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Wisconsin Economic Development Directory

WI Statewide Economic Development Agencies

Forward Wisconsin Inc.
Jan Alf
800 Main Street
Pewaukee, WI USA 53072
Would you like to advertise here? call 732-559-1265 or email Jim Semple at jsemple@groupc.com

WI Utilities

Alliant Energy
Bruce Kepner
Economic Development Manager
4902 North Biltmore Lane
Madison, WI USA 53718
Madison Gas & Electric
Phyllis Wilhelm
Director of Economic Development
P.O. Box 1231
Madison, WI USA 53701-1231
Xcel Energy
Vern R. Kenas, CEcD
Sr. Economic Development Consultant
P.O. Box 8, 1414 West Hamilton Avenue
Eau Claire, WI USA 54702-0008

Would you like to advertise here? call 732-559-1265 or email Jim Semple at jsemple@groupc.com

WI Regional Economic Development Agencies

New North, Inc.
Jerry Murphy
Executive Director
1716 Lawrence Drive
DePere, WI USA 54115
Northeast Wisconsin’s regional economic development authority, connecting you to state and local experts to fullfill real estate, programing/incentives and other due dilligence needs.

Eagle Technology, Inc.
Harshad Shah
11019 North Towne Square Road
Mequon, WI USA 53092
Would you like to advertise here? call 732-559-1265 or email Jim Semple at jsemple@groupc.com

WI County Economic Development Agencies

Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County
Kenneth L. Stubbe, CEcD, EDFP
Executive Director
202 North 8th Street, Suite 101
Manitowoc, WI USA 54220
Green County Development Corporation
Anna Schramke, CEcD, CEDFP
Executive Director
1016 16th Avenue
Monroe, WI USA 53566
Kenosha Area Business Alliance Inc.
Todd Battle
600 52nd Street, Suite 120
Kenosha, WI USA 53140-3423
La Crosse Area Development Corp.
James P. Hill
Executive Director
712 Main Street
La Crosse, WI USA 54601
Racine County Economic Development Corporation
Gordon Kacala
Executive Director
2320 Renaissance Boulevard
Sturtevant, WI USA 53177
Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce
Betsy Alles
Executive Director
621 South 8th Street
Sheboygan, WI USA 53081
920-457-9491 302

WI City Economic Development Agencies

City of Green Bay Economic Development
Derek Lord
Director of Economic Development
100 North Jefferson Street, Room 200
Green Bay, WI USA 54301
City of Kenosha
Jeff Labahn
Director, City Development
625 52nd Street, Room 308
Kenosha, WI USA 53140
City of Wausau Community & Economic Development
Ann Werth
Wausau City Hall, 407 Grant Street
Wausau, WI USA 54403
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer Alexander
615 East Washington Avenue, P.O. Box 71
Madison, WI USA 53701-0071
Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Fred Monique
Vice President of Economic Development
300 North Broadway, Suite 3A, P.O. Box 1660
Green Bay, WI USA 54305-1660
Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation
Patrick G. Walsh
809 North Broadway, 2nd Floor
Milwaukee, WI USA 53202

Wisconsin State Incentives

DAIRY 2020 INITIATIVE: Includes two programs to help dairy producers make improvements and increase production.

  • The Dairy 2020 Early Planning Grant (EPG) program helps encourage and stimulate the start up, modernization and expansion of Wisconsin dairy farms. It provides grants to dairy producers to pay for professional services such as the preparation of a business plan. The award can be for up to 75 percent of the professional services with a maximum grant of $3,000.
  • The Milk Volume Production program allows dairy producers who plan to increase milk production by expanding their dairy herds to obtain equity gap financing.

FOCUS ON ENERGY: Offers financial incentives to eligible Wisconsin business for installing qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy measures such as energy efficient lighting, compressed air, HVAC equipment and residential solar energy systems. It also includes custom projects such as system or building upgrades or process improvements. Focus information, resources and financial incentives help implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. Its efforts help businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect the environment and control the state’s growing demand for electricity and natural gas.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REVOLVING LOAN FUND (CDBG-ED/RLF): Funded through the federal Small Cities CDBG Program, provides grants to communities to promote local job creation and retention. Local governments then lend the funds to businesses for start-up, retention and expansion projects through grant funding. Funding levels depend on the number of jobs to be created or retained.

BUSINESS EMPLOYEES’ PROGRAM (BEST): Established by the Wisconsin Legislature to help small businesses in industries that are facing severe labor shortages upgrade the skills of their workforce. Under the BEST program, Commerce can provide applicants with a tuition reimbursement grant to help cover a portion of the costs associated with training employees. Eligible applicants include for-profit businesses that have 25 or fewer full time employees or annual sales of less than $2.5 million and are in one of the following Industrial Clusters: Automation, Agriculture/Food Products, Biotechnology, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Medical Devices, Paper/Forest Products, Printing, Tourism, or Childcare (does not include in-home childcare).

CUSTOMIZED LABOR TRAINING FUND: Provides training grants to businesses that are implementing new technology or production processes. The program can provide up to 50 percent of the cost of customized training if it is not available from the Wisconsin Technical College System. The program’s primary goal is to help Wisconsin manufacturers maintain a workforce that is on the cutting edge of technological innovation.

EARLY PLANNING GRANT PROGRAM (EPG): Helps individual entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout Wisconsin obtain the professional services necessary to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed start up or expansion. It provides grants to entrepreneurs and small businesses to help offset a portion of the cost of hiring an independent third party to develop a comprehensive business plan.

ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ZONE PROGRAM: Promotes a business start-up or expansion on a particular site in any area of the state that suffers from high unemployment, declining income and property values and other indicators of economic distress. The program offers tax credits for such activities as hiring disadvantaged workers and undertaking environmental remediation. Tax credits can be taken only on income generated by business activity in the zone. The maximum amount of tax credits per zone is $3 million.

TAX INCREMENT FINANCING (TIF): Helps cities in Wisconsin attract industrial and commercial growth in underdeveloped and blighted areas. A city or village can designate a specific area within its boundaries as a TIF district and develop a plan to improve its property values. Taxes generated by the increased property values pay for land acquisition or needed public works.

INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BONDS (IRBs): A means of financing the constructing and equipping of manufacturing plants and a limited number of non-manufacturing facilities. The municipality is not responsible for debt service on IRBs, nor is it liable in the case of default. IRBs are also exempt from federal income tax. More than $265 million is 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, counties and towns to issue the bonds on behalf of a business. This site provides business representatives, municipal officials, bond counsel and others with up-to-date information on the IRB program, the process of applying for volume cap, the availability of volume cap and the latest forms.

RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (RED) PROGRAM: Makes individual awards up to $30,000 for feasibility studies and other professional assistance to rural businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Businesses that have completed their feasibility evaluations are eligible for individual micro loans up to $25,000 for working capital and the purchase of equipment.

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FUND: Established to help Wisconsin businesses research and develop technological innovations that have the potential to provide significant economic benefit to the state, it helps businesses finance Phase I product development research. Firms completing Phase I projects can receive Phase II product-commercialization funding.

WISCONSIN TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: Funds transportation facilities improvements that are part of an economic development project. It provides 50 percent state grants to governing bodies, private businesses and consortiums for road, rail, harbor and airport projects that help attract employers to Wisconsin, or encourage business and industry to remain and expand in the state.

ANGEL INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT: Angel investors and angel investor networks that invest in Qualified New Business Ventures may be eligible to claim an income tax credit on that investment, up to 25 percent of the investment amount. Angel investors are accredited (sophisticated) investors, for the purposes of this program, as determined by the Department of Commerce, whose cash investment in a Qualified New Business Venture is made in exchange for common stock, a partnership or membership interest, preferred stock or an equivalent ownership interest that is acceptable to Commerce. An angel investment network is a group of accredited (sophisticated) investors organized for the sole purpose of investing in a single Qualified New Business Venture.

EARLY STAGE SEED INVESTMENT CREDIT: Designed to encourage investment in small, high-technology businesses that have high growth potential and is for payments made to certified fund managers to invest in qualified new business ventures.

Wisconsin’s FILM TAX CREDIT PROGRAM provides two types of tax credits with a total of $500,000 in credits available each fiscal year. All credits are refundable and non-transferable:

  1. FILM PRODUCTION SERVICES CREDIT: Provides tax credits for hiring Wisconsin residents to work on an accredited production, and also for incurring certain production expenditures. To qualify, the production must be pre-accredited by the department.
  2. FILM PRODUCTION COMPANY INVESTMENT CREDIT: Provides tax credits to new and existing film production companies in Wisconsin that expand.

WISCONSIN MEAT PROCESSING FACILTY INVESTMENT CREDIT: A refundable tax credit for taxpayers who have invested to modernize or expand meat processing facilities in the state during taxable years that begin after December 31, 2008, and before January 1, 2017. Businesses engaged in processing livestock into meat products or processing meat products for sale commercially may be eligible to apply for the tax credits. “Livestock” means domesticated food animals, other than fish and wild game animals. “Meat product” means a value-added, saleable and edible stand-alone product resulting from processing meat or another meat product by a USDA- or state-inspected facility and does not include sandwiches, spreads, appetizers, soups, salads, dinners, pizzas, pasties or any other product that uses meat in any manner other than as the predominant ingredient. “Process” means to cut, grind, manufacture, compound, intermix or prepare meat or meat products for human consumption.

FOOD PROCESSING PLANT & FOOD WAREHOUSE INVESTMENT CREDIT: A refundable tax credit for businesses that have invested to modernize or expand food processing plants or food warehouses in Wisconsin.
“Used exclusively” means used to the exclusion of all other uses except for use not exceeding 5 percent of total use. Businesses can earn up to 10 percent of the eligible expenses spent in the taxable year with the maximum amount a claimant can receive over the life of the program being $200,000. The Department has $700,000 for each fiscal year. The Department may prorate some or all of the allocations in order to broaden the potential for promoting economic development.

DAIRY MANUFACTURING FACILTY INVESTMENT CREDIT: Provides refundable credits for businesses that have invested to modernize or expand dairy manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin. Businesses can earn up to 10 percent of the amount spent in a taxable year. The maximum lifetime amount a business can receive is $200,000 for each of the entity’s manufacturing facilities. The Department has $657,100 available annually for eligible businesses other than dairy cooperatives. A total of $700,000 is available annually for dairy cooperatives. Businesses that are engaged in the processing of milk into dairy products or processing dairy products for sale commercially are eligible to apply for tax credits under this program.

WOODY BIOMASS HARVESTING & PROCESSING INVESTMENT CREDIT: A refundable tax credit for businesses that have invested to modernize or expand Woody Biomass Harvesting and Processing Operations in Wisconsin. Woody biomass means “trees and woody plants, including limbs, tops, needles, leaves, and other woody parts, grown in a forest or woodland or on agricultural land.” Businesses can earn up to 10 percent of the eligible expenses with the maximum amount a claimant can receive over the life of the program being $100,000. The Department has $900,000 for each fiscal year. The Department shall allocate $450,000 in tax credits to businesses that individually have no more than $5,000,000 in gross receipts from doing business in Wisconsin for the taxable year in which the credit is claimed.

The MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: Designed to generate and foster the growth of minority businesses in Wisconsin. The WEDC provides services to minority business owners, entrepreneurs and resource organizations.


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