Walworth County Economic Development Alliance Newsletter
June 2018
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, Suite 105

SBA June workshops
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Madison and Milwaukee
Score June Webinars
Roku for Small Business
June 12
5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee Business Events Calendar June 2018
[Register & Info]

WWBIC Events and Education

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


East Troy Fab Lab 
The fab lab is open for public use from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.  

Tech Tutorial
Aram Library
9:30 a.m.


The 3 Driving Fundamentals of a Brilliant Social Media Campaign
June 12, 2018
[More Info]

Lakewood Golf Invitational
June 15, 2018 9am - 2 pm
[More Info]

Quickbooks Online Class - Beginners
July dates available
WCEDA Offices

Fundamentals of Supervision
July 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.



SixSigma/Lean/Continuous Learning
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)

Elkhorn's New Building Improvement Grant
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 Click
here to see new tax laws and other tax-related information or details.

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. Also, click here to find out about the business mentor network that is available to you. 
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.




"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself." 
~Henry Ward Beecher

State of the County-  Debt Free!
One of the exciting messages that was shared at this event is that Walworth County is now debt free. It is also the only county out of 72 in the state that can boast this. On May 22, 2018, Walworth County Administrator Dave Bretl along with Todd Berry former president of the Taxpayers Alliance and Jim Paetsch, Vice President of Milwaukee 7, presented a State of the County for 70 WCEDA guests at the Abbey in Fontana. Topics discussed included - How are your tax payments being spent? What are the tax implications for the future? How will Foxconn affect Walworth County?  Did you miss the event? Watch it here

The 3 Driving Fundamentals of a Brilliant Social Media Campaign 
The lines between traditional and digital marketing have been blurring for a while. But even if you consider yourself an early social media marketing adopter, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the fundamentals. Join us at The Abbey in Fontana on June 12, 2018, from 7:30 am to 10:30 am.  Topics will include Choosing the right platform for your business, Prioritizing social media and Cool Tools and how to use them, Register for the event here

Lakewood Golf Outing - Friday, June 15th - 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. **Don't Miss Out!***

 Lakewood Golf Club is a private golf course in Lake Geneva that has been generously offered the facilities to WCEDA for a fundraiser to benefit economic development efforts within the county. Proceeds will be used to advance the Inspire program, which is a web-based program that interfaces local businesses with students, teachers, and parents. This is a rare opportunity to experience this unique course and clubhouse, which is surrounded by a 300-acre wildlife refuge. People who have participated in this event in the past say its one of the most enjoyable golf events they have attended. A gourmet reception with drinks follows the round and is a great opportunity to connect with the other golfers. Golf packages and other items are also given out as part of a drawing. Registrations are limited. Only 12 foursomes will be permitted to play. Click here for more

2018 Connect Community Open House  -                                                  
On Saturday, May 12, the Elkhorn Downtown opened its doors for the 3rd annual Open House. The event allowed visitors a sneak peek of unique properties and venues around the state. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., visitors could tour historic properties, rooftops, and theaters, participate in walking tours and educational sessions, and enjoy business specials throughout the host communities.  Elkhorn also had vendors in the square and many of the businesses opened their doors to a sidewalk sale or offered specials to visitors. The highlight was the music performed by two one-man groups. Connect Communities is a great way to meet your business neighbors and get involved in what's going on. Click here to find out more about this program.

Workforce Development News

Central Wisconsin Labor Region Labor Availability Analysis – 2018 With Emphasis on Manufacturing Employment
The Jefferson County Economic Development Consortium recently contracted the Docking Institute of Public Affairs to conduct a labor availability analysis of 10 counties including Walworth County. This effort emphasized the manufacturing sector and focused much of its work on Jefferson and Dodge counties. Even so, it is still a useful analysis that can be applied to the general area. There were a number of interesting insights that this analysis revealed, including the fact that more than three-quarters of the available labor pool is willing to work outside of their primary field of employment for new or different employment opportunities. An estimated 7,012 members (3%) of the Available Labor Pool are interested in a new job at $10 an hour, 29,347 (11%) are interested at $15 an hour, and 71,419 (28%) are interested at $20 an hour, indicating that wages are a major factor. The six most important desired benefits, in order, are good salary or hourly wage, good retirement benefits, good health benefits, good vacation benefits, on-the-job training (OJT) or paid training, and flexible hours or flex-time. To read the executive study, click here. To obtain a copy of the full Labor Availability Analysis, please send your request to

The highlight was the music performed by two 1 man groups.

Milwaukee 7 hosted its second annual economic development forum this week. Not surprisingly, the theme of the event was developing 21st century talent. Governor Walker kicked off the event. He listed the top three priorities that his administration is pursuing as it relates to workforce: education/training; breaking down barriers to employment; marketing for the recruitment of talent. One of the initiatives he highlighted in the area of education is Academic and Career Planning (ACP). Incidentally, the INSPIRE program that WCEDA is leading for Walworth County is a program that supports this objective. Some of the barriers they are working on to remove are in areas like people with disabilities, the correctional system, and those on public assistance. The administration plans to spend $8 million on marketing to prospective workers in partnership with the department of tourism, particularly in the Illinois area but across the whole Midwest, targeting millennials, Wisconsin graduates, and veterans. Walker noted that Wisconsin is the number one state for veteran benefits. And, he asked the audience to help promote that message. Becky Frankiewicz, President of Manpower North America, also spoke to the group. To set the context, she explained that 65% or more of the future jobs are ones that do not currently exist now. Her parting message to the group is that we need to be working with our educators to prepare students to become lifelong learners who have the ability to adapt to new situations and challenges: learnability and adaptability were themes that consistently ran through her remarks. For more information on the M7 Regional partnership, click here to contact Lisa Pavett.

SBA Guide to Government Contracting 
Every year, the federal government spends over $400 billion dollars on goods and services, making it the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world.  The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development is charged with making sure that the federal government spends at least 23% of its contract dollars with small businesses annually.  Visit their site to learn how  

Building Improvement Grant Program for Elkhorn

Elkhorn is excited to announce a new building improvement grant program that will be available to all building owners within the city limits. This program will be geared to assist building owners with facade improvements, as well as certain structural improvements like roofs or those related to ADA compliance issues. The city has allocated $50k toward this program each year for three years. It is a reimbursement program that will pay up to 20% of the improvement costs. The Elkhorn Economic Development Alliance (EEDA) will be administering this program in coordination with the city. The EEDA will also walk building owners through the application process, Applications are now being accepted. For more information, 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 microloans to entrepreneurs. Rather than assessing your credit history and financial statements, Kiva Zip uses your character and trust network as a measure of your creditworthiness. Almost 63,000 people have supported a small business owner through Kiva Zip. Click here to learn more about how this program works.

New Walworth County Health and Human Services Building

Walworth County is poised to begin construction on a two-story, 77,500-square-foot health and human services building this year. The new building will house health and human services’ eight primary departments: behavioral health, mental health, public health, crisis intervention, aging and disability resource center, economic support services, children’s health and administration.  The county estimates the building will cost $18.8 million.  The building will be constructed on a vacant, county-owned lot at 1910 County NN in Elkhorn. Bids for the project are due May 31. If the Walworth County Public Works Committee approves the contract in June, construction is expected to begin this fall. County employees likely will move in by December 2019, with site restoration and landscaping expected by May 2020, weather permitting.

SBA Awards Funding for 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers
The U.S. Small Business Administration this week announced the awarding of $6.6 million in funding to 22 organizations to provide training and counseling to current and aspiring veteran small business owners as a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC).  “Nearly one in 10 small businesses in the U.S. is owned by a veteran – and we continue to see these numbers grow,” said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. “SBA is proud to work with our grantee organizations, like the Veterans Business Outreach Centers, to prepare veterans to succeed as entrepreneurs. Their success is our nation’s success.” The award expands the existing VBOC network from 20 to 22 centers nationwide. Each of the awardees demonstrates proven commitment and continued excellence in providing wide-ranging entrepreneurial resources to the veteran and military community.  Learn more

How to Create an Inclusive Work Environment
How is diversity reflected in your workplace? For most, it reflects inclusiveness of cultures, orientations and more. Making a conscious effort to embrace inclusiveness and create a workplace in which people of all backgrounds feel safe and welcomed, is not only good for business, but it’s also the law. In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, here are four tips to help you create an inclusive work environment.  Learn More

Get a highly anticipated look at the results of our 2017 First Business Economic Survey. With 15 years of data from Wisconsin business leaders, the First Business Economic Survey reflects executives’ assessments of this year’s overall and regional financial performance, as well as predictions for the next year. Read the report here.

Elkhorn Community Business Connection

Elkhorn's new networking group is called "Elkhorn Community Business Connection Group." It is a non-competitive group that will meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Meetings start at 8 and are held in the Conference Room of the Elkhorn Chamber. Meetings will last no longer than an hour. For more information, for more information, click here.



Copyright © 2018 Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, All rights reserved.

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