Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pro-Active Engineering Awarded Training Grant

Congratulations to Pro-Active Engineering Inc. of Sun Prairie, who was awarded a $5,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce Business Employees Skills Training (BEST) program.

"The BEST program focuses on providing employees with training that will upgrade the skills of Wisconsin's workforce," Governor Doyle said. "These grants will help provide the training that will allow Wisconsin businesses to continue to move forward and to grow."

Governor Doyle made the announcements on April 22nd through a news release on the Wisconsin Department of Commerce website. The announcement was included in the April 23rd edition of Market Memos on the Capital Times Website.

Renk Seed Featured in Article on the Changing World of Agriculture (Capital Times)

John Oncken of the Capital Times has a great article in today's Business section on current changes in agriculture, and quotes Sun Prairie's own Jeff Renk of Renk Seeds...

Today most of the planted corn and soybeans is genetically modified to resist weeds or insects. Jeff Renk of Renk Seed Company in Sun Prairie says, "100 percent of the soybeans we sell are GMO as is 65 percent of the corn. The GMO seeds are all protected by patent law. However, non-GMO varieties are still available."
Click here for the Capital Times article "John Oncken: Ag World Changes, But Its Still About People."

City Approves Revised Target Plans (Sun Prairie Star Online)

Target is still building a store in Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood, and will still be the initial anchor for the Prairie Lakes Development. While the proposed store has been reduced to 134,000 s.f., Target has the option of expanding into the available area. The primary difference between the previously approved Super Target and the current Target store is that non-packaged perishables and fresh meats will not be offered. Other grocery items will still be available.

On Tuesday, April 22nd, the
City Plan Commission approved the revision, and at Target's request the City Council held a special meeting that same evening to approve the project and allow Target the opportunity to get an earlier start on construction.

Additional information on the progress of this development will be posted as this project moves forward.

Click here for coverage of the meeting at Sun Prairie Star Online.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chamber Promotes "Shop Local" Programs in Sun Prairie

The Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce offers three shop local programs year around for merchants and patrons to participate in!

The Keytag Program gives patrons year around discounts at local stores with a purchase of a keytag for $8 from the Chamber office ($4 for Chamber Member employees). Over 35 businesses/merchants participate in the program and give discounts such as 10% labor discount on painting services, 10% off a one-hour massage, or $2 off any family size pizza. Keytag purchasers are given an easy to use schedule of discounts along with their tag. Click here for more information on the Sun Prairie Chamber Keytag Program.

The Gift Certificate Program is a great idea for gift-giving. Accepted at 38 local businesses, patrons can redeem their gift certificates at a variety of businesses from the athletic club to grocery stores to floral shops. Certificates can be purchased at the Chamber Office. Click here for more information on the Sun Prairie Chamber Gift Certificate Program.

Online Coupons can be downloaded from your computer anytime, any day at your convenience to use at local merchants in Sun Prairie. The convenience of having the coupons on-line allows you to print and redeem when you want to. Click here for current Online Coupons posted on the Chamber website.

For more information on any of the above programs call the Chamber of Commerce at 608-837-4546 or visit the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce website at:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fitch Rates Wisconsin Public Power Inc.'s Series 2008A Bonds 'A+' (

Fitch Ratings assigns a rating of 'A+' to Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) $234.685 million power supply system revenue bonds, series 2008A. Fitch also affirms the 'A+' on WPPI's outstanding power supply revenue bonds.

The 'A+' rating reflects WPPI's experienced management team which has the support of its growing member and non-member base. While there is some concentration among the largest industrial customers of the members (with the four largest accounting for 16% of energy requirements), helping to offset this is that many of the large customers have entered into long-term purchase power contracts with WPPI and its members, and more important, WPPI's competitive advantage - rates that are lower than those charged by the locally serving investor-owned utilities. Financial operations have been solid and projections show targeted debt service coverage of 1.25 times (x) through 2017, in line with other 'A+' rated systems. Another positive attribute is WPPI's power resource mix, which is diverse with sufficient capacity into 2017. The terms of the various power purchase contracts provide WPPI further flexibility.

Click here to read the full article at, or the synopsis on the Capital Times web version of Market Memos for April 18th.

UPDATED: According to the
Wisconsin State Journal's Business Digest for May 1, 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has upgraded its rating of Sun Prairie-based Wisconsin Public Power's outstanding parity debt to A+ from A and also assigned an A+ rating to the company's $235 million revenue bond issue. Fitch Ratings also has assigned an A+ rating to the revenue bonds while Moody's has rated them A1.

New Cost Cutters Opens in Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood (Capital Times)

New business growth in Sun Prairie makes it into the regional news once again. This time it was in the daily Capital Times "Market Memos."

Sun Prairie's westside neighborhood continues to add to its commercial growth with a new Cost Cutters Family Hair Salon opening at 310 S. Grand Ave. in Sun Prairie.

Click here to go to the Capital Times Market Memos for April 17th to read the original post.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sun Prairie Farmers' Market Opens Sat. May 3rd

Want to buy fresh, locally grown farm products but don't want to fight the crowds at the Dane County Farmers Market? Don't forget about your very own Sun Prairie Farmers' Market, which starts up again on May 3rd, and runs every Saturday through October 25th. Select from offerings of fresh vegetables and fruits, meats, flowers, baked goods, jams and other products that are some the finest that South Central Wisconsin has to offer.

Go ahead and do a little shopping and dining while you're Downtown too!

Location: 300 E. Main Church St. (Behind Municipal Building a.ka. City Hall Parking Lot)
Hours: 7 a.m.- Noon
Questions: Contact Earl Krueger at (920) 623-3425

(Source: Sun Prairie Business Improvement District)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Current Database of Available Buildings and Properties Posted on City Website (April 2008)

The City of Sun Prairie Economic Development Department monitors buildings and properties which are currently for sale or for lease. This is based on several online sources, including the LocationOne Information System (LOIS), PropertyDrive, the South Central Wisconsin multiple listing service, and the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce.

Properties that are for sale or lease that are not using one of these listing services will not appear in this database. Information of non-listed properties or other information might be available from the City. Please contact Neil Stechschulte at the City of Sun Prairie at (608) 825-0894 or nstechschulte[at]

Click here for a PDF file of Available Buildings and Properties for April 2008.

Click here for the City of Sun Prairie Economic Development Department.

Click here for the main City of Sun Prairie web page.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Famous Footwear Announcement Has No Impact on Sun Prairie Distribution Center (Sun Prairie Star Online)

Brown Shoe Company spoke with both the City of Sun Prairie and the Sun Prairie Star and confirmed that their integration of their Madison office operations into their St. Louis headquarters will not affect Sun Prairie's Famous Footwear Distribution Center.

Famous Footwear President Joe Wood spoke with Chris Mertes at the Star earlier this afternoon. In addition to not being included in the intergration of offices, Wood indicated that there was opportunity for growth at the Sun Prairie facility. had initially reported that this announcement could affect the Sun Prairie facility. Once informed of this, Brown Shoe immediately contacted WISC-TV and directed them to post a correction.

Special thanks to Chris Mertes and the Star for making sure they had current and accurate information prior to running their story, and for their communication with the City during the confusion caused by the initial story.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sun Prairie Featured in April In Business Magazine

The City of Sun Prairie is featured in a supplement to this month's (April 2008) In Business Magazine. The article features the pending St. Mary's project, and also covers current development happenings in the City's Westside Neighborhood, the Sun Prairie Business Park, and Downtown Sun Prairie. In Business Magazine distributes about 15,000 copies throughout Dane County, and has a readership of about 60,000. The April issue is due in mailboxes this week. If you are unable to locate a copy of the article, or would like to request a copy please contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or at nstechschulte[at]

Recipes from Sun Prairie's Market Street Diner Featured

Market Street Diner and General Manager Cosmos Skaife have been featured twice now in the Wisconsin State Journal in Catherine Murray's "Cook's Exchange" column.

The first one was on March 16th and was on Market Street Diner's Irish Soda Bread. Click here for the full article and recipe: Cooks' exchange: Irish flavor comes alive in Sun Prairie.

The second one was on April 5th and features 2 recipes--Market Street Diner's Irish Soda Bread Pudding and Market Street Diner's After Dinner Mint Cheesecake. Click here for the full article and recipes: Cooks' Exchange: Baker shares secret for a sweet ending.

Friday, April 4, 2008

MCV Salon Recongized Among Fastest Growing in North America

On April 2nd, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Region's Business Journal noted that MCV Salon & Spa in Sun Prairie has been named one of the 200 fastest-growing salons in North America by Salon Today magazine. Mary and William Volker own the salon. Congratulations!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

WPPI Utilities Save Enough Electricity to Power 13,500 Homes

SUN PRAIRIE, WIS., April 2 -- Customers of Wisconsin Public Power Inc.’s member utilities achieved energy savings of more than 25,000 megawatt-hours of electricity and more than 39,000 therms of natural gas in 2007, thanks to cost-effective energy efficiency programs by WPPI and its members.

Sun Prairie based WPPI is a regional power company serving 49 customer-owned electric utilities. Through WPPI, these public power utilities share resources and own generation facilities to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.

Upcoming Chamber of Commerce Events - April 2008

Spring Business Seminar - "Hiring the Right Fit" Presented by Kimberly Bellefeuilee and Jessica Moehr, QBE HR

Date: Thursday, April 10th
Place: General Casualty Campus - Bldg 100, Room 153, One General Drive
Time: 7:30-9:00 am
Cost: $3 Chamber Members ($10 non-Members)

This workshop will address:
  • Define your cultural needs
  • Recognize the current market
  • Interviewing tips to get the information you need
  • Determine whether to hire-in talent or train them
  • Attracting the different generations
Contact the Chamber at 837-4547 to register or e-mail:

RSVP Deadline: April 8th.

April Business Luncheon: "Workforce Development Solutions” presented by MATC

Date: Thursday, April 17th
Place: Windsor Street Grille, 1086 Emerald Terrace
Time: 12:00pm-1:00 pm
Cost: $8.50 per person

Marla and Jennifer will lead a discussion on current workforce development issues and how MATC offers a variety of solutions and services in support of changing workforce demands.

April Member Mixer:

On April 22, Villas at Meadow Crossing will be hosting a Mixer. Join us for informal networking, light refreshments and fun! A great way to get to know the Sun Prairie business community.

Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Place: 855 Birchwood Trail (off of Hwy N-Across from Angell Park)
Time: 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

For more information on these and other upcoming events or to register, contact the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce at 837-4547, or visit