North Wants More Help From State With Rural Businesses

WEDC Criticized For Targeting Major Corporations With Incentives


Northern Wisconsin leaders are concerned the state’s public-private jobs agency is favoring large companies with its programs, and are asking the state to offer incentives that draw businesses to rural areas.

Bayfield County Univeristy of Wisconsin-Extension community development educator Tim Kane said they’d like to see more tax credits tailored to small businesses or a bonus to lure developers to rural areas.

“The infrastructure isn’t there,” said Kane. “The employers aren’t there. The opportunities aren’t there. How do we provide incentives to get that stuff spread around?”

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Barb LaMue, with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, said they realize the challenges rural areas face.

“We have tried in our incentives to take that into consideration. Can we be doing more? Yes. We need to explore that,” she said.

LaMue adds northwestern Wisconsin is the only region where WEDC has put more money into its revolving loan fund so companies can access small loans for things like equipment.