Ripon Community Development Authority (CDA)

Our Purpose

Creating a CDA can bring various benefits to the city. CDAs are special entities designed to promote community development and undertake projects that contribute to the growth and enhancement of neighborhoods and local economies.


Advantages of Establishing a CDA in Wisconsin:

  • Urban Revitalization: CDAs can play a crucial role in revitalizing blighted or underdeveloped areas. By identifying and redeveloping these areas, CDAs can attract new businesses, residents, and investments, leading to increased economic activity and improved living conditions.
  • Affordable Housing: CDAs can focus on creating and preserving affordable housing options for low and moderate-income residents. This helps to address housing shortages, reduce homelessness, and enhance the overall quality of life in the community.
  • Economic Development: CDAs can foster economic development by supporting projects that stimulate job growth and business expansion. This can lead to increased tax revenues for the city and create a more robust local economy.
  • Public Infrastructure Improvements: In limited cases, CDAs can undertake projects to improve public infrastructure, such as roads, parks, utilities, and community facilities.
  • Community Engagement: CDAs often involve community members in the decision-making process, ensuring that development plans align with the needs and desires of the residents. This helps remove politics out of development.
  • Funding Flexibility: CDAs can access various funding sources, including loans, grants, tax credits, and private investments, which might not be available to other municipal entities. This financial flexibility allows CDAs to undertake projects that might otherwise be challenging for the city alone.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: CDAs can facilitate partnerships between the public and private sectors. These collaborations leverage the expertise and resources of both parties, leading to more comprehensive and successful development projects.
  • Brownfield Redevelopment: CDAs can take the lead in converting contaminated or abandoned properties (brownfields) into productive and environmentally safe areas.
  • Long-term Planning: CDAs often develop long-term development plans for the city, guiding growth and ensuring that development is sustainable and in line with the community's vision for the future.
  • Neighborhood Stabilization: CDAs can stabilize neighborhoods by acquiring and rehabilitating vacant or foreclosed properties, preventing further blight and maintaining property values.


It's important to note that while CDAs offer many benefits, their effectiveness depends on proper governance, community involvement, and the ability to secure funding and partnerships. Each city's situation is unique, and careful consideration should be given to the specific needs and goals of the community before establishing a CDA. See UW-Madison Working Paper:

**NEW**  Small Business Development Grant

The City of Ripon’s Community Development Authority (CDA) has launched the Small Business Development Grant to boost economic growth and nurture local entrepreneurship. It aims to aid new businesses in overcoming initial hurdles and securing long-term viability. This initiative highlights Ripon's commitment to fostering local businesses and strengthening the city's economic landscape, inviting eligible entrepreneurs to capitalize on this support to realize their business aspirations.


Grant Details:

The Small Business Development Grant offers eligible businesses up to $5,000.00 as a forgivable loan. Key eligibility criteria include:

  • Having ten or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
  • Being a retail or hospitality-based business (office, service, and manufacturing businesses are ineligible).
  • Establishing a physical place of business in a commercial (B-1 or B-2 zoning) district within Ripon.
  • Applying prior to opening or within the first two months of establishing their business.
  • Demonstrating a viable business plan and participating in business development courses.


Use of Funds:

Grant funds may be used for essential start-up expenses such as purchasing equipment, leasehold improvements, marketing, licensing fees, and initial operational costs.


Terms and Conditions:

The grant is forgivable based on the business remaining operational for at least two years. Should the business cease operations within the specified timeframe, repayment of the grant plus 7% interest may be required. The CDA may take a security interest in business assets funded by the grant.


Application Process:

Interested businesses are required to:

  1. Complete the Small Business Development Grant Application Form.
  2. Submit a detailed business plan and budget proposal.
  3. Provide supporting documents including permits, licenses, and financial statements.


Review and Approval:

Applications will be reviewed by the City of Ripon’s CDA Committee, with selected applicants entering into a formal grant agreement outlining terms and conditions.


Monitoring and Reporting:

Grant recipients must submit progress reports detailing fund usage and business development within three months of receiving funds. Site visits may be conducted to ensure compliance.


Contact Information:

City of Ripon Community Development Authority (CDA)

Adam Sonntag, City Administrator’s

100 Jackson St. Ripon, WI 54971