Monday, April 2, 2018
Focus on Calumet
A periodic update on economic development opportunities in Calumet County and the region for businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities.
Development Activity in Brillion Aided by WEDC Grant
The City of Brillion has received a $250,000 state grant to support construction of a downtown apartment building – a project that will improve the aesthetics of the business district and help meet the city’s housing needs. The WEDC Community Development Investment Grant will help fund the city’s plan to raze a vacant grocery store on Main Street and replace it with a 40-unit apartment building. The project is part of the city’s Main Street Square initiative, which calls for the construction of a new City Hall with greenspace and enhancements to the existing Brillion Community Center. WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan, and WI State Representative Ron Tusler (R-03) joined city and county officials in making the announcement in Brillion on Thursday. Once completed, the project is expected to add more than $7 million to the city’s tax base, and generate about $154,000 in annual property taxes.  
Pictured from left to right:  WEDC Secretary Mark Hogan; Calumet County Economic Development Director Mary Kohrell; Brillion RDA Chair Beth Wenzel; Brillion City Administrator Lori Gosz; and WI State Representative Ron Tusler.
Learn How to Bid for Foxconn Construction Projects on April 6
Construction-related companies in northeastern Wisconsin that want to learn more about becoming a vendor, subcontractor, supplier, or professional service provider during the construction phase of the Foxconn project in Racine County are invited to an informational session in the Fox Valley on April 6 that will run from 8:30 am to noon. Hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), The New North, and M+W|Gilbane, the professional construction manager on the project, the meeting will take place at the Liberty Hall Banquet and Conference Center, 800 Eisenhower Drive in Kimberly. The meeting is designed to assist construction-related companies in understanding the nature of the project and the procurement process for work related to construction of Foxconn’s $10 million advanced manufacturing campus in Racine County.   More details here.
Now is a Great Time to Explore Export Markets
The US has been experiencing a fairly strong economy and that’s when it’s a great time for businesses to discover and enter new international markets that can help during times of a slower economy. The region’s economic development partners have coalesced to provide an export expert to help Wisconsin manufacturers and professional service providers access global markets through nationally recognized programs and services. The program pairs participants with an expert to develop a strategic export marketing campaign. This program is sponsored by the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership, of which Calumet County is a member. Follow this link for more details.
Newest Calumet County Profile Available
The 2017 Economic and Workforce Profile for Calumet County was released in March and offers a useful snapshot of demographic and workforce data and analysis. It was written by Ryan Long, Regional Economist with the WI Department of Workforce Development. There were nearly 14,000 jobs in the county in 2016, and not surprisingly, the report indicates that nearly 4,000 of them, or 28%, are in manufacturing, with those jobs providing 36% of the county’s payroll. The county annual average wage of $37,625 is 19.0% below the state average and increased by 2.6% over the past year. Part of the difference between county and state averages can be explained by lower costs of living in Calumet County relative to the rest of the state. The Natural Resources sector was the only one in the county to pay workers more than the state's annual average in 2016.
101 Ways You Can Improve Your Small City
An article in Curbed magazine shared by Jon Bartz of WEDC reports that sometimes the smallest things done for neighborhoods and communities can have the biggest impact. It lists 101 urban interventions and ideas that show how even the tiniest changes can make our cities better places. Check out the article
A quick reading of the list verifies that some of the ideas have already taken hold in Calumet County, and there’s plenty of other fodder for consideration. For example, #1 on the list is “redesign a crosswalk,” with plans underway in New Holstein to do just that. Appleton painted several community murals, #75 on the list; Sherwood has tackled #79 by showing outdoor movies on a large screen; and Chilton has located a sculpture in its downtown, #81. Some ideas might be a bit of a stretch for Calumet County, such as #69 (you’ll have to read the article to see what that one is!). As a public service reminder, everyone can do #101 tomorrow, April 3 -- VOTE!
New and Free "First Steps" Online Startup Class
Anyone in Wisconsin interested in starting a business can explore their idea, understand their readiness and move forward thanks to an innovative course offered by the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center . This short online course consists of four sections--Entrepreneurial Mindset, Business Idea, Financial Readiness, and Next Steps. Each section includes an interactive lesson, short video stories featuring real entrepreneurs, and a self-assessment. The course takes 60-90 minutes to complete.
Free Business Counseling Offered
The third Tuesday of practically any month one can find a counselor with the Green Bay Small Business Development Center meeting at the Calumet County Courthouse with entrepreneurs and existing business owners. Each month, free individual business counseling sessions are held to help answer questions and put businesses and entrepreneurs in a better position to make the best decisions for themselves and their businesses. To schedule an appointment with the business counselor, contact Mary Kohrell us ing the information provided below. The next session will be held on April 17.
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