Focus on Calumet
A periodic update on economic development opportunities in Calumet County
and the region for businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities.
Monday, August 6, 2018
Economic Development Academy 101
On July 31, 20 people representing local governments in Calumet County attended the Economic Development Academy 101 sponsored by Calumet County Community Economic Development. The Academy was taught by Brian Doudna, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA).  Participants from Brillion, Chilton, Hilbert, New Holstein, Sherwood, and Stockbridge attended the session, and based on interactions during the session and comments afterwards, they found their time was well spent. Doudna’s decades of experience as an economic development practitioner were evident as he shared examples of development projects in which he was previously involved while helping the local governments understand how to make locally appropriate decisions for their own communities. The curriculum he used to instruct attendees is approved by the International Economic Development Council. Participants considered their current economic development strategies and identified gaps and ideas for improvement. They discussed community assets, and learned how to break large economic development projects down into manageable pieces. 
Brian Doudna instructor for the Calumet County Economic Development Academy
Brian Doudna, instructor for the Calumet
County Economic Development Academy

“Start with petunias,” was one suggestion on Doudna’s list, indicating that sometimes a community needs to just start by planting flowers or using flower baskets as a tangible show of progress. Doudna also shared with participants the importance of business retention visits, project financing, and how TIFs work. Part 2 of the workshop series between Doudna and the county is being planned for October.
What Employers Want from Cities
“There are various popular narratives about what drives economic growth in a city or region. One narrative focuses on business climate factors such as taxes and regulation. Others stress the importance of locally available talent or affordable housing and commercial property. But the reality is that economic growth is multi-factorial. There’s no single component that drives every outcome. Places have to pay attention to many things, not just one.”
According to a recent article in Governing magazine written by Aaron Renn , Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the list of things employers want communities to provide includes talent, cost savings, good business climate, and low crime rate. In addition, Renn says, a shrinking labor force will cause trouble no matter how favorable the other factors are, with job openings going unfilled. Some communities, says Renn, are turning to economic subsidies to lure residents. Other things Renn recommends communities need to pay attention to include public services, racial inclusion, and market distinctiveness. 
Communities and businesses in Calumet County will need to work together with others in Wisconsin to address the pressing challenge -- more jobs than people to fill them.
When Business is a Family Affair
By Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP News, July 18, 2018

Greg Goodman had originally planned to sell his auto supply store and retire by the time he turned 60. Then his son Chandler abandoned the idea of becoming an architect and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Chandler doesn’t graduate from college for another two years, but Goodman, 54, isn’t wasting any time getting him ready. "I make sure he's involved in every aspect of this business moving forward," he says.

We gleaned some important lessons about handing off a family business:
  • Let go. "The most important lesson to transfer... is to not get stuck in the 'This is the way we've always done it' mode," says Alison Tocci, who is preparing her nephew to become the third generation to run the Bull Run restaurant in Shirley, Massachusetts.
  • Listen. The savviest owners embrace different ideas and perspectives their children bring. A successful transition can require an owner to let the child make significant changes to the company's business model, says Lauri Union, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College.
  • Loosen up. A domineering parent needs to tone it down in the business setting, otherwise their children won’t have the confidence to think independently and take appropriate risks, says Carnegie Mellon University management professor David Lassman.
  • Aim high. Rita Tabatchnik wants her son to make a mark on the family’s soup business, not just step in where she leaves off. "He doesn't just do the grunt work," says Tabatchnik, whose son Jason has been working at the company since he was 13.
Business Updates
Midwest Paper Group pledges to create 321 jobs at former Appleton Coated mill
Just north of Calumet County in Combined Locks, Midwest Paper Group pledged to create 321 jobs and invest $30 million at the former Appleton Coated Paper Mill. The company is to receive $1.8 million tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to reconfigure the facility into one that makes white paper to in-demand packaging grade. Plans call for the company to install equipment to convert waste paper to medium and linerboard used in packaging. To receive the full amount of state tax credits, the company agreed to create 321 jobs by 2020 and maintain them through 2022. In 2017, Midwest Paper Group's parent companies, Industrial Assets and Maynards Industries, bought the Appleton Coated mill from a receivership arrangement after considerable initiative from local officials and union involvement. 
Available Property
Former bank in downtown Hilbert with drive-up window and ample parking. Located on State 32/57, near the intersection of Hwy. 114 and Hwy. 57. High traffic counts and excellent visibility. Village is strategically located at approximately equal distances from several major cities (Green Bay, Appleton, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc and Sheboygan). Hilbert boasts a new elementary school and is home to Sargento Cheese which is growing and expanding with 160 jobs filled in 2017 and 150 jobs to be added in 2018. Due to the expected demand for housing, the Village has embarked on an ambitious housing development. The 2,475 sq ft building is located on 0.78 acres and is listed by NAI Pfefferle for $400,000.  
Free Business Counseling Offered
Once a month, a counselor with the Green Bay Small Business Development Center meets with entrepreneurs and existing business owners at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton. These 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, contac t Mary Kohrell using the information provided below. The next sessions will be held on August 21 and September 18.
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