Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cannery Grill Gets Positive Review (77 Square)

When the 6,100-square-foot bar and restaurant opened in July 2007, it got scant publicity in Madison. Yet, as I discovered recently, the Cannery deserves to be recognized for its food and its service.

Read the full review in 77 Square, the entertainment blog associated with

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MATC Offers Busines Writing Course at Colonial Club (MATC Business Industry and Community Services)

Business Writing 1

In this class students will improve their skills in writing for a business setting. They will draft various correspondences such as letters, memos, and reports, learn to properly document telephone messages, and create meeting agendas. The final project will be to develop a presentation using graphics, pictures, clip art, etc., and present this to the class.

Class: #70311
Fees: $99.33
Days: W
Time: 6:00 PM-8:45 PM
Begins: 1/13
Ends: 2/24
Instructor: Staff
Location: Sun Prairie Colonial Club

Registration methods:

New students: Phone (608) 246-6240 or (608) 246-6210 or visit the Enrollment and Information Center at an MATC campus.

Returning students: Use either of the above methods OR phone the automated registration system at (608) 246-6220 OR register online... visit InsideMATC, login to your account, and use the Student Center to Add your 5-digit class number(s). First time InsideMATC users will need to activate their accounts.

For more information on Madison College training solutions or to discuss opportunities to offer customized training for businesses and organizations, please contact our Business, Industry and Community Services (BICS) department at or call at 608-243-4479.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Predictions for Sun Prairie's Economy in 2010

While I carefully analyzed the Dane County Business Survey from this year to answer questions for Meghann Olson at the Star, I worked very hard to provide an objective commentary on how the questions in the survey reflected how Sun Prairie businesses would have answered. I pondered all sorts of scientific trends and correlations and emailed her some brilliant answers. Most of which didn't make the article. So much for the mumbo jumbo.

Meghann did however highlight my prognostications for Sun Prairie's economy in 2010 which I kind of threw in there for fun. Why not? If Jimmy can do the weather, I should be able to reasonably predict with some degree of accuracy what may happen in the world of development. Right?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Council Approves Marcus Theatres Project in Under Two Months (Various)

[Blogger's Note: I'll let the news articles speak for themselves. We're very excited about the opportunity that the Marcus project brings to our community. It was fun to work on a project where the elected officials, staff, developer and the prospect we're all striving for the same goal. Now only if the economy will cooperate and help us get that building permit issued...]

Council gives final approval to Marcus plan (Sun Prairie Star)

Marcus Picks Sun Prairie Over Madison For New Theater (

Marcus theater project heading to Sun Prairie (The Daily Reporter)

Sun Prairie council approves 16-screen theater project (

Marcus Theatres project gets green light in Sun Prairie (WKOW 27)

Sun Prairie council approves new Marcus cinema (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Madison leaders lament project losses (The Daily Reporter)

Friday, December 11, 2009

THRIVE Updates Available

The following activity reports are currently available from THRIVE, the eight-county economic development organization for the Madison Region:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 First Business Economic Survey of Dane County (First Business Bank)

This report highlights the findings of the 2009 First Business Economic Survey of Dane County, which was conducted by the University of Wisconsin’s A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research in September and October of 2009. This was the seventh year for the study. The survey was sent to 4,568 businesses in Dane County that were reported to have five or more employees and was addressed to the CEO, CFO, President, and/or business owner.

The survey asked respondents to evaluate the current, and predict the future performance of their business on eight key economic indicators in each of the following areas: Sales Revenue, Profitability, Total Operating Costs as a % of Revenue, Capital Expenditures, Number of Employees, Overall Wage Change, Change in Pricing, and Operating Capacity. This year, as in past years, the survey also asked questions pertaining to changes in expenses. We also asked business owners their projections on the potential effect of the newly proposed legislature regarding healthcare reform, which during the timing of the survey was not finalized in any form.

Public power CEO to step down in 2011 (

Roy Thilly, president and chief executive of WPPI Energy, will step down as the public power company’s leader in early 2011.

Thilly has been president and chief executive of WPPI Energy, formerly known as Wisconsin Public Power Inc., since 1992. He has been active on energy policy issues at the state and federal levels. He co-chaired Gov. Jim Doyle’s task force on global warming and played a leading role in 1990s in moves that led to the formation of a transmission-only power utility to upgrade the state’s energy reliability.

A search will be launched for a new CEO, and Thilly will spend 2010 continuing as CEO as well as assisting the board of directors in the succession planning process, Rodriguez said.

WPPI Energy is a regional power company serving 51 customer-owned municipal electric utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Iowa.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Clean Energy Ecnomy (PEW Center on the States)

The emerging clean energy economy is creating well-paying jobs in every state for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds. This emerging sector is poised to expand significantly, driven by increasing consumer demand, venture capital infusions, and federal and state policy reforms.

Between 1998 and 2007, jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent. By 2007, more than 68,200 businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for more than 770,000 jobs, despite a lack of sustained government support in the past decade.

The private sector views the clean energy economy as a significant and expanding market opportunity. Venture capital investment in clean technology reached a total of about $12.6 billion by the end of 2008. In 2008 alone, investors directed $5.9 billion into American businesses in this sector, a 48 percent increase over 2007 investment totals.

Federal and state lawmakers also see the sector as helping to spur America’s economic recovery and protect the environment. States will receive a major infusion of federal funds through the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and every state offers some form of financial incentive to drive its clean energy economy.

Click here for the link to the PEW Center on the States.

Click here for a summary of the report on "The Clean Energy Economy."

Wisconsin poised to be global leader in green economy (Capital Times)

John Imes, Director of the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, wrote a great guest editorial in the Capital Times last week. His main points that stood out to me were 1) that there is tremendous economic opportunity for Wisconsin in the "Green Economy," and 2) that the greatest successes will likely come from private sector initiatives.

Click here for the full guest column in the Capital Times.

IEDC Leadership Summit to Focus on "Renewable, Sustainable, Affordable" Energy (

2010 IEDC Leadership Summit
January 31st - February 2nd, 2010
Woodlands Resort and Conference Center
Greater Houston Area

When it comes to a business’s location, retention and cost decisions, affordable and sustainable energy is a hot topic. These new sectors are creating jobs across the continent and globe. With this change comes a need for new training and skills for community workforces. With this rise in the energy industry, comes an increase in talented jobs in research and design as well as manufacturing in many communities. As a key issue with the current administration, federal funding and tax credits are out there! Join IEDC at the Woodlands Resort, outside Houston, TX as we discuss affordable energy tactics to help your community stay ahead of the curve and enter the future of sustainable energy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest (Wisconsin Technology Council)

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest – the nation’s first statewide, tech-based business plan competition – is accepting entries online for the 2010 competition. Entries will be accepted now through 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The contest’s grand prize is worth $50,000 in cash and services.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit 250-word idea abstracts online at Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will have the opportunity to expand their plan or idea. More than 70 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and specific technology sectors will score the entries and provide feedback.

As with past contests, the 2010 competition will take place in three stages:

1) In the “Business Concepts” phase, which is open until Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 at 5 p.m., the contest will accept IDEA Abstracts on the web site. IDEA abstracts are 250-word business concepts that will be graded on a scale of 1-10 (10 highest) by our judges. The top 50 IDEA Abstract presenters will be asked to write an Executive Summary.

2) In the “Executive Summary” phase, which runs from Feb. 22 to March 12, 2010, the top 50 IDEA Abstract presenters, plus ties, post their 1,000-word summaries online for comments by the judges. Contestants may be encouraged to revise their plans based on judges’ comments. The top 20 plan summaries are selected for the final round.

3) In the “Final Writing Business Plan” phase, which runs from April 2 to April 26, 2009, the top 20 Executive Summary presenters, plus ties, prepare 20-page plans for judging. Limited comments and mentoring continues. Judges will review the plans and pick three place winners in each category to advance as the “Diligent Dozen.”

The “Diligent Dozen” will present and compete in front of live judging for the grand prize at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference to be held June 8-9 in Milwaukee.