The best way we can help the local economy is by visiting with businesses to help match resources, create productive networks, and discover new opportunities.
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Located on the Gateway campus in the South Building on the corner of Centralia and County. Hwy. H, Room 105
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to change the world."
~ Anne Frank
Entrepreneurship Over Easy - LEAN MARKETING
On April 11th at UW - Whitewater, Management Lecturer David Gee will present a program on lean marketing. This concept is a pillar of the lean startup movement, and it can energize market discovery and growth in organizations of any size and life cycle stage. We will provide a quick tour through some of the first principles of lean marketing with a focus on value creation through customer participation, continuous learning, leveraging technology and efficient use of resources to achieve maximum results. For more information or to register, click here.
Unemployment Rates and Wages
The most current unemployment rate for Walworth County was 3.6%. This compares to Wisconsin at 3.7% and the U.S. at 4.5%. Fourth quarter wages were up 2.9% than a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Walworth County Business Expo and Job Fair 2017
DON'T MISS OUT! The 2nd Annual Walworth County Business EXPO and Career Fair is the ideal opportunity to promote your products, and services to neighboring businesses across the county. Exhibitors will be on display to showcase their products, meet decision makers, and reconnect with past customers and clients. Attendees can learn about job opportunities, leading products and services, and the latest best business practices. Last year nearly 500 people participated in this event. Click here for more information or to reserve a booth. Early bird special and member discounts available. Click here for more details. And, for sponsorship opportunities, click here. Renowned speaker John Blumberg will give a Keynote presentation from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Highway 12 Expansion Forum - May 19th
The WisDOT suspended the finalization of the Highway 12 Environmental Study Impact (EIS) prior to completion! The Redline Coalition* will host a discussion forum for the areas surrounding Highway 12 from Whitewater to Elkhorn. There will be a panel of local government officials and business leaders. Six state legislators were invited. President of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Todd Berry will be the guest speaker. This is a chance for your opinion to be heard.
The event will be hosted at the Gateway Technical College campus on Friday, May 19th from 8 a.m. - noon. There is no cost to attend this event, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Click here for more information or to register.
*Greater Whitewater Committee, Inc., Walworth County, City of Whitewater, Township of La Grange, City of Elkhorn, Lauderdale Lake and Pleasant Lake Management Districts, Walworth County Economic and Development Alliance (WCEDA)
Economic Forecast - Year of the Rooster: What Does the Economy Look Like Now?
It is said that Rooster Years are never boring as the Chinese zodiac attributes optimism, confidence and practicality to this sign. Thus far we have had plenty of the optimism and confidence and now seem to be entering the realm of practicality. What can we now expect when it comes to interest rates, the power of the dollar and the rise of inflation? Where will growth manifest and where will we see slowdowns? Chris Kuehl is an analyst and presenter for Armada Executive Intelligence, a firm that analyzes how national and international news affects our local businesses. Armada has worked with Fortune 500 companies on everything from merger and acquisition strategy to key account management, strategic planning and corporate marketing efforts. On Wednesday, May 17, Voyager Capital Management and WCEDA will host a presentation by Chris Kuehl from 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. There is no cost to attend this event, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Click here for more information or to make a reservation.
Five Principles for Effective Workforce Development Programs
Recognizing the importance of this subject, McKinsey & Company has done extensive research on global workforce-development programs and economic strategies. They have also worked with a number of state, local, and national governments.So based on our research and experience, we have identified five principles that we believe should be the foundation of workforce-development programs—for funders, participants, and employers. To read article, click here.
Gateway Technical College has nearly a hundred different degrees, technical diplomas, or certificate offered at its various locations across, Walworth, Kenosha, and Racine counties. Click here to see programs of study. And for a quick overview of Gateway programs and certificates, click here. It also offers a wide array of business and workforce solutions that can be customized to the needs of individualized businesses. Click here for more details. Gateway was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce for being an innovative college. It's a great asset for our communities. EMPLOYEE ASSESSMENTS are a great way to identify skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace. Gateway can bring these assessment tools to your business. Click here for more information.
Degrees, Certificates, Business Solutions and Training
Free Online Courses Now Available to Walworth County
Hundreds of online courses are now available, free to residents of Racine and Walworth counties, thanks to a partnership between the local libraries and the counties' job centers. The Gale Course platform offers programs in a variety of areas such as business, computers and writing. Fifteen public libraries in the Lakeshores Library System, Racine County Workforce Development Center,and the Walworth County Job Center provided funding to support a region-wide subscription. Click here to read more about this opportunity.
Employer Survey: Uptick In Hiring Coming For Wisconsin
A Wisconsin hiring survey predicts an uptick in hiring for Wisconsin. According to the Milwaukee-based temporary services firm ManpowerGroup, 24 percent of Wisconsin employers expect to add jobs during the next three months, 2 percent of the employers are forecasting layoffs, and the remaining are predicting no change in staffing. Manpower's Chris Layden said the state's 22 percent net employment outlook is up from earlier this year. "Now this is up, almost 10 points, from the first quarter of the year," Layden said. "So you are seeing from a quarter to quarter standpoint, some nice growth projected in Wisconsin, getting us back to levels we saw in early 2016." All 13 industry sectors expect job gains. Wisconsin's largest market — Milwaukee — is a little weaker than the statewide hiring forecast, and down a little from the second quarter of last year, Layden said.To read more, click here.
Qualified New Business Ventures (QNBV) Tax Credits
QNBV status allows investors in qualified startup and early-stage companies to receive a 25 percent state tax credit on the amount they invest in the business. The program, one of several WEDC initiatives aimed at supporting startups, helps early-stage companies secure new investment and accelerates their potential for growth and job creation in Wisconsin
.“By helping startups like these gain access to the capital necessary for growth, the QNBV Program is contributing to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wisconsin,” said Aaron Hagar, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation. “This is one of the ways in which WEDC invests in the state’s next-generation companies.” To read more, click here.
Hometown Entrepreneur Loan Program (HELP)
Are you having trouble getting a loan? Are your revenues under $1 million? WCEDA may be able to HELP. We have a loan program through the USDA for small businesses called the Hometown Entrepreneur Loan Program (HELP) that aims to help small business access capital. Many times we can work with banks or other programs like SBA or WHEDA to make a loan work for companies. Click here to review the application, or click here to have someone contact you about this program. Click here for additional funding sources for small businesses and startups.
Crowdfunding for Startups
Obtaining funding is one of the biggest hurdles that most entrepreneurs will have to overcome. If a bank loan won't cover what you, and you don't have connections to investors, it can be tough to know where to begin. Online crowdfunding, raising smaller amounts of money from multiple backers, has become an increasingly common solution to this dilemma because it allows startups to reach out to a large number of potential investors at once. To learn more, click here.
Kiva Zip is a program that makes small micro loans to entrepreneurs. Rather than assessing your credit history and financial statements, Kiva Zip uses your character and trust network as a measure of your credit worthiness. Almost 63,000 people have supported a small business owner through Kiva Zip. Click here to learn more about how this program works.
SBA Announces Its 2017 Wisconsin Award Winners
Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the contributions of small businesses to America’s economy by honoring outstanding entrepreneurs and their supporters in each of its 68 districts and ten regions. This year, Wisconsin is celebrating six successful companies and nine individuals and organizations that exemplify excellence in entrepreneurship. To read more, click here.
4 Trends to Keep in Mind When Blogging for 2017
As you know being successful online means being at the mercy of every algorithm update and trend that the channels we choose to publish across makes.Whether you are starting from scratch or just keeping your blog game going from previous years, here are 4 things to implement immediately:Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), mobile-first indexing,voice search, and Google’s Penguin 4.0 update:. To read more about this, click here.