Three businesses in Willow Lake have been awarded low-interest loans from a new Business Development Fund created by Willow Lake Area Advancement. Gunners Back When, The Rusty Nail and Tony’s Electric have each been awarded $3,000 under the program designed to assist new or expanding businesses in southern Clark County.
The Business Development Fund was created last year by Willow Lake Area Advancement (WLAA) when the economic development group decided to reinvest money generated by Lake Grocery, its community-owned grocery store, into the larger business community. The investment from WLAA was matched by the City of Willow Lake and Willow Lake Lions Club.
“We are grateful for the matching funds for the investment in the Business Development Fund, which made it possible to help three new and expanding businesses in our community,” said Kristin Brekke Vandersnick, President of Willow Lake Area Advancement. “We wish these three businesses the very best as they establish and grow in our community.”
Gunners Back When is a bar and restaurant located in Willow Lake, owned and operated by Ken Lund. The Rusty Nail is the new steakhouse on Willow Lake’s main street, organized last year by Community Partners Inc., a group of local investors. Tony’s Electric is a new business owned and operated by Tony Konechne of rural Willow Lake. Tony and his wife Ashley (Knock) moved back to the area last year when she took the third grade teaching position at Willow Lake Elementary.
As the loans are paid back to Willow Lake Area Advancement, the group will make funding available to other businesses in future years.