Focus on Calumet
A bi-weekly update on economic development opportunities in Calumet County
and the region for businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities.

Monday, July 27, 2020
Ornua Makes $10 Million Investment in Hilbert Cheese-Making Facility
Ornua has announced a major expansion of its Ornua Ingredients North America division with a $10 million investment upgrading its Hilbert cheese ingredients operation.

The facility already boasts some of the most advanced dairy processing equipment in the US dairy sector and includes a state-of-the-art innovation centre that provides functional cheese solutions to Ornua’s US food ingredient and food service customers.
Breaking ground were (L>R) Rick Pederson and Tim Gieson of Ornua Ingredients North America and Lance VandenHeuvel of Bayland Structures, the contractor building the addition.
Ornua Ingredients North America, which employs over 265 people, operates two cheese-making facilities: the rural Hilbert plant and another in Byron, Minnesota. This latest round of investment will add an additional 30-50 jobs in the coming years. Once complete, Ornua will have invested a total of $23 million in its Hilbert operation.

Ornua Ingredients North America specializes in producing customized, functional cheese products for major US food manufacturing and foodservice customers. The division is a global leader in functional cheese solutions for applications in the meat, frozen meals, egg dishes, soups and sauces, bakery and pizza cheese categories; last year the business supplied cheese for more than 50 million pizzas. This latest investment is a result of a period of exceptional multi-year growth in the division, with 2019 reporting a record year with double-digit growth.

The expansion plans for Hilbert will add another 22,000 square feet of warehousing and cooling infrastructure to the operation, unlocking an additional 30% growth in production capacity.

Construction of the site’s new infrastructure is being carried out by Wisconsin building firm Bayland Construction and is expected to be completed in February 2021.
WEDC Launches New “We’re All In” COVID-19 Business Resources
In early July, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation released a new, comprehensive “We’re All In” campaign for Wisconsin businesses, residents, and visitors to help make it easier to slow the spread of COVID-19 and speed up the state’s economic recovery. 

The campaign includes posters, signage, workplace guidelines, and other resources that can be downloaded to help protect employees, encourage customers to adopt safe behaviors, and ultimately keep Wisconsin’s businesses moving in a positive direction.
Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.5%
By Andrew Weiland , Biz Times , July 16, 2020
Wisconsin economy’s labor market improved during June as its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.5% and the state added 99,300 private sector jobs during the month according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by the state Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s unemployment rate improved significantly from May when it was 12.1%, according to revised data, and is well below the national rate of 11.1%. In June of 2019, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.4%, and the nation’s was 3.7%.
Wisconsin’s economy added 104,600 non-farm jobs in June including 99,300 private sector jobs and 5,300 government jobs.
Best of the Valley 2020
Best of the Valley, sponsored by the Appleton Post Crescent is an annual locally driven contest where the public nominates and votes for their favorite restaurants, shops, services, and more to determine the best in the Valley.

Calumet County businesses who were winners or finalists are listed below.
  • Best Bloody Mary Winner – Two of a Kind
  • Cheese Store Finalist – Vern’s Cheese
  • Favorite Local Business – Finalist – Vern’s Cheese
  • Tourist Attractions – Finalist – High Cliff State Park
  • Banquet or Reception Location – Winner – High Cliff Banquet and Events Center
  • Golf Courses – Finalist High Cliff Golf Course
  • Antiques – Winner Ye Old Goat
  • Convenience Stores – Winner – Kwik Trip
  • Convenience Stores – Finalist – Darboy Corner Store
  • Groceries – Winner – Festival Foods
  • Liquor Store or Wine Retailer – Winner – Vern’s Cheese
  • Re-Sale or Consignment Shop – Winner – Ye Old Goat
  • Re-Sale or Consignment Shop – Finalist – St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Breakfast – Finalist – Mohnen’s
  • Caterer – Winner – Cliff View Catering
  • Outdoor Dining – Finalist – Waverly Beach
Federal Small Business Relief Options 
  • After providing 6 million small businesses and nonprofits with grants of up to $10,000, the EIDL Advance's $20 billion has been fully allocated. More than 60,000 Wisconsin organizations received $215.9 million since March 27. 
  • Paycheck Protection Program: forgivable loan that helps businesses and nonprofits pay employees for up to 24 weeks. The deadline for loan approval is now August 8. Connect with a lender through LenderMatch or find one near you.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan: working capital loan to help small businesses and non-profits pay expenses they are not able to due to income loss caused by the COVID19 pandemic. Apply
  • SBA Debt Relief:  SBA is paying the principal, interest, and fees on existing SBA loans for six months. For new SBA loans approved by September 27, SBA will also pay principal, interest and fees for six months. These are open to small businesses only.  Find a lender or connect with one through SBA LenderMatch.
  • SBA Express Loans:  Express lenders can approve these loans quickly for up to $1 million through December 31, and veterans pay no up-front guaranty fee on them. Find an SBA Express lender.
Local Business COVID-19 Support Resources
  • The Calumet County Small Business Disaster Loan Fund still has funds available to provide loans of up to $5,000 at 1% interest to Calumet County businesses. Bars are now eligible for loans as well as other small businesses.
  • WEDC’s 15 specific industry reopening guidelines for businesses are very thorough and contain specific instructions for safely operating nearly every type of business from small to large.
  • The NEW Manufacturing Alliance has created a COVID-19 Directory to facilitate connections between companies offering personal protective equipment and related products and services and companies seeking them. Click here to visit the directory.  
Startup Hub Unveils Tundra Angels Angel Investor Group 
The Startup Hub, powered by the Greater Green Bay Chamber, has unveiled Tundra Angels, a new angel investor group whose funding caters to entrepreneurs, specifically early-stage, high-growth potential companies at the pre-seed or seed stage.

“Tundra Angels, at its core, is about delivering hope to entrepreneurs through capital, strategic connections, and customers,” said Matthew Kee, startup development manager, Greater Green Bay Chamber. “These three components (capital, connections, and customers) are critical to startup progress, especially in the early stages.”

Tundra Angels is seeking to create a diverse group of younger-generation investors from the community and region who are successful founders and entrepreneurs. The group is looking to fund companies with an average investment size between $50,000 to $100,000 and will meet quarterly to hear three to four startups’ pitches; the stage of companies pitching could range from validated idea to early customer revenue.

The creation of an angel investor group of this nature in Greater Green Bay is integral to bolstering the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the community, a key initiative of the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan. With Calumet County’s proximity to Green Bay, there may be some synergistic opportunities for Calumet investors and entrepreneurs.
For more information, visit or contact Kee at (920) 883-6061.
FREE Business Counseling Available to Calumet County Businesses
Business counseling is available through the Small Business Development Center. Ray York is eager to serve entrepreneurs and start-ups that are considering going in to business, and it isn’t too late for businesses feeling the effects of COVID-19 to contact the SBDC. Use the online contact form, or reach Ray by phone (920-946-9379) or email.
Community Updates
Construction Site is on Lake Park Road not far from State 10/114
Maureen Wallenfang, Appleton Post Crescent , July 20, 2020
The dirt being moved around on Lake Park Road in the Village of Harrison, across from the building that formerly housed The Source restaurant, will be a 274-unit apartment complex.
It has an estimated value of $25 million. The village board approved the complex’s certified survey map in May in one of its TIF districts. It’s one of several large apartment projects underway in Harrison.
Another apartment complex proposed nearby is on Menasha’s Common Council agenda Monday night. That 66-unit apartment complex is west of County LP on the extension of Community Way in the Lake Park Villas subdivision. It starts construction in the fall.
Work is underway on a construction site east of County Road LP in Harrison.  Wm. Glasheen/USA Today Network, Wisconsin.
Local Business Updates
KinderCare Education coming to Brillion
The Brillion News , July 17, 2020  
Brillion Works LLC is partnering with AriensCo and KinderCare to provide a new childcare option for AriensCo employees and families within the community. Set to open in the fall of 2021, the Brillion Early Learning Center will have capacity for 96 students plus an additional 25 spots for before- and after-school care and is the first lessee to join the Brillion Works development.
KinderCare is the largest childcare provider in the U.S. and its business division, KinderCare at Work, collaborates with companies to open centers to meet the unique needs of the company and the community.
“KinderCare’s proven curriculum combined with the company’s outstanding reputation for working with businesses to offer flexible hours to accommodate multiple shifts makes them the perfect partner for AriensCo,” said Steve Servais, Vice President – Human Resources, AriensCo.
AriensCo has partnered with the Brillion Elementary and High Schools to implement Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) centers at both schools. Incorporating Art into the comprehensive STEAM program at the Brillion Early Learning Center will nurture interest even earlier. The 10,000 square-foot facility is set to break ground in September 2020.
One Ten Boutique Grand Opening is Next Weekend
By David Nordby, The Brillion News , July 16, 2020
Tracy Adler and Doreen Sutilla want to give Brillion residents, a reason to stay in the city when they shop for clothes. The new One Ten Boutique store on 110 S. Main Street (inside the same building as Salon 3-Sixty) is now open for business Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The grand opening is next weekend, Thursday-Saturday, July 23-25, with the same hours and will include refreshments and merchandise discounts.
Doreen Sutilla and Tracy Adler stand inside of their One Ten Boutique store on Main Street in Brillion. The store is having its grand opening next weekend, Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. (David Nordby/BN)
“We’ve got kind of a variety of items in the shop,” Adler said. Women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and thrift items fill the store now. “Eventually we’ll have men’s and children’s as well,” Adler said. The store’s opening came together relatively quickly, in the plans since March.

“We found something we created our own. We got all the licensing, got all the counts and got everything ready, and it was literally two weeks before COVID hit and we were shut down, so we didn’t get to open when we wanted to,” Adler said. Eventually, shipments of their clothing items from online suppliers resumed and the store had its soft opening.

“It’s been very good. We’ve got some really great reception from everyone. They’re excited there’s another place to shop in Brillion,” Adler said.
Ariens Unveils New Outdoor Venue in Brillion
By David Nordby, The Brillion News , July 23, 2020
Ariens Company Chairman and CEO Dan Ariens served as host as the company introduced its new glinting Stone Prairie outdoor venue on Center Road in Brillion last Thursday.

The new venue is under the company’s new business division, AriensCo Hospitality.

The venue includes three buildings – a greenhouse and two structures that were first a barn and house. Each building has its own fireplace. The greenhouse was imported from Britain. Bathroom facilities were built onsite as a fourth standalone structure.
Dan Ariens speaks to guests last Thursday inside one of the structures at Stone Prairie. (David Nordby/BN)
Goodbye to Shopko, Hello to Country Visions
Nothing left at the site on the corner of U.S. 10 and Achievement Drive reminds passersby that the building was once a Shopko Hometown store. The building was purchased by Country Visions, which will have a retail store and other operations at the site. The new sign went up last week as Alliance Construction of Wrightstown began the work of renovating and remodeling the building’s interior. (Ed Byrne/BN)
Upcoming Events
Helping Wisconsin Manufacturers Grow Their Business Through Exporting
Start growing your business through exporting with a customized, action-oriented export expansion strategy. ExporTech is a proven path to exporting success. Graduates have achieved sales increases averaging $900,000 within six to nine months after completing the program.

ExporTech™ is a 10 week virtual program with group and customized personal coaching between sessions. Sessions start August 3, 2020.
  • Group Session One – the week of August 3; Monday – Friday 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm Daily
  • Group Session Two – the week of August 31; Monday – Friday 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm Daily
  • Group Session Three – the week of October 5; Monday – Friday 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm Daily

Scholarship applications are accepted through July 24, 2020. The cost for ExporTech is $7,500 per company pricing for up to three executive leaders (CEO/President, CFO/Controller, Exec Sales), with an immediate $3,000 scholarship from WEDC; bringing the out-of-pocket down to $4,500.

#CloseTheDistance - CEO Leadership Conversations on Pandemic Business Recovery Strategies
Thursday, July 30
Thursday, August 6
11:00 am - 12:00 noon
The CEO Leadership series continues on Thursday, July 30, and each Thursday at 11:00 am over the summer. Learn how Wisconsin's business leaders are adapting their organizations to survive the COVID-19 crisis and thrive in the Next Normal emerging economy to come.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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Thursday, August 13, 2020
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