Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Getting Caught Up for April

I've been a little busy here this month, and I apologize for not posting any updates here recently. We'll get that taken care of here today. Here is a short summary of some of the City of Sun Prairie's economic development activities from the past 30 days or so:
  • Performance of Sun Prairie Target Exceeds Expectations. Store Manager Matt Fischer told me that their sales have considerably outpaced projections for their first several weeks. It just proves what we've been telling everybody...Sun Prairie is THE place for retail on this side of Dane County. We look forward to what will be coming next on Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood.

  • Main Street Construction has officially begun. The City is actively engaging businesses along this corridor to keep them up to speed on construction schedules, street closures and utility relocations. Updates are being provided at weekly business meetings, through direct e-mails to interested businesses and partners, updating the City website every week (http://www.cityofsunprairie.com/), and posting contact information through our local cable access channel. The City is also coordinating alternative route and access signage. This week, representatives from various regional media outlets will be available at 10:00 a.m. this Thursday to answer questions about advertising during construction. Questions regarding the project can be addressed by calling (608) 318-2436 or send an e-mail to mainstreet[at]cityofsunprairie.com. It is anticipated that with this project, along with the desigation of TIF 10 along the central part of this corridor that a new "Midtown" area of Sun Prairie will emerge over the next few years.

  • EDC Roundtable Held. The Economic Development Council held its third annual business roundtable with a focus on marketing and branding the community. Attendees provided some great input as to how a branding effort might be undertaken, and the EDC will be considering its role in bringing groups together to help make this happen. Ultimately, a community brand would be the basis for community marketing efforts for a number of sectors. Key challenges that were discussed included defining our relationship with the City of Madison, differentiating ourselves from other communities in the region, and zeroing in on the specifc economic sectors we really wish to bring here. Look for additional updates from the EDC in the coming months. Anyone interested in participating in or learning more about this branding effort should contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or by e-mail.

  • New High Tech Networking Group Formed. The City of Sun Prairie hosted two meetings of the East Side High Tech Breakfast Network, a group started to help improve networking, marketing and information sharing between technology based companies on the eastern part of Dane County. While originally proposed solely as a marketing event, the group decided that they wanted a detailed presenation on a local company each month, as well as brief presentation or Q&A session on a relevant business topic. This past meeting, Ron Pulvermacher, President of Matrix Product Development provided an overview of his company's products and services, and Amy Young Cumblad from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce provided an overview of the State's activities with the federal Stimulus Package. For more information and meeting dates, check out http://tech-breakfast.blogspot.com/, or contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894.

  • Workplace Readiness Summit Held. The Sun Prairie Area School District held a meeting of teachers and business leaders to discuss how to better prepare students for the workforce. Nancy Everson and Alice Murphy are working towards establishing several working committees by business sector, and will be actively seeking business partners to assist. If interested, please contact Nancy Everson, School-to-Work Coordinator at (608)834-6745 or send her an e-mail to nmevers[at]spasd.k12.wi.us.

  • "Wind Power Happy Hour" Comes to Sun Prairie. After attending the American Wind Energy Supply Chain conference in Appleton a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that there was a need for companies in our area to get some additional exposure to the growing field of renewable wind energy. We're tentatively planning on the afternoon of May 21st (4:00 to 6:00 p.m.) for a "Wind Power Happy Hour" event, where companies will be able to learn more about the industry and network with other companies with the same interest. Location is TBD. Additional information will be posted once available. Anyone interested in attending, sponsoring, or otherwise participating should contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or send an e-mail by clicking here.

  • Realtors and Developers Tour of Sun Prairie Scheduled for May. One of the largest issues we face is making sure the development community outside of Sun Prairie knows what we have going on over here. To help that happen, the City is working with the Economic Development Council (EDC) to host a tour of local development projects and opportunities the week after Memorial Day. We will be selecting tour stops over the next week or so, as well as a location for a reception afterwards. Additional information will be posted once available. Anyone interested in more information should contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or by e-mail by clicking here.

I'll post additional information on pending events as soon as we have them determined. And I'll try to keep this blog more current this month.