- Economic Development
- Regional & County Resources
Regional & County Resources
Forward Wisconsin is a resource for information on business climate, taxes and costs, workforce and State comparisons.
Wisconsin Department of Commerce: Business Development
The Wisconsin Department of Commerce offers:
- Business expansion and export development
- Business planning
- Early-stage planning grants
- Employee training
- Federal research grant assistance
- Initial capitalization
- Low interest loans
- Research and development
- Site selection
- Tax credits
- Training incentive programs
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN)
The WEN is a resource center and several grant opportunities.
Industrial Revenue Bond
All Wisconsin municipalities, cities, villages, and towns, are authorized to issue Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs). IRBs are municipal bonds whose proceeds are loaned to private persons or to businesses to finance capital investment projects. The Industrial Revenue Bonds are exempt from federal tax and therefore, are at a low interest rate. The entire project including land, buildings and equipment can all be paid for via IRBs. Communities that issue these bonds, either to retain businesses or to encourage the expansion of new businesses, generally do so to build their economic base and add jobs.
Tax Incremental Financing (TIF)
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts are established to improve and revitalize blighted areas or extend new development for industrial purposes. Taxes on the improved value of the land because of redevelopment pay for the extension of the infrastructure and raise the tax base on an area that would otherwise stay undeveloped.
Northwest Manufacturing Outreach Center
The Northwest Manufacturing Outreach Center offers impartial guidance that manufacturers need to increase the competitive advantage for their business.
State of Wisconsin Business Wizard
Licensing, permitting and regulatory requirements, and necessary application forms. Identify available state resources, and access other valuable business-related information with this helpful website.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA offers the Wisconsin Business Development Program including SBA 504 loans and SBA 7(a) guaranteed loans
The 1st online micro lender. Count-Me-In provides loans from $500 - $10,000. Your 1st loan must be $5,000 or less. Visit the Count-Me-In website or email them for more information.
Get advice to power up your dream. SCORE mentors are available online and in-person to share helpful business advice. An expert adviser can help you make the right business decisions to successfully start your business. The services is free and confidential.
U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal
Your online source on how to contract with the U.S. Government, file wage reports, get a State business license, get an employer ID number and other business services.
USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Financial programs support such essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. They promote economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks , credit unions and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations. They provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs.
Polk County Economic Development Corporation
The purpose of the Polk County EDC is to encourage and promote economic development and capital investment in Polk County in order to create and retain attractive jobs for a diverse population, enhance our community’s tax base, and facilitate positive, sustainable economic growth. Polk County EDC can offer assistance of starting and financing a business.
For more information, please visit Polk County online or contact Terry Hauer, EDC Director at 715-405-3400 or by email.
UW-Extension Office-Polk County
UW-Extension Offices provide educational tools in land use and economic matters for residents and businesses. They custom fit their knowledge and provide research to communities with whom they are assisting. In a collaborative effort with UW-River Falls Small Business Development Center, the UW-Extension office also hosts a monthly Small Business Consultation Sessions. These confidential face-to face sessions are an informal opportunity for local entrepreneurs to have their business plans and financial projections reviewed and analyzed.
For more information, please visit UW-Extension online.
The best of business, education, service, technology and tourism is brought to your fingertips by the creators of this comprehensive website Momentum West. Momentum West is a regional economic development organization serving Barron, Clark, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pierce, Pepin, Polk, Rusk, and St. Croix counties.
For more information, please visit Momentum West online or contact them by email.
Regional Business Fund (RBF), Inc.
RBF, Inc. is a non-profit economic development corporation whose purpose is to promote business and economic development in west central Wisconsin. The RBF, Inc. offers loan funds to businesses within the Wisconsin counties of Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, and St. Croix that expand within the region, diversify the economy, add new technology and create quality jobs and capital investment in the region.
In 2008 counties, cities, villages, and towns consolidated 28 different state-funded revolving loan fund dollars into the Regional Business Fund. This created a larger and more diverse fund that includes the Revolving Loan Fund, Downtown Façade Loan Fund, Micro Loan Fund, TEF(Technology Enterprise Fund), and EDA (Economic Development Administration) Revolving Loan Fund.
For more information on eligibility, terms and conditions, and application procedures contact Heidi Biesterveld:
West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
800 Wisconsin Street
Mail Box 9
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Visit RBF online or email the organization.
Revolving Loan Fund
The Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is a flexible source of loan funds for commercial and industrial projects. The purpose is to encourage the creation of quality jobs and to increase the tax base. Eligible activities include acquisition of equipment, machinery, furniture and fixtures, and new working capital.
Downtown Façade Loan Program
The Downtown Facade Loan Program provides financial assistance to encourage property and business owners in core downtown's to revitalize downtown commercial buildings within towns, cities, and villages of West Central Wisconsin. Eligible activities include facade renovation, exterior lighting, doors, graphics, signage, windows, and awnings, other facade or landscape improvements.
Applicants must provide acceptable facade design plans that comply with approved general design guidelines based on the National Trust or suitable design guidelines prepared and adopted by local governments.
Micro Loan Fund Program
The Micro Loan Fund Program provides small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small businesses. The key objective is to assist business owners, who have traditionally had difficulty assessing debt financing, by affording them another alternative to obtaining credit.
Eligible activities include:
- Acquisition of equipment
- Building renovation and rehabilitation
- Furniture and fixtures
- Inventory purchases and supplies
- Leasehold improvements
- Natural disaster recovery
- New working capital
- Real estate acquisition
Technology Enterprise Fund (TEF)
Companies locating, or agreeing to locate, their primary operation to Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, or St. Croix County, may be eligible for TEF Funds - a revolving loan fund that provides creative financing to new and emerging technology companies.
The goal of the program is to leverage private investment dollars and enhance sustainable economic development opportunities within the region.Eligible technologies include any business engaged in the activities of research, development or manufacturing of advanced products or materials for use in factory automation, biotechnology, chemicals, computer hardware, computer software, and similar technologies.
EDA Revolving Loan Fund Program
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) Loan Fund has been managed by the RBF, Inc. since 1995. The program provides low-interest loan funds to expanding businesses that are creating jobs and making a capital investment.