Sign Grant

The Sign and Sign Maintenance Grant Program is intended to enhance the visual appeal of downtown Wausau's River District by stimulating investment in signage improvements.  More specifically, the program does this by financially supporting the efforts of business owners to design, create, install and maintain signage that is effective for their business while complementing the architecture of the building it adorns, the building and signage that surround it, and the overall image of the River District.  The Sign Grant awards a 50% reimbursement of total eligible project costs for the creation of new signage, up to a maximum award of $500.  The Sign Maintenance rant awards a 50% reimbursement of the total maintenance costs, up to a maximum of $100.  Please contact Wausau River District for more details and learn how to apply here or fill your application out today by clicking here.

Hot Happenings

Promote your business for FREE every week in our "Hot Happenings in The River District."   Weekly email to about 1,200 people and posted to Wausau River District's Facebook and Twitter accounts, totaling over 4,000 followers.  Subscribe today to start receiving e-mails!

Neighborhood Meetings

Quarterly meetings with the Wausau Police Department to ensure safety and discuss other conerns, so they are adequately addressed.  Please contact The Wausau River District if you would like to attend the next Neighborhood Meeting by clicking here.

Subscribe to Hot Happenings

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Planter Adoption Program Coordination

Another Fun and Unique way to give back to the community while advertising your business.  Contact the Wausau River District to reserve your planter by clicking here.


Social Media Interns

Receive assistance from Wausau area high schools to help start, maintain, and/or advance your social media presence

Technology Roundtable Series

Enables you to get the word out to customers and bring them through your door

Business Insights Team

With expertise in Legal, HR and Finance


Development Ambassadors

Will help you navigate the economic development system

River Report

Sign up for this monthly e-newsletter for River District business and property owners to keep them informed of happenings in the District.

Subscribe to the River Report

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Business Hours Study

We are proud to have been a part of Wisconsin Main Street's survey on extended business hours in downtowns. Several of our River District businesses participated in the study, which also highlighted First Thursdays' ability to bring new and increased foot traffic to stores in later hours.Thanks to all the businesses that participated and who help make the River District a vibrant place to live, work, play, and shop at all hours of the day.  View the Study be clicking here.

Wausau River District Partner Program

The Wausau River District, Inc. (WRD) invites your business to become a Friend of the River District (FORD) under our expanded program. FORDs are outside-District businesses whose services and offerings compliment River District businesses. Partners must invest $1,000 for a year, with an introductory year price of $750. The application will be reviewed by the WRD Organization Committee, which meets on the second Tuesday of each month. You will be notified after the meeting about your acceptance or rejection from the program. Participation may begin as soon as the applicable fees are paid. The base $300 investment gives you access to all services listed below. Even participation, where applicable, necessitates additional investment(s).

Wausau River District looks forward to working with you to continue to develop our thriving and vibrant downtown.

Associate Benefits:

  • Business listing, including logo, address, map, and website, listed as a Partner on

  • Social Media event sharing on all applicable and appropriate social media channels.

  • Add your business's specials and deals to Hot Happenings, a weekly e-mail to about 1,200 people, and is posted to WRD’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, totaling over 4,000 followers.

  • Neighborhood Meetings each quarter with Wausau Police Department to address safety and other concerns.

  • Access to WRD staff and interns, including Social Media interns to assist in developing your business’s online presence. WRD staff is available to assist with any business needs, ideas, concerns, or suggestions, including project partnerships and collaborations.

  • Promotional Roundtable Series to explore various methods of reaching your customers to help bring them through your door.

  • Our Business Insights Team is available to assist new and expanding businesses on a limited-term basis in the areas of Legal, HR, and Finance.

  • Development Ambassadors to help you navigate City processes as well as the social and political landscape of the District.

Additionally, WRD events are open for participation as well.

Women-Owned Business Study

Women-owned and -managed businesses have always been an important part of the small business landscape. From side businesses on farms to jointly managed small-scale retail operations and multinational corporations, women have played a prominent role in even the earliest aspects of the U.S. business ecosystem. Today, women entrepreneurs are one of the fastest-growing segments of business owners nationally, outpacing openings of businesses owned by men by 150 percent in the past two decades.  Click Here to Read Full Report.

Additional Resources

For additional business resources please click here.