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

Monday, February 24, 2020
Deadline March 16 to Register for Calumet County Career Expo
Registration is open for the Calumet County Student Career Expo . The Expo will bring together local employers and high school students on Thursday morning, April 2, at Chilton High School. 
Employers who attend can expect to:
  • Engage with over 600 potential future employees from five local high schools;
  • Connect with next year’s Junior class to fill opportunities within your organization such as internships, summer jobs, youth apprenticeships, and job shadowing; and
  • Meet graduating Seniors who may be interested in direct workforce entry, summer jobs, or careers after college.

The fee to reserve a booth is $250; there is no charge for nonprofits. Click here for more information and to register.
Economy in a Holding Pattern
Ed Byrne, The Brillion News , February 20, 2020
The U.S. economy is in a holding pattern – nothing unusual for an election year – but there are some signs that could be called yellow flags.

That’s better than red flags being raised, though, and that was the gist of the “State of the Economy” breakfast sponsored by St. Norbert College’s Center for Business and Economic Analysis in mid-February.

Josh Bernhardt, Business Development and Expansion Specialist with the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, said that job creation, business retention, and quality of life are the hallmarks of Green Bay and nearby communities.

He said existing firms produce 80 percent of the job growth in the area, and so keeping local businesses is critical to the regional economy. Plus, Bernhardt said the positive local business retention and growth rate attracts new businesses to the area, because they seek a stable economic environment.

Wisconsin, he said, is second in the nation in its concentration of manufacturing. This is not true of other “rust belt” states, which lost much of their manufacturing base over the past 30 years.

A major reason why manufacturing is strong here is logistics. Bernhardt said Wisconsin is 18th in the country in transportation logistics – with trucking, rail, and shipping. The northeast Wisconsin area has over 11,000 jobs in freight transportation.

Northeast Wisconsin also has reasonable housing costs – both for buyers or renters – compared to similar areas in other states. Overall cost of living in the Green Bay area is about 10 percent below the average for peer cities in other areas of the country. 
Mission Wisconsin: Opportunities to Engage with Veterans
The state of Wisconsin’s integrated talent marketing campaign is designed to showcase all Wisconsin has to offer for U.S. service members and their families as they transition to civilian life. As the Mission Wisconsin team travels to various U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes career summits throughout the country and abroad to promote the career and lifestyle opportunities available in Wisconsin, they invite Wisconsin companies to join the effort to connect these talented individuals with the resources our state offers for personal and professional success.

Wisconsin-based business or organization looking to engage with service members and their families as part of their talent engagement strategies are encouraged to consider participating at an upcoming Hiring our Heroes career summits. WEDC and the Department of Workforce Development are available to help your company c onnect with veterans who possess the skills your business needs to fill open positions.  
Interested Calumet County employers can contact Mary Kohrell to learn more about this life-changing program.
The Rural Challenge: Depopulation and Its Economic Consequences
A new Forward Analytics report, The Rural Challenge: Depopulation and Its Economic Consequences , found that from 2010-2018, two thirds of rural counties in Wisconsin lost population. That percentage was up from 44% during 2000-10, and in rural counties across the nation, a similar pattern has emerged.

“The pattern of rural counties growing more slowly than urban ones has a long history,” said Forward Analytics Director Dale Knapp, “but what is occurring now is the slow rural growth of the past is turning to decline.”

According to the new report, 30% of rural counties nationally and none in Wisconsin experienced population loss during 1990-2000.
Orange = metropolitan
Light blue = micropolitan
Dark blue = rural
Over the ensuing 10 years, those percentages climbed to 47% nationally and 44% in Wisconsin. Since 2010, a full two-thirds of rural America has experienced depopulation, with few signs that this will abate any time soon.

“The economic consequences of depopulation are real – a shrinking workforce, fewer jobs, fewer businesses, and slower income growth,” said Knapp. “Among the 10% of counties with the fastest population growth during 2010-2018, median growth in the labor force was 5%, in jobs 13.1%, and in businesses 8.5%.”

That stands in stark contrast to the 10% of counties with the largest population losses, where median decline in workforce was 14.1%, in jobs 3.9%, and in businesses 5.5%. For counties between these two extremes, growth rates fell as population growth weakened.

As shown in the image above, Calumet County is designated as a metropolitan county and is one of Wisconsin’s fastest growing counties. That statistic, however, is slightly misleading, as the county’s growth is primarily taking place in the county’s urban northwest corner. So while Calumet does not suffer the economic consequences of depopulation – at least not on paper – there are likely pockets of the county that are at risk for the negative economic consequences spelled out in the report.

A copy of the report is available here.
Working Capital Disaster Loans Available in Wisconsin Counties
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that Working Capital Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and private nonprofit organizations located in Wisconsin as a result of rainfall and excessive moisture on January 1 through August 15, 2019. The loans are available in approximately half of all Wisconsin counties including Calumet.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Click here for more information. 
Fox Cities Chamber CEO Named to New North Board
Be cky Bartoszek of the Fox Cities Chamber has been named to the board of directors of New North Inc., the regional marketing and economic development corporation for the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin. Bartoszek will serve on the board as the representative of the Northeast Wisconsin Chamber Coalition (NEWCC), which consists of Chambers from Green Bay, the Fox Cities, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and Waupaca. The coalition jointly represents 5,000-plus New North businesses, employing more than 300,000 people.

Bartoszek has served as the President and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce since October 2018. In that role, she leads the organization’s strategies around economic development; talent attraction, retention and expansion; advocacy for pro-business public policies; and member opportunities to build their visibility. Before joining the Fox Cities Chamber, Bartoszek spent roughly 25 years helping independent business owners and companies grow. She held leadership roles at AIA Corporation, The QTI Group, Alltel Wireless, and State Farm Insurance.
Local Business Updates
Every Business Should Have a Plan
A key mission of Calumet County’s Community Economic Development (CED) program is to support local entrepreneurs through partnerships that work with start-ups and business looking to expand or in transition. The CED has partnered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay to bring opportunity to area entrepreneurs looking to start, expand, or transition their business. 

SBDC business counselor, Ray York, is available to help Calumet County entrepreneurs. In addition to his role at the SBDC, Ray is President of York Estates, Inc., which owns The Rochester Inn, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Sheboygan Falls Chamber Main Street. Ray also has a strong economic development mindset and works for the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.
Entrepreneurs are always encouraged to reach out to Ray for business planning assistance.   To register as an SBDC client and receive a no cost, confidential, business consulting session please follow this link . For more information about SBDC entrepreneurial services, please email or call (920) 496-2117.
New Restaurant Opens in Chilton
By Travis Gleason, Sports Journalist/Ads Specialist
Chilton Journal, February 13, 2020
A new nutritional restaurant has opened up in our small community at 104 Southside Shopping Center, Chilton, and it’s Root 151. This amazing new restaurant had their grand opening on February 5, 2020, with the owners Danila Whitcomb and Connie Moehn.

 They operate with all healthy items with many different choices all the way from shakes, teas, coffee, and aloe products.
Left: Danila Whitcomb
Right: Connie Moehn
They use soy as a base, but they do have soy alternatives for people that want something different. Danila and Connie’s goal was to bring health and nutrition to the area.

Root 151 works with Herbalife, the number one nutrition company in the world. Herbalife is located in 92 different countries and they have a lot of amazing products to use. Some of the products that are sold at Root 151 are for weight loss, weight gain, proper nutrition, and even muscle bulking. You can check out Herbalife more at
WI Manufacturer of the Year Judging
Professional Plating Inc. (PPI) General Manager Larry Dietz (right) gives a tour to representatives from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Baker Tilly and the Michael Best law firm. The visitors toured and asked questions about the team, the company, and the family and culture. The guests said they were impressed with how locked in team members were to their tasks and the company’s culture. PPI is in the midst of being judged for the WI Manufacturer of the Year award and were recognized with their nomination.
The Brillion News, (Submitted photo)
Local Community Updates
Brillion Community Center Open 24/7 for Members
David Nordby, The Brillion News , February 13, 2020
Early birds and night owls alike will now have access to the Brillion Community Center (BCC) at their own convenience. The facility has recently implemented 24-hour access to its members for its fitness center in the back of the building.

“People in the community, our members wanted it,” Brillion Community Center Ann Marx said. “This way they can come in and work out anytime they want in the back in the fitness center only.”

Members using the 24/7 access outside of regular business hours will not have access to a shower. They will have access to lockers, bathrooms, and a water fountain.

“I think it’s a step for the community. The other ones that were in town are no longer in existence, so we are the only one right now. I know there are other options in other communities and that, but for people that live here and it’s convenient, we have all brand-new equipment,” Marx said. Membership cards scan the keypad at the side door on the back of the building. The BCC is able to keep track of who punches in and out, and when. 
The Brillion Community Center’s fitness center is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for members. The 24-hour access is the latest of a series of upgrades for the center that picked up steam in 2017. (David Nordby/BN)
Hilbert May Add Year to TID No. 1
Ed Byrne, The Brillion News , February 20, 2020
Thanks to a recent change in state law, the Village of Hilbert is able – if it chooses – to add a year on to the life of its Tax Increment Financing District No. 1. Seth Hudson, Economic and Community Development Services Senior Manager for Cedar Corporation, told the Hilbert Village Board last week that the TIF, which is set to expire, can be extended one year, and the tax revenues from the year directed to new uses.

“There is an option to extend the TID one year, and use the increment from that extra year for housing within the community,” Village Administrator Dennis Duprey said. “It doesn’t have to be within your TID.”

The district already has a positive cash flow balance, and extending TIFD No. 1 for one year would allow about $116,000 to be set aside for the village to use. No decision was made at the board’s February 11 meeting, but the item will be on the village board’s March meeting agenda for discussion and a decision.

“There was a change in TIF law back in 2009 ... for workforce or affordable housing support,” Hudson said. The village board would have to pass a resolution extending the TIFD’s life by up to one extra year. “All that money comes in ... for affordable housing,” Hudson said. The law requires at least 75 percent of the revenues from the one year extension of the TIFD for affordable housing anywhere within the village.
Upcoming Events
Entrepreneurial Training Program
Successful business owners have a plan — let us help you build yours!

Whether your business is growing or brand-new, writing a business plan is critical to building a profitable venture, especially to attract financing from lenders or investors. 

The Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) is eight efficient sessions to help you develop a plan for a thriving, profitable business. In this program, you will learn to identify customers, determine their needs and analyze that information into a feasible plan for starting or growing your business.

Dates: April 1 - May 20, 2020 | 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus, One University Drive, Sheboygan
Fees: $250 with successful application
InDevelopment 2020
Register now to save your seat at Insight’s 11 th annual InDevelopment Conference. The event will take place March 18 at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center in Oshkosh.

This year’s keynote speaker is Michael Belot, senior vice president of Bucks Ventures and Development. Belot develops and implements the strategic real estate and business growth objectives for the Bucks’ overall organization, including the 30-acre entertainment district.

For more information about the event and to register, click here.
Toward One Wisconsin 2020 Conference
A Conference on Building Communities of Equity and Opportunity, bringing together individuals and organizations from multiple sectors across Wisconsin to address the most persistent barriers to inclusion, what is working, and what is promising on the horizon. For information or to register, click here .
Coaching and Feedback
The process of sharing feedback and effective coaching is essential in successful leadership. Clear and consistent feedback develops skills, builds confidence and motivates. Effective coaching can help people improve their performance and reach their full potential. In this session, we'll discuss the attributes of giving constructive feedback and coaching to empower others.

Monday, March 23 | 12:30-4:30 pm
Fee: $205.00
Performance Discussions: Effective On-on-One
Performance discussions should be meaningful, impactful and ultimately bring out the best in your employees. Effective one-on-ones have the power to remove barriers holding back the talents in your team. Contributing just a few hours a month, one-on-one discussions can set everyone on the path towards success. Discover how to conduct effective one-on-one discussions with your employees to build trust, inspire professional development, align goals and provide employees with a sense of recognition and ownership.

Friday, March 27 | 12:30-3:30 pm
Fee: $184.00
Explore Starting a Business
The complimentary “Explore Starting a Business” session provides a look inside at what it takes to launch a startup and small business. Explore key factors in starting and growing a business. Begin to determine if you have a feasible idea, learn about critica l questions to consider, and additional entrepreneurship training opportunities. Whether you are looking to turn your side hustle into a full-time gig, grow your small business, or scale a startup, this session will help you understand your next steps.

You will learn about:
  • The entrepreneur/business owner mindset
  • Critical questions to consider when launching or growing a business
  • Entrepreneurship Training: The experience and the results
  • Twelve essentials for ramping up your business

Get more details and register here. The next sessions will be held on March 11 and April 8 at 5:30 pm at the Fox Valley Technical College D.J. Bordini Center in Appleton.
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