Site logo / icon design
  • UX/UI Design
  • Front end development
  • Ongoing improvements & maintenance

business impact:
As more individuals turn to online shopping, especially during COVID-19, continues to present the convenience of and greater online accessibility to small businesses for individuals who are passionate about shopping local. Additionally, showcases local products and services statewide of organizations who otherwise may not have the capacity, time, or budget to drive traffic, leads, and/or sales at that level.

Holiday shopping 2020 (Nov 1 – Dec 31) results

43,247 visits * With 16,000 daily visitor peek on Dec 15, 2020

82% of site visitors took action *clicked, called, emailed

68% of traffic from mobile devices *smartphone or tablet

Overall Results (since May 2020 launch)

645+ small businesses featured * and growing daily! Includes 542 downtown businesses

Top filters / searches:

• Specialty foods
• Artisan goods
• Women’s apparel
• Arts & crafts
• Madison, Green Bay, Appleton, Milwaukee, Wausau communities
• Delivery ordering options

Interested in supporting community & small business?
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