“Business and Economic Development in Western Wisconsin” was the topic of the May 2013 installment of the “Breakfast with Bakke Norman” series. A group of panelists offered information to businesses and governmental officials about the resources and opportunities that exist to grow the Wisconsin economy.
The panelists include:
- Ryan Murray, Chief Operating Officer for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
- Char Gurney, Economic Development Fund Manager at West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
- Mark Tyler, President of OEM Fabricators, Inc.
- Tom Schumacher, Attorney and Managing Shareholder at Bakke Norman
Other Videos from the, “Business and Economic Development in Western Wisconsin” series.
Ryan Murray discussed WEDC’s efforts to raise awareness that Wisconsin is not just beer, cheese and the Packers, but is also a great place to do business. He shared some of the resources that are available for businesses that want to locate in Wisconsin, including online tools that identify what resources specific locations offer (see LocateInWI.com), direct financial support and the Qualified New Business Ventures program. Ryan also indicated that we will be seeing more visibility of the “in Wisconsin” branding, as they work to tell Wisconsin’s story and attract new business to Wisconsin.
Char Gurney informed the group of the ways in which the Regional Business Fund can assist business growth in our region. Tools available include a revolving loan fund, a micro loan fund for start-up businesses, the downtown facade loan program and the technology enterprise fund.
Mark Tyler shared his experience in partnering his business with the technical college system and a local high school to create a pool of skilled workers. Mark sought out the partnership because his business was having difficulty finding skilled workers. That problem will only increase as more workers are leaving the workforce for retirement than are entering the workforce to replace them. The program keeps high school students engaged, decreases their post-secondary education costs by earning college credit while in high school, and shortens their path to full-time employment. Mark encouraged those interested to visit goldcollarcareers.com.
Tom Schumacher’s discussion drew on his experiences working with municipalities, businesses and community banks to fund and develop business in the area. He encouraged municipalities to know their best attributes and utilize them to partner with businesses that fit best.