Mayor Re-evaluates Funding for Public Market


Madison Public Market Foundation’s response regarding the Mayor’s re-evaluation of funding for the Madison Public Market project due to COVID-19

Our Madison Public Market is a shovel-ready project that’s been in the making for nearly 20 years. The core mission of the Madison Public Market is equity-based economic development. As an economic development project, the Market is uniquely positioned to quickly provide jobs and advancement opportunities for 30+ permanent small business vendors, with a special focus on minority and female entrepreneurs through the MarketReady program. Flexible daily, weekly, or monthly vending stalls can be made available to support another 100+ small businesses.

Two years from now a Public Market will be EXACTLY what our recovering local businesses and economy needs. Small businesses will require an affordable, supportive place to do business where they are stronger together. Our Madison Public Market will be an essential step in our region’s economic recovery.

Due to the financial impact of COVID-19, the Mayor’s office is reassessing all City department budgets and projects, including the Public Market. When asked by the Wisconsin State Journal in a recent article whether the project could stall or end, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway shared, “That’s certainly a possibility. I don’t think that’s anyone’s first choice. The landscape has shifted. There’s a lot of things in flux right now. I think everything is on the table at this point.”

The Madison Public Market Foundation recognizes the City’s significant financial challenges and has been exploring additional funding opportunities. In partnership with the City, the Foundation has been invited to apply for a $3M grant from federal COVID-related funding. Other opportunities are also being explored. Importantly, the Foundation will operate the Market and assume the financial risks of the entity.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that the City’s $7M investment is not coming out of the General Fund or debt service. The dollars are allocated from TID District #36 that requires current available funding be invested specifically in economic development projects for the E. Washington corridor. Previous funds from TID #36 have funded projects such as the newest City parking garage, Breese Stevens Field and private apartment developments. Investing TID #36 dollars into a Public Market that will uplift small businesses is just as worthy if not more critical than the other projects completed through this fund.

Recent progress made to support the City’s smart investment in our Market includes:

  • Secured $3M in private donations and pledges to fulfill our fundraising commitment to the City, with opportunity to raise more dollars
  • Invitation to apply for $3M in COVID-related federal funding
    $3M in strong interest from New Market Tax Credit investors
    Successful completion of the first phase of MarketReady
  • Architectural design plans complete and waiting for City approval
    New Fleet Services building is nearly complete, making the current Fleet Building soon-to-be-vacant and ready for the Market
  • The Madison Public Market project is ready to launch. At a time when our community is most in need, we are fortunate to have a shovel-ready project that will uplift small businesses and provide equitable economic opportunities to minority entrepreneurs. Please join with us and show support for our Madison Public Market!

The Madison Public Market project is ready to launch. At a time when our community is most in need, we are fortunate to have a shovel-ready project that will uplift small businesses and provide equitable economic opportunities to minority entrepreneurs.

Please email the City and ask them to maintain Market funding and move our #MarketForward! The City has received an outpouring of support for our Market. Let’s keep it going!

mayor@cityofmadison.com
allalders@cityofmadison.com

For Talking Points and more information, click here.

To the thousands of Madisonians who supported our public market through volunteering, attending our events, speaking out at public meetings, or simply sharing our progress on social media, we THANK YOU for going on this journey with us. We wouldn’t have made it this far without you.

“I am excited about the sensory experience that the Madison Public Market will offer. Some of my most memorable travel experiences have been the sights and smells of souks and markets in North Africa and South America. It is so great to meet the people who produce the products.” - Tom Otto, Economic Development Specialist, City of Madison

See What People are Saying