MadREP Report: March 30, 2017
Going for Gold: Madison Region Gains First Gold Shovel Site 

Launched earlier this year, the Gold Shovel Site Verification program assists communities, counties, and private landowners in packaging and marketing development-ready land to site selectors and business owners looking to locate or expand in the eight-county Madison Region.

Created to provide a similar service to WEDC's Certified In Wisconsin
program, Gold Shovel verification is lower cost, but also demands fewer requirements and is not held to the same level of review, documentation, and assessment. The Madison Region is home to eight of the state's sixteen Certified in Wisconsin sites, and we're excited to announce the region's very first Gold Shovel verified site: Gateway Business Park in Baraboo, operated by Devco I LLC.

"The Devco site is exactly the kind of shovel-ready property we had in mind when we created this program," said MadREP president Paul Jadin. "We look forward to promoting it in partnership with the State of Wisconsin."

Gold Shovel Verified Site: 
Gateway Business Park, Baraboo
Located at the entrance to the City of Baraboo, the Class A business park offers 3 contiguous parcels located along the newly constructed, four-lane Highway 12 (slated to open later this year). The 26.66-acre site has access to rail less than one mile away, and is within one of the City of Baraboo's tax increment districts. Zoned for industrial/business use, the site is fully served by electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, sanitary sewer, storm water management facilities, streets, sidewalks, and street lights. And as a Gold Shovel site, Gateway Business Park meets a multitude of requirements that ensures it is development-ready for the next big opportunity.

"We are pleased our site has been identified as a Gold Shovel site, having met the qualifications to be treated as 'shovel-ready' by the Madison Region Economic Partnership," said Tom Thompson, President of Teel Plastics, Inc. and a representative of Devco. "We are looking forward to the additional exposure this site will receive under the Gold Shovel Program. I encourage companies interested in a new site for their business to look at the Gateway Business Park in Baraboo as it is a great location with high visibility and all of the amenities a business would want."

For more information and to start the site verification process, contact MadREP President Paul Jadin by email or phone at 608.571.0401.   
Industry Spotlight:
New Glarus Brewing Co. moves up the list of biggest brewers  
Three Wisconsin-based beer companies remained in the Brewers Association's annual listing of the country's top 50 breweries. In the Madison Region, Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe ranked 21st, while New Glarus Brewing Co. ranked 25th -- up two spots from its 2015 position after producing more than 200,000 barrels of beer that is sold only in Wisconsin. Craft beer production continues to grow in the state as 10 more breweries came on line in 2016, bringing the total to 136, said Mark Garthwaite, executive director of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. New Glarus continued its climb in the rankings after producing more than 219,000 barrels of beer in 2016, a 12 percent increase over 2015 when it produced 193,210 barrels."They deserve every bit of accolade they get," Garthwaite said of New Glarus. "It's still very impressive that they've been able to maintain that growth just in Wisconsin alone. That's atypical."

Company Profile: 
Pratt Industries opens box plant in Beloit  
A celebration for the opening of Pratt Industries' new 350,000 square-foot cardboard box plant in Beloit took place last week. Along with Pratt officials, Governor Walker touted the $52 million plant as a high-tech manufacturing boost for Rock County and southern Wisconsin. Pratt's new facility in Beloit's Gateway Business Park will employ 120 people. Its development came together in part through the multinational company inking a development deal worth $3.15 million in state business loans and job-creation tax credits through WEDC. Pratt officials speaking Monday said the Atlanta company chose Beloit because the 56-acre site in the Gateway Business Park has easy access to the Chicago market and because Wisconsin's business climate is among the friendliest the company has seen in recent years. The company employs 7,000 people at multiple facilities in the U.S. and worldwide.
Read more.

Regional Economy: 
Immigrants help drive state economy despite income gap

While Wisconsin doesn't have a large immigrant population, it is growing and its economic impact on the state is quite significant. Yet, a new study from the financial education website NerdWallet shows immigrant households in Wisconsin are making that impact on less income than their U.S.-born counterparts. According to NerdWallet, immigrants in Wisconsin earn $47,575 in median annual income, while U.S.-born households earn $56,025. A report from the American Immigration Council notes the 2014 purchasing power of Latinos in Wisconsin totaled $7.4 billion - an increase of 855% since 1990, and Asian buying power totaled $5 billion - an increase of 856% since 1990. And from 2006 to 2010, there were 10,342 new immigrant business owners in Wisconsin,  with total net business income of $589 million -- representing 4.6% of all net business income in the state. "Wisconsin can ill-afford to alienate such an important component of its labor force, tax base, and business community," the New Americans in Wisconsin report notes.

Read more.
Startup Scene:
Doyenne Group highlights women entrepreneurs

Doyenne Group held its Spring Showcase on Wednesday night -- the first such event organized by the Madison nonprofit -- during which five local businesswomen each had five minutes to give a presentation about their companies. Presenting companies included 1myVote, Hinkley Productions, Curate Solutions, MogaMind, and Acme Nerd Games. Doyenne Group co-founder Heather Wentler said she wants to make the Madison area an identifiable center for women starting businesses. "We do know that from 2012-2015, Wisconsin ranked last for women entrepreneurship, (and) last year (2016) Wisconsin rose to 38th ranking, which means programs, organizations and overall community support of women entrepreneurs is on a rise in our state," Wentler said. She wants Doyenne to help women get the proper resources to start and grow businesses here and for "other organizations from across the nation to look at Doyenne as a model to support women entrepreneurs." Doyenne raised $1.2 million in 2016 to help fund its programs.
Read more.

Community Highlight:
Waupun hits reset on south side TID 
The Waupun City Council recently closed Tax Increment District 4 (TID) and reopened it as TID 7, restarting the clock for the development that has been suspended in time since 2007. Back in 2007, the city had identified a lack of area rest stops for truckers and created TID 4 in partnership with a developer who had available land along the Highway 151 corridor. The timing was wrong, with the recession hitting in 2008 and no progress was made. A December 2015 article citing this need prompted Waupun administrator/economic development director Kathy Schlieve to research the opportunity and begin working to find the right developer. Earlier this month, developer Cal Herrmann of Eden Meats & Catering was introduced to the City Council, proposing a $3.2 million travel-mart that will not be a full truck stop but a truck-friendly facility. "We are excited to have a quality, family-run operation like Eden Meats invest in Waupun," said Mayor Julie Nickel. "Developing this parcel of land has been a goal for some time and we're pleased to announce this agreement."


Company Profile: 
Re Mixers Inc. on cusp of bringing product to market  
In about a year's time Re Mixers Inc. has evolved from an idea by UW-Madison College of Engineering alumni Eric Ronning and Brian Pekron for a disposable mixing nozzle into a business that could have a product on the market before year's end. The company was one of two named by WEDC that received Qualified New Business Venture certification, which allows investors to receive a 25 percent state tax credit on the amount they invest in the business. The certification program assisted 180 startups around the state raise $176 million in 2015. Re Mixers secured a $500,000 investment from N29 Capital Partners in December, but additional dollars will help in getting a product to market, Ronning said. The idea for the business also gained notoriety when Ronning and Pekron finished second in the 2016 Governor's Business Plan Contest. They also received help and advice from D2P,  which assists entrepreneurs with business plans and product development strategies.
Doyenne Mentor Match
March 30, 5:30-8pm
HotelRED, Madison

Looking for a mentor? Someone who's been there and done that? Find your mentor at Doyenne's Mentor Match where potential Mentees and Mentors are introduced in three successive 15-minute meetings. Learn more.
Funding Opportunity: Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants
Application Deadline: March 31

Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funds support short and medium term employer-led worker training projects. Worker training grants are available for Wisconsin Construction Trades and Related Occupations and Wisconsin Small Business Occupations. Find out more.
Global Sustainability Trends - Opportunity for Wisconsin Businesses
April 11, 11:30am-3pm
Fluno Center, Madison

Join Madison International Trade Association for this innovative session to learn about the changes in sustainable business practices and the opportunities these hold for your company. Learn more.
April 13, 6-9pm
Irontek, Beloit

LiveBETA is a celebration of gBETA's latest class of innovative startups. Each of gBETA's Beloit & Madison Spring 2017 companies will give a four-minute pitch in front of a captive audience of potential investors, experienced entrepreneurs, family and friends. RSVP online.
Seminar: Foundations of Food Exporting
April 20, 8am-3:30pm
Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton

Join Food Export-Midwest and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for this full day of food export education, and to become a more experienced exporter. Learn more.
Business Succession & Retention: Employee Ownership Solutions
April 20, 9am-3pm
Landmark Services Cooperative, Cottage Grove

Business owners, economic development professionals and policy makers are invited to attend this workshop that will cover employee ownership structures, converting businesses to employee ownership and the resources available when selling to employees. Register online.
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