Saturday, December 31, 2011

Royle Printing Provides Printing Sponsorship for UW's Curb Magazine (UW-Madison News)


Curb Magazine Examines the Unexpected Side of Wisconsin

Link to Full Article: http://www.news.wisc.edu/20182

Link to Curb Magazine: http://curbonline.com/

Link to Royle Printing: http://www.royle.com/

Blogger's Note: Just one of many examples of how our local economy is linked to UW-Madison.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hallman Lindsay Paints to Donate $1 to Wisconsin Food Pantries for Every "Like" on Their Facebook Page (Dane Buy Local)


Hallman Lindsay Paints to Donate $1 to Wisconsin Food Pantries for Every "Like" on Their Facebook Page

Link to Hallman Lindsay Paints Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hallmanlindsaypaints?sk=app_201143516562748

Blogger's Note: A great Wisconsin company helping a great cause. If you have a serious painting project, whether its commercial or residential, you need serious paint. Hallman Lindsay Paints are outstanding in both color quality and coverage.  We're proud to have them here in Sun Prairie!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Perspective Senior Living Releases Updated Project Fact Sheet (New Perspective Senior Living)


Fact Sheet - Lighthouse of Sun Prairie

What: Lighthouse of Sun Prairie is senior living community being developed by New Perspective Senior Living. When completed in the Winter of 2013, it will offer 152 independent, assisted and memory care apartments. Construction has begun and a groundbreaking ceremony will be held in late January or early February.

The 152 units include studio, one- and two-bedroom units within 60 independent living units, 48 assisted living units and 44 memory care units.

Location --222 S Bristol Street Sun Prairie, WI 53590: The 185,000-square-foot community will be located on five acres at the intersections of Linnerud Drive and South Bristol St., downtown Sun Prairie.

Amenities: The Lighthouse of Sun Prairie’s amenities include a restaurant style dining room, salon, library, computer room, fitness area, rehabilitation pool, bar, bistro, community rooms, private family dining spaces and a number of outdoor patio spaces.

Employment: Initially, it is expected to employ about 40 persons and ultimately approximately 80 persons when fully leased. In addition, the construction project will include 75 full time construction workers for the duration of the project.

About: New Perspective Senior Living
New Perspective Senior Living and its affiliates operate and develop senior living communities throughout the Midwest.  The company was founded in 1998 on the belief that all seniors deserve attentive, personalized, respectful care that enables them to live with purpose and age with dignity.  Its mission is “To put the residents first in everything we do.”  New Perspective is based in Edina, MN, and has five sites in Minnesota: Barnum, Cloquet, Columbia Heights, Mahtomedi and Waconia; five in Wisconsin: Brookfield, Brown Deer, Mequon, Superior and West Bend; Pella, Iowa, and Silvis, Illinois. For more information on New Perspective Senior Living call, 952-746-3630 or visit www.NPSeniorLiving.com.


Blogger's Note: Earth is being moved on the site (see photo above)!  The unseasonably warm weather has allowed for a late season start to project this year.  In addition, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation awarded the City $350,000 to help offset environmental remediation costs for redeveloping this site.   Watch for the official groundbreaking sometime after the New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Findorff Aids SPHS House Building Class (Sun Prairie Star)

(Photo Source: Sun Prairie Star)

Findorff Aids SPHS House Building Class

Link to Full Article: http://sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=21&ArticleID=9207

Blogger's Note: Thanks to Findorff for their support of this program. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Salvatore’s Makes Pizza From Sun Prairie With Love (Madison.com/77 Square)

(Photo by Michelle Stocker)

Salvatore’s Makes Pizza From Sun Prairie With Love

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/entertainment/dining/reviews/salvatore-s-makes-pizza-from-sun-prairie-with-love/article_928176b9-67d4-51cf-a883-d4e82bd342ca.html

Blogger's Note: Glad to see Salvatore's is still getting some attention in the Madison press.  (Why am I suddenly hungry for a tomato pie?)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sun Prairie's New Construction Referenced in Cap Times Editorial (Madison.com)

Madison360: Madison's Anti-Developer Stereotype is a Tired Myth (Editorial)

Link to Full Article:  http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/madison_360/madison-madison-s-anti-developer-stereotype-is-a-tired-myth/article_f2f73aae-2f3d-11e1-8aef-001871e3ce6c.html

Blogger's Note: I just wanted to reference the numbers cited in this article, namely that Sun Prairie has had the most new construction between 2005 and 2010 outside of Verona (EPIC).  As far as the opinion expressed in the rest of this editorial, I would simply recommend following the Advance Now study currently in progress as well as the Dane County Business Survey--both of which I have referenced in previous posts of this blog.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Local Florist Decorates Governor's Mansion (Sun Prairie Star)

(Photo by Brenda Eckardt Photography)

Local Florist Decorates Governor's Mansion

Link to Full Article: http://sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=129&ArticleID=9174

Blogger's Note: Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review: An Economic Development Top Ten for Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (City of Sun Prairie Office of Economic Development)

  • Closing of Wisconsin Cheeseman
  • Announcement of Closing of Famous Footwear
  • New Perspective Senior Living Breaks Ground on South Bristol Street/WEDC Grants Sun Prairie $350,000 Brownfield Grant
  • Main Street Interchange Project Completed
  • Woodman's Begins Construction
  • Costco Announces Sun Prairie Site
  • Governor Announces Special Legislative Session at Thermal Spray Technologies
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Buys TREK Diagnostic
  • Frontier Communications Expands in Sun Prairie
  • Walmart Announces Plans to Expand on its Current Site
Blogger's Note: What else should be on this list?   What is the number one story for 2011?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Omaha, Madison MSA's Set Pace With Lowest Jobless Rates for Previous Decade (BizJournals.com)

Omaha, Madison MSA's Set Pace With Lowest Jobless Rates

Link to Full Article: http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2011/12/22/omaha-madison-set-pace-with-lowest.html  

Blogger's Note: Something we should all be thankful for, and it reminds us how fortunate we are in our local economy.  But we can't afford to be satisfied and just say that this is good enough.  There are plenty of opportunities to try to make things better to make the Greater Madison area an even greater place to do business.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sun Prairie Receives $350,000 Brownfield Grant for Senior Living Project (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation)

PRESS RELEASE - Governor Scott Walker today announced the City of Sun Prairie will receive a $350,000 Brownfield Grant award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to assist with preparing a five-acre site for the construction of the New Perspective Senior Living complex. The senior living complex is projected to create up to 11 full-time equivalent positions within the first year of operation and will feature 144 units.

The award will reimburse the city for remediation of soil and groundwater contamination from two previously removed underground storage tanks

“The completion of this important redevelopment will advance the revitalization of an area highlighted in the City’s Downtown Master Plan and should attract significant investment in the community,” said Governor Scott Walker.

“The City of Sun Prairie is grateful to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for their support of the redevelopment of one of our key remaining downtown sites in Sun Prairie.  We are also thankful for the both the investment and the jobs that New Perspective Senior Living will bring to our community, and look forward to this development being a positive impact on our downtown,” said Sun Prairie Mayor John Murray.
Media Contacts:

Tom Thieding, WEDC Communications Manager
608-267-9661 Tom.Thieding@wedc.org

Shauna Breneman, WEDC Communications Specialist
608-267-5187 Shauna.Breneman@wedc.org

Neil Stechschulte, Economic Development Director
City of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
6-8-825-0894 nstechschulte@cityofsunprairie.com

Source: http://wedc.org/sun-prairie-brownfield

Blogger's Note: If you haven't been by the site on South Bristol St., they started their site preparation this past week.  Thanks to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for their support of this project.  We're excited to have New Perspective Senior Living building on this site near our downtown.  There will actually be 70 health care jobs created with this facility, bringing with it good benefits and a substantial payroll.  It will provide a full continuum of care from independent living to 24/7 memory care.  The project should be open in late 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest Open for 2012 Entries Through Jan. 31, 2012 (Wisconsin Technology Council)

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest Open for 2012 Entries Through Jan. 31, 2012

The ninth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2012 competition until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012.  The contest is designed to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into business plans, to prepare them to launch a company, to get feedback from mentors and to interact with investors and other professionals. Finalists will share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. 

Link to Full Article: http://wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/newsroom/?ID=1453

Blogger's Note: We'd love to talk to any of the finalists about setting them up with some start up space here in Sun Prairie.

Heavy Metal Is Back: The Best Cities For Industrial Manufacturing (NewGeography.com; Forbes.com)

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Heavy Metal Is Back: The Best Cities For Industrial Manufacturing
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis Metro Area is ranked #2 on the list by Forbes.com.

Excerpt from the article:
"If new industrial growth is just another piece of good news in the Pacific Northwest, it’s manna from heaven to the long suffering industrial heartland heavily concentrated in the Great Lakes region, which includes much of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois , Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Long reviled as the “rust belt” this area now leads in the industrial rebound with over 100,000 new manufacturing jobs in just the past year.

Particularly well positioned is No. 2 ranked Milwaukee, which is home to a wide array of specialized manufacturing firms ranging from machine tools to energy. Over the past year alone the region added almost 3,900 heavy metal jobs and has consistently led other Great Lakes communities in job creation."

Link to Full Article: http://www.newgeography.com/content/002572-heavy-metal-is-back-the-best-cities-for-industrial-manufacturing

Link to Original Forbes Article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2011/12/15/heavy-metal-is-back-the-best-cities-for-manufacturing/

Blogger's Note: If you are going to ask me what this has to do with Sun Prairie, than you are probably one of those people who believe that I-94 doesn't exist unless you're on your way to a Brewers game.  This is yet another example of why we need to change how we think about Wisconsin's economy.   Milwaukee can be a driver for the Madison economy and vice-versa.  The question is...How can we position ourselves to align our local manufacturing strength with that of Milwaukee?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Harms Insurance Group Prepares for Changes in 2012 (Harms Insurance Group Blog)

 Coming Attractions

Link to Full Blog Post: http://harmsinsurancegroupblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/coming-attractions/

Blogger's Note: The blog mentions a complete revamping of their website, a total computer overhaul, and some not so secret photos of what appears to be a new office being constructed somewhere.  (Why do I suddenly have a craving for those new Steak Bites from Buck & Honey's?)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thrive Identifies Target Clusters for Growth Opportunities (Madison.com)

Thrive Identifies Target Clusters for Growth Opportunities

Legacy targets are transitioning sectors with historical influence and "next generation" potential:
Advanced Manufacturing; and Agriculture and Food Systems.

Leading targets are mature sectors with strong opportunities for growth: Health Care; and Life Sciences.

Emerging targets are sectors with the potential to create further economic opportunities: Design and Technology (technology and software; design and communications; direct-to-consumer and specialty retail).

In addition, Travel and Experience was identified as an opportunity area, rather than a formal target.

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/thrive-identifies-target-clusters-for-growth-opportunities/article_d8704d40-2a94-11e1-877c-001871e3ce6c.html

Blogger's Note: See how these compare with the target sectors the City identified in its 2008 Strategic Business Development Plan: http://www.cityofsunprairie.com/admin/images/3df9393303.pdf

Prairie Athletic Club, Sun Prairie Ice Arena to Host US Bank Eve Events (Sun Prairie Star)


PAC, Sun Prairie Ice Arena to Host US Bank Eve Events

Link to Full Article: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=52&ArticleID=9146

Blogger's Note: Not to get ahead of ourselves, but this is a great way for families to spend New Year's Eve.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sun Prairie's Jerry Bradley Re-Elected to Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors (WisBusiness.com)

Bill Bruins Re-elected President of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

[Excerpt from Press Release] Jerry Bradley, a corn and soybean grower from Sun Prairie in Dane County was reelected to a three-year term representing District 2 (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Rock and Sauk counties).

Link to Full Article: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=255021

Blogger's Note: Special thanks to Jerry Bradley for his continued leadership for farmers in our region, as well as all of Wisconsin.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our View: Welcome Costco (Sun Prairie Star)

Our View: Welcome Costco

Link to Full Editorial: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=5&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=9138

Blogger's Note: Thanks to the Star for yet another business supporting editorial.  Sun Prairie is more than willing to welcome quality development that provides people real shopping opportunities.  Projects like Costco and Marcus are what will separate this retail area from the rest of Dane County.   With the critical mass being built here, we are already starting to increase our draw from all the major transportation corridors, including I-39/90 and I-94. We're already looking forward to the next store to call Sun Prairie home.  Costco should be open in late 2012.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Results of First Business' Economic Survey of Dane County for 2011 Released (First Business)


Results of First Business' Economic Survey of Dane County for 2011 Released

Link to Downloadable Survey Results From First Business: http://www.firstbusiness.com/data/temp/DANE_Report_ver6.docx

Blogger's Note:  My take on this is that there are both opportunities and issues in our current local economy.  There will be media outlets that will present this as the glass is half-empty. I strongly suggest you read the actual survey results, and then decide for yourself what the outlook for 2012 is. Personally, I remain very optimistic about potential facility expansion and employment growth for several local Sun Prairie companies.

UPDATE: See what I mean about media outlets...

Survey finds local business optimism; Economy still not reaching pre-recession numbers (Sun Prairie Star)

Link to Full Article: http://www.sunprairiestaronline.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=50&ArticleID=9127&TM=58001.07

Survey: County business execs not optimistic about 2012 (Madison.com)

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/survey-county-business-execs-not-optimistic-about/article_c53612f6-2066-11e1-843d-0019bb2963f4.html

Blogger's Note #2: Yes...both of these articles refer to the same survey and the same data.  Be mindful of the source whenever you're reading data like this.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dane County Regional Airport Goes Mobile (Sun Prairie Star)

 
Dane County Regional Airport Goes Mobile

Link to Full Article: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=52&ArticleID=9113

Blogger's Note:  The long term success of this airport could play a significant role in Sun Prairie's ability to attract employers.  Glad to see they are keeping up with the times in utilizing available technology to provide a great flight experience for its travelers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

City of Bloomington, Illinois Approves Purchase of Fire Training Tower From Sun Prairie's Fire Facilities Inc. (WJBC.com)


City of Bloomington, Illinois Approves Purchase of Fire Training Tower From Sun Prairie's Fire Facilities Inc (Actual Title of the Article is "City to Spend Extra $1M on Street Maintenance")

Link to Full Article: http://wjbc.com/city-to-spend-extra-1m-on-street-maintenance/

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Fire Facilities, Inc.! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Biz Beat: Income Matters in Livability Index (Madison.com)


Biz Beat: Income Matters in Livability Index

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/ct/business/biz_beat/biz-beat-income-matters-in-livability-index-whitefish-bay-no/article_6941a3d6-2122-11e1-b6a7-001871e3ce6c.html

Link to Full Report: http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2011/12/chicago-suburbs-sweep-midwestern.html

Blogger's Note: Interesting to see how the Dane County communities compare.  Sun Prairie fares well against Madison, but depending on the category, we still seems to be lagging other communities.  These figures appear to confirm that we would be well served by trying to develop more higher wage earning jobs here in Sun Prairie, as well as some higher end housing.  Of course, figuring out the best way to do that is the trick.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Costco Final Plan Approved (Sun Prairie Star)

Costco Final Plan Approved

Link to Full Article: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=52&ArticleID=9094

Blogger's Note:  Keep an eye this site once they get started in the Spring.  Costco has one of the fastest construction timelines for a building this size, so they should be up and running in 2012.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Midwest Power Organization Endorses Three Projects in Wisconsin (Madison.com)


Midwest Power Organization Endorses Three Projects in Wisconsin

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/midwest-power-organization-endorses-three-projects-in-wisconsin/article_761241e0-21f1-11e1-a813-0019bb2963f4.html

Link to the Midwest Independent System Operator web page: https://www.midwestiso.org/Pages/Home.aspx

Blogger's Note: Wisconsin needs to continue to improve its connection to the regional and national grid for both purposes of improved reliability and increased access to affordable energy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

St. Mary's Hospital Wins Award for Emergency Department Improvements (Madison.com)

St. Mary's Hospital Wins Award for Emergency Department Improvements 

Link to Full Blog Article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/health_med_fit/st-mary-s-hospital-wins-award-for-emergency-department-improvements/article_3ce61b8a-204d-11e1-8298-001871e3ce6c.html

Link to Full List of Award Narratives: http://www.pressganey.com/Documents/Press%20Ganey%20Awards/2011_Press_Ganey_Awards_Book.pdf?viewFile (Go to Pages 183-184)

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to St. Mary's on this recognition from Press Ganey.  We're proud that the Sun Prairie Emergency Center helped earn this distinction.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Royle Project Gets Funding (Sun Prairie Star)

Royle Project Gets Funding 

Link to Full Article: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=52&ArticleID=9087

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Royle on this grant award, and thanks to Sun Prairie Utilities for helping Royle invest in improvements that help them save money and energy.  It also helps Royle stay competitive and hopefully contributes to future growth here in Sun Prairie. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sun Prairie Youth Hockey Association President Issues Letter on Future Hockey Facility (SPYHA)

(Rendering by JLA Architects)

Sun Prairie Youth Hockey Association President Issues Letter on Future Hockey Facility

Link to Full Letter: http://spyha.pucksystems.com/news_article/show/124076

Click here to visit the SPYHA Website.

Click here for contact information for the Capital Committee, or to find out how to make a donation.

Blogger's Note: Special thanks to SPYHA for their efforts to date.  I look forward to a Sun Prairie with a new hockey facility AND new soccer fields--both of which will make our community an even better place to raise a family.  In an era when even the National Football League is encouraging young people to be more active, we can provide some great opportunities for our own kids.  With support from our community, we can have tournament class facilities for both sports.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Roundy’s Files for IPO (BizTimes.com)

Roundy's Files for IPO


Blogger's Note: Grocery is a tough business.  Roundy's two Copp's stores here is Sun Prairie seem to be doing quite well.   It remains to be seen what the addition of Walmart, Woodman's, Target and Costco will do to our local grocery market.  One important thing to realize is that some estimates for Sun Prairie's trade area now go out 90 miles along major transportation corridors.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Community Leaders Prioritize Competitive Assessment Findings in Advance Now Initiative (THRIVE)


Community Leaders Prioritize Competitive Assessment Findings

Market Street Services, the consultant being retained by THRIVE, has completed their Phase I Competitive Assessment for the Madison Region.  The following are based on survey responses and available economic and statistical data on the region's economy.

Key findings include:
  • Population growth remains strong, but trails peers.
  • Net migration into the Madison Region is limited geographically.
  • The regional workforce pipeline is strong, but some segments are more
    secure than others.
  • Minority populations are growing rapidly, but still represent very small shares
    of the regional population.
  • Educational attainment is exceptional and increasing.
  • Per capita income is below the national average and growing slower than
    peers.
  • Socioeconomic disparities within the Madison Region are dramatic.
  • Poverty is low, but growing faster than most peer regions.
  • School performance and achievement is uneven across the region and
    between socioeconomic groups.
  • Regional confidence in K–12 education is strong.
  • Regional employment reached its lowest point in February 2010.
  • Not all sectors fared poorly during the Great Recession.
  • Confidence in the labor market remains high.
  • Wages are growing but still lag peer and national averages.
  • Economic diversification will be critical to long-term prosperity.
  • Wages have grown in all sectors, but are below the national averages.
  • The older workforce is spread out among many sectors.
  • National rankings show middle-of-the-road business climate.
  • The number of regional businesses has dropped.
  • Access to capital for entrepreneurs is difficult.
  • Regional small businesses have shown anemic or negative growth.
  • Innovation in the region is dominated by the University of Wisconsin–
    Madison, which outpaces all competitor regions’ research universities.
  • Cost of living – especially health care – is high.
  • However, health care access is extensive and quality is world-class.
  • The Madison metro’s housing prices are the highest and fastest-growing in
    the region.
  • The Madison Region is served by extensive infrastructure networks, but some
    still lag in competitiveness.
  • Although public transportation is relatively pricey, coverage in the urban core
    is good and regional residents can also employ other alternative means of
    commuting.
  • Implications for environmental hazards and remediation in Dane County.
  • Quality of place amenities for residents are excellent, but tourism capacity
    and access to these is weak.
  • Civic capacity is robust.
Madison Region's Greatest Strengths (Survey)

1 University of Wisconsin-Madison
2 People
3 Schools/education
4 Environment/natural beauty
5 Diversity
6 Arts/culture
7 Lakes
8 Quality of life
9 Workforce and work ethic
10 Progressive/liberal

Madison Region's Weaknesses and Challenges

1 Economic climate/jobs/unemployment
2 Divisive politics
3 State/Governor
T4 Cost of Living
T4 Taxes
6 Segregation/lack of diversity
7 Poverty
8 Transportation/connectivity
9 Crime
10 Conflicting attitudes about growth/development

Link to THRIVE News Release: http://advancenow.thrivehere.org/news/21/read-article/

Link to Executive Summary of the Report: http://advancenow.thrivehere.org/assets/files/163631_CompetitiveAssessment_ExecutiveSummary.pdf

Link to Full Report: http://advancenow.thrivehere.org/assets/files/150230_CompetitiveAssessment_FullReport.pdf

Blogger's Note: Short version...I think sooner we realize that the rest of the world does not think we are as great here in this region as we do, the faster we'll make progress here. The cost of living/doing business in Madison, politics and overall business climate in Madison seems to be the primary issues holding us back. Personally, I also see there is often a significant difference of opinion on economic development between Madison and the rest of Dane County, and between Dane County and the rest of the region. The needs differ across the region, as do the best solutions for local economies.  The biggest issues on this list in my opinion are:
  • Lagging population growth rates compared to peers.
  • Increasing poverty rates, lagging wage rates, and and increasing cost of living.
  • Attraction and retainage of skilled workforce.
  • Unbalanced migration patterns. 
  • Lack of diversity in the regional economy.
  • Decreasing number of businesses and employers.
  • Regional infrastructure related issues.
Now, these need to have specific actionable recommendations associated with them, and resources allocated for implementation efforts once identified and evaluated.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dane County Executive Parisi: Creates new “Dane County Commission on Jobs and Prosperity” (WisBusiness.com)

Dane County Executive Parisi: Creates new “Dane County Commission on Jobs and Prosperity”

Link to Full Press Release: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=254734

Blogger's Note: The idea is a good one.  I hope this ends up being an action-based, results-oriented effort.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our View: Shop Locally (Sun Prairie Star)

Some participants in the Business Improvement District's Ladies Night Out going out of their way to shop locally at Prairie Flowers & Gifts in Sun Prairie. (Photo by Neil Stechschulte)

Our View: Shop Locally

Link to Full Editorial: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=5&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=9034

Blogger's Note: Shoppers who go out of their way to balance their spending with targeted purchases locally help keep our local economy moving in the right direction.  Sounds like all the shoppers from the Downtown Business Improvement District's annual Ladies Night Out did their part last night!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Madison's [and Sun Prairie's] Economic Future Lies Along I-94, to Waukesha and Milwaukee (TheDailyPage.com)


Madison's Economic Future Lies Along I-94, to Waukesha and Milwaukee

Link to Full Article: http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/article.php?article=35100

Blogger's Note: I think that Sun Prairie needs to play a major role in expanding on this concept.  Sometimes even we forget that I-94 is less than 3 miles south on CTH N.  The east side of Madison and Dane County is where the most promise lies for future development in Dane County.  We can be a driving force to help make this a reality.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Being Purchased by Kansas Company (JSOnline.com)


Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Being Purchased by Kansas Company

Link to Full Article: http://www.jsonline.com/business/wisconsin--southern-railroad-being-purchased-by-kansas-company-7p38943-134679018.html

Blogger's Note: To the best of our knowledge, this will not affect the operation of the rail line through Sun Prairie, but we will continue to monitor this as we move forward.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sun Prairie's Tony Rodriguez Featured as Professional of the Week (IBMadison.com)

Professional of the Week – November 29, 2011 - Tony Rodriguez, Mad City Ads LLC

Phone: 608-561-1690
Email: tony@madcityads.com
Website: http://www.madcityads.com
Birthplace: Chicago
Spouse/Partner: Anne
Organizations: Sun Prairie Optimists, Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Social Media Breakfast Madison
Education: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, B.A. in sociology, 1997

How long have you been at MadCityAds, and how would you describe your role?
I started my company in 1997 as ABC Web Designs and have been providing freelance Web design services to my clients for 14 years. In 2002, I changed my company name to MadCityAds and in 2009 I formed MadCityAds, LLC. I provide Web design, development, and social media consulting services. I pride myself on the relationships I build with my customers and on providing an excellent product for a competitive price.

Who would you most like to be a mentor to, or have the most influence on?
I would love to be a mentor to one or several troubled youths who have an interest in a career in Internet development. Oddly, I have the opportunity to work with this population through the Prairie Phoenix Academy in Sun Prairie and am looking forward to working with the students there.

What was a personal high point in your career?
What started out as a low point for me after a job loss in 2009 turned into the best year for my business and my personal life. Being 100% freelance was a leap I did not make voluntarily, but once I made the leap, I really learned to love it.

Do you have any long-range goals that you’d like to achieve before leaving your company?
I feel I am well on my way to my goal of being seen as a thought leader in the Madison market in the area of social media.

What do you read to help keep you current in your field or industry? What trade associations or training do you belong to that you feel are a good referral?
I subscribe to the blogs of Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, and Scott Stratten, and I read Website Magazine each month. I attend and co-manage the Social Media Breakfast Madison group and attend the Social Media Club of Madison as well as High Tech Happy Hour and find all of these groups to be a great resource for both education and networking.

What were your career aspirations when you were in high school?

When I was in high school, I dreamed of being a computer programmer, and upon my arrival at UW-Whitewater, I decided to go another route and studied sociology with the intent of working with troubled teens. When I graduated I worked as a mentor for several teens in the Walworth County area, but also worked as a webmaster for a small Internet service provider. While I still do volunteer work with youth through the Sun Prairie Optimist Club and other avenues, ultimately I still landed in the technology field.

What brought you to Madison?
In 2002 I received a job offer from American TV working in their corporate headquarters on the west side of Madison as part of their Web development team. I remained part of that team for nearly seven years and still stay in contact with my former supervisor and coworkers.

Is there anything you’d like to share about your family?
I am a first-generation American citizen and a first-generation college graduate. I am half Puerto Rican and half Ukrainian.

What do you do outside of the office to relax?
My wife and I love to go camping and to travel to warm weather climates. I have a great interest in all things cinema and consider myself a movie buff.

What is your favorite place to travel to, and why?
So far my favorite vacation spot is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We love the weather, the people, and of course the food. Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful destination with people as warm as the climate, magnificent sunsets, and five-star dining that can't be beat.

What kinds of books do you read for pleasure? What’s a recent title that might give us the flavor of what you like to read?
I enjoy reading any good fiction, but am partial to science fiction and fantasy as well as horror books. I recently read The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.

Finally, list three words you think best describe you:
Honest, sincere, funny.

Source: http://www.ibmadison.com/professional-of-the-week

Blogger's Note: I copied the full article, as it appears that the linked page will change content.  Congratulations Tony.  Well deserved write up.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Buck & Honey's to Host LeRoy Butler and ESPN Radio Tues. Nov. 29th (Buck & Honey's)

Photo by Johnathan Daniel/Getty Images

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Ain't got NOTHIN on Buck & Honey Tuesday! Odds are something around 100% that you are, or you know a, Packers fan. Want to get them something great for the Holidays? Stop in to Buck & Honey's on Tuesday Nov. 29th between 5-7 p.m. to meet Green Bay Packer great LeRoy Butler as hi joins ESPN radio for "The Badger Hour."

Get a photo taken with Leroy - $5
Signature on anything you bring - $10
8X10's signed for $20

All proceeds go to support the LeRoy Butler Foundation, who's mission is to help women going through breast cancer treatment obtain the assistance they need to focus on the job of healing verses the financial impact to their families.

Click here for more information on the LeRoy Butler Foundation.

For additional information, contact Buck & Honey's at  (608) 837-3131

Blogger's Note:  A great guy, from a great team, for a great cause.   And a great reason to stop down to Buck & Honey's for some refreshment.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

General Casualty to Start Selling Insurance in Massachusetts (Boston Globe)

State Farm Stays out of Massachusetts

Link to Full Article: http://bostonglobe.com/business/2011/11/26/mass-draws-many-new-auto-insurers-but-not-state-farm/4hRk9ElWTcuFCo1etdaZ5J/story.html

Blogger's Note:  Not sure which is more interesting...the fact that this is still being rolled out under the General Casualty name (not QBE), or the fact that they are expanding their sales regions to new states.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Local Attorneys Named to 'Super Lawyers' Lists (Sun Prairie Star)


Local Attorneys Named to 'Super Lawyers' Lists

Link to Full Article: http://www.sunprairiestar.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=50&ArticleID=8987

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek and Auby for these three attorneys being recognized by their peers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wired Wisconsin Highlights Black Friday Apps (Wired Wisconsin)

Wired Wisconsin Highlights Black Friday Apps

Link to Video and Article: http://www.wiredwisconsin.org/blackfridayapps/

Blogger's Note: Anyone else remember the days of the 4" thick Sears catalog? Wow.

Local Small Businesses Hope You'll Skip Black Friday for Small Business Saturday (Madison.com)


Local Small Businesses Hope You'll Skip Black Friday for Small Business Saturday

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/local-small-businesses-hope-you-ll-skip-black-friday-for/article_de119310-1614-11e1-a3ae-001cc4c002e0.html

Blogger's Note: According to Dane County, 86% of businesses employ 10 or fewer people, so buying local is serious business.  Serious enough that Dane County is working on a preferred purchasing ordinance amendment to help local businesses compete for contracts.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Catching Up: One Hundred Dinners and Counting for Sunshine Supper (Madison.com)

Catching Up: One Hundred Dinners and Counting for Sunshine Supper

Link to Full Article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ask/catching-up-one-hundred-dinners-and-counting-for-sunshine-supper/article_dcf98c80-1448-11e1-a0c5-001cc4c002e0.html

Blogger's Note:  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  And thanks to all the businesses and volunteers that help with this great community service every week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remember to Shop Small, Shop Local This Holiday Season (City of Sun Prairie Office of Economic Development)

While there will be a lot of folks braving the national retail chains for Black Friday and even more burning up bandwidth while they shop online, don't forget to shop at your local, small retailers too.  Here are a few great resources on the advantages and reasons to shop close to home:

Small Business Saturday - November 26th
Dane County Buy Local

The 3/50 Project
Downtown Sun Prairie

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DATCP: Producers First Technical Assistance Available (WisBusiness.com)


DATCP: Producers First Technical Assistance Available

Link to Full Press Release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=253411

Click here for more information on the Jen Ehr family farm.

Blogger's Note: Getting this sort of technical assistance to agriculturally based businesses is key to facilitating new business growth in this sector.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Buck and Honey's in Sun Prairie has a Posh Tavern Atmosphere (Madison Magazine)


Buck and Honey's in Sun Prairie has a Posh Tavern Atmosphere 

Link to Full Article: http://www.madisonmagazine.com/Madison-Magazine/December-2011/Buck-and-Honeys-in-Sun-Prairie-has-a-Posh-Tavern-Atmosphere/

Blogger's Note: Because just being in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel isn't enough for these guys...Congratulations B&H!