Progress Lakeshore can assist with various financial incentives that might be available for a business start-up, expansion or new location. We work with the business contacts, the municipality and state agencies as appropriate to access financial incentives that work for your project.

What is a Revolving Loan Fund?

Revolving Loan Funds are designed to provide funds, generally at favorable interest rates, that can assist entrepreneurs with funds needed to start or expand a business. Loans are generally tied to maintaining or expanding the workforce. As a business repays the funds to the lending unit of government, that money becomes available to other eligible businesses to help finance additional economic development projects. Several municipalities and utility companies in Manitowoc County offer Revolving Loan Funds, each with their own goals, criteria, and application process.

What is Tax Increment Financing?

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a vehicle used by Wisconsin cities and villages to pay for public improvements and other eligible costs within a designated area, called a tax incremental district (TID), by using the future taxes collected on the district’s increased property value to repay the cost of the improvements. The rationale behind TIF is that the public investment will promote private development, jobs, and tax base growth that would not otherwise occur “but for” the use of TIF. Generally, TIF funds may be used to offset the cost of infrastructure needed on the site. Each municipality designates its own TIDs based on it’s unique needs and based on State of Wisconsin laws. Likewise, each municipality evaluates requests for TIF assistance based on the unique characteristics of each project, the needs and obligations of the municipality, and the process and requirements dictated by the State of Wisconsin.

What Are Industrial Revenue Bonds?

Manitowoc County municipalities participate in Wisconsin’s Industrial Revenue Bond program. The Wisconsin program now has more than $200 million available to assist small manufacturers with expansion projects through low interest financing. The Department of Commerce grants the bonding authority (volume cap allocation) to cities, villages, and towns to issue the bonds on behalf of a business.

Private Investment Committee

Progress Lakeshore is tapped into individuals sometimes known as angel investors and venture capitalists who make investments into qualified and fast-growth companies. They can be vital sources of capital for many kinds of businesses, from existing to start-ups. Providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to turn a vision into reality, venture capitalists and angel investors lay the foundation for a healthy, vibrant economy. They not only act as a source of capital, but also offer a wealth of knowledge to fledgling entrepreneurs. Venture capital and angel investment funds offer a unique opportunity to tailor financial assistance that meets specific needs of business.

Contact Progress Lakeshore at (920) 482-0540 for more information.


City of Manitowoc Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

The City of Manitowoc Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was created to promote local economic development throughout the community, but with an emphasis on the downtown. It focuses on loan terms that encourage business expansion and attraction, supporting job retention and growth, and strengthening an entrepreneur-friendly environment. 

Revolving loans are available for small and emerging private business enterprises for acquisition, construction, rehabilitation/repairs, machinery and equipment, working capital, and operating costs. The program’s goal is the creation of one full time job for every $10,000 lent. 

Manitowoc Public Utilities – Economic Development Loan Program (EDLP)

The City of Manitowoc’s public utility offers The Economic Development Loan Program (EDLP) that is designed to provide low interest loans of between $5,000 and $500,000 to new and existing utility commercial and industrial customers. The funds are to be used for the installation of electrical equipment and electric facilities that will increase the recipient’s electric load by at least 200 KW.

Manitowoc Public Utilities – Energy Efficiency Shared Savings Loan Program (SSLP)

The MPU Energy Efficiency Shared Savings Loan Program (SSLP) is designed to provide low interest loans of between $5,000 and $50,000 to new and existing utility commercial customers for installing energy efficiency electrical equipment.

City of Manitowoc TIF

Manitowoc has used TIF to accommodate and support selected new industrial and commercial development projects. This requires execution and compliance with a Developers Performance Agreement. Click here for a map of the City of Manitowoc TIF Districts.


City of Two Rivers Revolving Loan Fund Program

The Two Rivers (TR) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) offers competitive financing to help companies fund new or expansion projects. The City’s RLF has helped more than 25 companies expand operations and create jobs in Two Rivers. The City collects an estimated $300,000 to $450,000 in loan payments each year, which can then be used to support other growing businesses. 

City of Two Rivers TIF

In Two Rivers, three of the seven existing TIF districts have assisted industrial development, while four have assisted in the redevelopment of blighted or obsolete properties. The value of TIF districts in Two Rivers is about 10% higher than projected. The goal is to stimulate private, taxable development within the district. For a detailed description of the eligible TIF Costs, exclusions, financing methods, and other details, click the button below.

City of Two Rivers Downtown Loan Program

This loan is available specifically for businesses located in Two Rivers’ Business Improvement District (a Main Street Program). It offers 3% fixed rate financing for up to 8 years. Other terms and conditions apply. In addition, one-time federal and state credits are available to businesses in the Business Improvement District to help rehabilitate buildings that were constructed before 1936 or are on the National Register of Historic Places.

City of Two Rivers Utility Incentive Program

Two Rivers Water & Light has several programs for commercial and industrial customers to help save money through improved energy efficiency. Whether you’re upgrading equipment, renovating your facility, thinking about expanding, or simply looking to reduce your energy costs, check out their information and call to see if you can benefit from their programs.

City of Two Rivers Opportunity Zone

According to the IRS, “Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool that allows people to invest in distressed areas in the United States.” Their purpose is to spur economic growth and job creation in low-income communities, while providing tax benefits to investors. The Opportunity Zone areas are defined census tracks that are identified and certified by the State, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Treasury. More information about Opportunity Zones can be found on the IRS website: