Walworth County Economic Development Alliance Newsletter
March 2017
Walworth County Economic Development Alliance
Advocate. Catalyst.
Facilitator. Resource.
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.

           WCEDA Offices     
       New WCEDA Office
Located on the Gateway campus in the South Building on the corner of Centralia and County. Hwy. H, Room 105

SBA Workshops
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Madison and Milwaukee

April Webinars


WWBIC Business Consulting
No Cost
Schedule Appts.

Gateway Campus - Elkhorn


Gateway Business Consulting
No Cost
April Appts. Available
9:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.


EIGERLab Innovation Tuesday
Reverse Engineering
$10.00 (food provided)
5:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Tech Tutorial
Abram Library
9:30 a.m.

Lean Marketing

Coming Together For Entrepreneurship
7:15 - 9:00 a.m.

Water Leaders Summit 2017
May 23-24



2017 Walworth County  Business Expos and Job Fair
8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Lake Geneva

Economic Forecast
7:30 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.

Highway 12 Expansion Forum
7:30 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.

Lakewood Golf Invitational
8:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
Lake Geneva
Quickbooks Online Class - Beginners
February dates available
WCEDA Offices

Fundamentals of Supervision
February dates available
(6, two-hour classes)
WCEDA Offices

Connect Communities
East Troy - 3rd Tuesday @ 3:30 p.m.
Elkhorn - 1st Thursday @ 7:30 a.m.
Click here for more info. 

WWBIC to Deliver Free Business Classes at Badger High School
WWBIC joined forces with Badger High School and area partners to offer free business classes to community members in the area. This will be a great resource for small businesses. For more information, click here.



Change Management
Soft Skills
Customized Training
On-site training available
 Click here for more information.

East Troy Community Development Alliance (ETCDA)

Elkhorn Economic Development Alliance (EEDA)

The City of Elkhorn recently hired the firm Redevelopment Resources to conduct a market study to assist in its economic development efforts. The EEDA will be seeking input from business owners and residents. For more information, or to get involved, click here
Wisconsin is currently phasing in a state income tax credit for manufacturers and farmers. These two sectors are currently taxed at 7.9% but will be eligible for a 7.5% tax credit by 2016. Click here for more information

WCEDA Welcomes
New Members
To become a member, click here

Wisconsin Tax Bulletin

here to see new tax laws and other tax-reIated informaiton or details.

Virtual Tenant Program
Great program for startup businesses, especially those in technology related areas. Whitewater University Technology Park (WUTP) will offer a number of valuable services for virtual tenants who are working from home or in another location. For a nominal monthly fee of $100, virtual tenants To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
Walworth County Business Mentor Network
What studies find with the companies that conduct formal plans is that their revenues are double those that do not conduct plans, and more importantly, their profits are 2.5 times those that do not conduct plans. Obviously, there is a strong case to be made for the value of planning. The good news is that Walworth County have a network of mentors who are ready and willing to help businesses in their planning process. And, the bonus is that these mentors do not charge for their services. Click
here to see a video of these mentors. And, click here to find out about the business mentor network that is available to you. 


"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.

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.

3rd Annual Lakewood Invitational - June 9th

Lakewood Golf Club is not open to the general public. This is a rare opportunity to play a beautiful course that is surrounded by a wildlife refuge. What players like about this event is that it's a relaxed  day that you spend with friends in an extraordinary environment with delicious food and drinks.It's one of the most enjoyable events of the year. Proceeds this year will benefit WCEDA's new workforce development initiative called Inspire, which is a web-based program that establishes an employee pipeline between local schools and local businesses. Play is limited to 50 players. Don't miss out on the best event of the summer. The event will be held on Friday, June 9th from 8:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. Click here for more information or to make a reservation. To see a video overview of last year's event, click here.

Apprenticeships - A Great Way to Develop Talent
On Thursday, March 30, 2017 Gateway, State of Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board co-hosted an Apprenticeship Forum focused on manufacturing apprenticeships. Nearly 80 persons attended this event. What businesses gain from apprenticeships are more engaged employees, both those participating as an apprentice and those teaching the apprentice. Offering apprenticeship opportunities can be a recruiting tool as well. There are a wide variety of apprenticeships available to employers, including IT and healthcare. For more information about Apprenticeship opportunities, contact Samantha Ingo at

Calling All Artists and Aspiring Artists
As one of Wisconsin's Connect Community villages, East Troy is participating in a Giant Postcard initiative. It's a fun way to draw residents, visitors, and tourists around your community through the use of social media. The initial goal is to display 8 giant postcards across the community. Each postcard is 4' x 8'. Eventually, the community would like to see 20 throughout the village. Each postcard will be sponsored by a business and will give recognition to the artist. Area artists and aspiring artists are encouraged to submit concept renderings for these postcards. The East Troy Economic Development Alliance will select the top 8 submissions to be transferred to the postcards. If you are interested to participate, please submit your concepts by March 21st. The deadlines to make submissions have been extended to March 21st. For more information, click here.

Workforce Development News
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.

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

Degrees, Certificates, Business Solutions and Training

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.

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.

Access to Capital News
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.

Other News
Google's SEO Advice Is Not Always Gospel
WCEDA member, Nate Dame of Propecta recenty wrote a column for in which he argues that ultimately Google's advice is in their best interest, not yours. So he encourages you to understand the nuances. The best thing to look for when hiring an SEO is someone who understands modern SEO strategies, and who teaches you how to utilize the power of search engines to grow your own audience. This is advice Google will never provide, but it is nonetheless crucial to successful digital marketing in a fiercely competitive field. To read more, click here.


Export Development Grant Program
Milwaukee 7 Export Development Grant Program will provide approximately 30 companies with monetary awards up to $5,000 that will support the company’s next steps to going global. Qualifying expenses will be reimbursed at 50% and may be combined with grants provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) any other potential grant programs. Click here for more information.

New Grant Program Meant To Help Wisconsin Startup Businesses

Entrepreneurs In Mid-Sized Communities Will Have a Chance To Qualify For Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Grant 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is turning its attention to rural and mid-size communities.

Programs that support entrepreneurs in smaller communities will have the chance to apply for WEDC grant money to help startup businesses. Grants will range from $10,000 to $100,000. Aaron Hagar, WEDC vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation, said the grant money has a chance to alleviate so-called brain drain — younger, highly educated workers leaving their communities for opportunities elsewhere.To read more, click here

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


Copyright © 2017 Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, All rights reserved.

Derek D'Auria, Executive Director | Email | 262.741-8134
Executive Assistant | Email | 262.741.8508