Road trip to Wisconsin

· Oct 10, 2001 Tweet

Gov. Scott McCallum is inviting Twin Cities metro-area CEOs to take a road trip. Destination: Wisconsin.

In an effort to lure Minnesota’s expanding businesses and increase Wisconsin’s ailing economy, McCallum has launched a marketing campaign targeted at the Twin Cities. Forward Wisconsin, the state’s public-private business recruitment and marketing group, recently sent 3800 mailings to Twin Cities-area business executives. Each flyer detailed the advantages of expanding businesses into Wisconsin, citing lower taxes, decreased crime rates, and an emphasis on education.

“Wisconsin is a great place for growing Minnesota companies to do a little site seeing,” McCallum said in a news release. “Our strong growth in Wisconsin can be attributed to a pro-jobs, pro-business, pro-technology climate and a hard-charging, forward-thinking attitude for accomplishing our economic development ideas.”

McCallum sees potential for both states to benefit from the prospective expansion.

“Wisconsin continues to offer cost savings for Minnesota businesses,” McCallum said. “When you consider Wisconsin’s quality of life and productive workforce, our state is an excellent place in which to both live and work.”

Of the 3800 businesses contacted by Forward Wisconsin, 53 have shown interest, an average number according to Scott Reigstad, director of communications for Forward Wisconsin.

“Typically what we’ve done is contacted manufacturing companies with over ten employees,” Reigstad said. “After some research, we have included software, biotechnology, and plastics companies.”

Forward Wisconsin’s goal is not to take existing businesses from Minnesota, but to make plans for expanding businesses.

“We don’t try to get them to relocate; we encourage expansion into Wisconsin,” Reigstad said.

Forward Wisconsin, if successful, will increase the economy in Wisconsin and allow for job growth.

“Our mission is to get them to come here to Wisconsin, thus furthering the economy and creating more jobs,” Reigstad said.

Wisconsin is currently the home of 2600 high-tech establishments, employing 60,000 high-tech workers, a number that jumped between 1993 to 1998 when 7800 high-tech workers were added. Forward Wisconsin hopes to see this number continue to grow over the next decade. Biotechnology firms were added to the list of potential visitors in order to accomplish this goal.

McCallum and his staff emphasize the increasing amount of venture capital in the state, a trend they hope will persuade prospective entrepreneurs to start up in Wisconsin. In 1995, venture capital investment in Wisconsin companies was $8.8 million. In 2000, the figure skyrocketed to $329 million.

Forward Wisconsin will visit the Twin Cities metro area later this week to meet with companies who are interested in doing business with Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Team will separate into pairs and visit each of the CEOs that wish to talk about their firms and why they are interested in doing business in Wisconsin.

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This article was published Oct 10, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Oct 10, 2001 at 12:00 am

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