Although the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is responsible for administering more than 25 separate economic development programs, they can be categorized into five distinct areas: Entrepreneurial Development, Capital Finance, Technology Development, Employee Training and "Targeted Businesses."
Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a completed Prospect Data Sheet (PDS), after speaking directly with an Area Development Manager. The Area Development Manager for Rock County is Mary Gage. Mary can be reached at 608.266.2766.
In recognition of the importance of a sound business pan, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network (WEN) offers an Early Planning Grant (EPG) program that provides grants to entrepreneurs and small businesses to help off-set a portion of the cost of hiring an independent third party to develop a comprehensive business plan. If you do not have a business plan, or would like additional information on entrepreneurial development programs, click here.
WEDC capital finance programs offer below market rate financing to businesses that are willing to make a firm commitment to invest in Wisconsin. Notwithstanding the attractiveness of the interest rate, it should be noted that WEDC is not a primary lender. In fact, given its limited financial resources, WEDC works closely with eligible businesses and their private sector lenders to minimize the amount of public funds necessary to make a project go forward.
Please Note: Having a comprehensive business plan is a critical first-step in accessing WEDC’s capital finance programs. To learn more about WEDC’s capital finance programs:
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) can be another resource for financing with similar goals in their Private Debt Program.
WEDC recognizes the need for Wisconsin businesses to stay on the fore-front of technological innovation. To assist in this process, WEDC offers a Technology Development program that is designed to assist businesses and entrepreneurs that are researching new technologies, products, or manufacturing processes that, if successful, could have a significant impact upon Wisconsin's economy. This loan program is designed as a cost-sharing program with flexible repayment terms that are keyed to the success of the particular research project.
In keeping with WEDC's long held belief that Wisconsin's best assets are its people, WEDC offers training programs that are designed to enhance the skills and abilities of its workforce. Offered in the form of a matching grant, the Customized Labor Training program has historically been driven by a company's commitment to re-invest in new technologies that necessitate the need for training. However, in addition to the CLT program, WEDC also offers the BEST program, which is specifically designed to meet the wide variety of training needs of Wisconsin's small businesses. For additional information on these training programs, click here.
Rock County Revolving Loan
The Rock County Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is intended to assist start-up and expanding businesses planning to locate in the county. The Revolving Loan Fund program offers low interest financing at a dollar for dollar equity match for fixed assets and working capital. The RLF program leverages funds based on full-time job creation by the business within 3 years or of project completion. Terms and rates are determined based on project. For more information; contact, James Otterstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board Business & Employment Services
The Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (SWWDB) offers employers a comprehensive array of cost-effective methods to connect to the region’s dynamic and motivated job-seekers. Some services are provided free of charge, while others are available at affordable and negotiable rates Examples of services include: Candidate Searches, Interactive Group-Training Services, Job Seeker Assessments, Recruitment Assistance and Workforce Development Training.
In order to encourage small and new exporters to get first-hand experience of international markets, the Wisconsin Department of WEDC offers a Trade Show Grant of up to $5000 to cover many of the costs of exhibiting at international trade events. The Center for International Business Education Research at the UW-Madison also offers a Trade Show Travel Grant to cover other expenses associated with trade shows in the hi-tech and biotech sectors.
Please note that while the descriptions are fairly generic, WEDC does give special consideration to "targeted businesses" such as: minority owned businesses, women owned businesses, recycling businesses, the dairy industry, etc. For additional information on "targeted businesses," click here.
Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Incentives
Local TIF development incentives are available and negotiable. Individual TIF incentives may include but are not limited to; land conveyance, financial contributions and/or infrastructure development. For more information on this program, Christina Slaback 608.868.6222 or Jerry Schuetz 608.868.6900.
Workforce Advancement Training Grants:
Through workforce training, Wisconsin’s technical colleges provide the state’s workers and employers with the competitive edge they need to be successful in today’s global economy. Wisconsin’s Workforce Advancement Training Grants promote increased investment in the development of incumbent workers and expand technical college training services to help businesses and industry meet their training needs.
Funding available through this program enables technical colleges to offer targeted job training for the current workforce. This training is designed to upgrade the skills and productivity of employees of established, for-profit businesses and industries operating in Wisconsin to support regional workforce and economic development efforts.
Wisconsin Technical College System:
The Wisconsin Technical College System has 47 campuses in 16 college districts throughout Wisconsin. They offer customized training and workplace education for employers.