Global Direct Investment Solutions

Corporate Development for a Networked World

 Add to Google Add our site search tool to your iGoogle page

Point of View : Why a business should invest in Wisconsin.

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

Home Up Search Contacts Maps Advertise News

Seek Advice
For Executives
Real Estate

"Why should a business invest in Wisconsin?"

Wisconsin state economic development professionals who are responsible for the attraction of business investment and providing site selection assistance to executives and their consultants were invited in April 2006 to provide an informative article on this simple topic.

We publish their point of view here for convenient reference.  This reflects their local market knowledge, project experience, and selective facts about their state business environment and the competitive business investment climate in their region as presented below.

Additional comments and research suggestions follow their article.

Who to contact for business investment projects in Wisconsin.

The article below about the competitive site selection advantages for business investment projects, and the support services provided as companies grow in Wisconsin, is from :

Pepi Randolph, President

Forward Wisconsin

TEL 608-261-2500

Wisconsin : News  - for project announcements or other PR

Wisconsin : Buildings & sites  - for commercial real estate searches

Local business clusters can also be researched through our Wisconsin directory of economic development agencies or other directories, including site selection consultants.

Similar articles are also available from other state economic development agencies.

See : The Long List : Why Invest In This Business Location?  and

Please contact us for assistance with business expansion project plans anywhere.  Global Direct Investment Solutions is an independent service for executives and their advisors.  Tell us what you need to find for your project, and we will help you in confidence.

Our role is like a concierge who organizes market knowledge and an extensive network of contacts for quick, flexible, and private response to diverse needs through research and well-qualified referrals.

If you find this article or related content to be helpful, please let them know how you found it.  We also welcome comments and suggestions to improve such articles and our research work.


Relevant reciprocal links to this article or other content on this website are welcome.

The GUIDE content below reflects our own research work among local areas in the state.

We also make it easy to search the content of fDi magazine - published by FT Business of the Financial Times group.  Try fDi Links, or just pick their "radio button" in the custom Google site search box on the home page at or on this website. We handle US advertising sales and related marketing work for fDi magazine.  Refer to our profile of fDI magazine for more information, including highlights of back issues and future editorial and event plans, and examples of past advertisers.

state economic development logo, banner, or thumbnail ad image(s) not available to publish here at this time

Ad Recall : fDi magazine

Executive Summary : Why invest in Wisconsin?

Download WhyWI.pdf copy of this article.  Published May 8, 2006

GUIDE content : GDI-Solutions
Forward Wisconsin's role in the economic development arena is to help businesses establish profitable Wisconsin operations. We provide state cost comparisons, Wisconsin financial information and a variety of other relocation consulting services to prospective expanding businesses.

In Wisconsin, business assistance is very important to us. To enhance the site selection process, we also offer a database of available buildings and sites complemented by community profile information.

For the past 22 years we have promoted Wisconsin and helped bring nearly 16,000 new jobs, over 280 new businesses, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment to our state.  Visit for more information.

Area Reports : Field Research

- none at this time


Area Profiles : Basic Research

- none at this time


Area Surveys : Local Summary

- none at this time

Wisconsin is experiencing an economic renaissance. Spawned by experience in a wide range of technology-oriented industries, assisted by our government's firm commitment to economic development, and fueled by an aggressive attitude, a more competitive Wisconsin has emerged. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Wisconsin's business taxes are among the lowest in the country due to property tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery and equipment, computers and computer equipment, inventories and pollution-control equipment.
  • Wisconsin provides tax credits for energy used in manufacturing and for R&D expenditures.
  • Wisconsin has single-sales-factor tax treatment and a 60% capital gains exclusion; no unitary tax on foreign-owned corporations; no inheritance and gift taxes.
  • Wisconsin's worker's compensation rates for most industries consistently rank among the lowest in the country.
  • Wisconsin electric rates are among the lowest in the country; commercial and industrial water and sewer rates are also among the lowest in the nation.
  • Wisconsin has one of the lowest cost of living indices in the country.
  • A Customized Labor Training Fund and more than 500 technical outreach training locations assist companies in their specific training needs.
  • Wisconsin's Technology Development Fund makes grants in support of university and industry R & D for new products and processes.
  • The University of Wisconsin receives more research and development money than any other public university in the country.
  • No public institution--anywhere--spends as much on transfer of applicable technology to private industry as the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI).
  • Wisconsin's technical college system offers more than 800 degree programs and serves one out of every eight adults--twice the national average.
  • Wisconsin is among the top 15 states in industrial production.

Consultants, other professionals

- business location consultants

- other directories of professionals


Available consultant reports

- none at this time


Ad Recall - state and local ads

- Wisconsin Ad Recall


Event Recall - places to meet

- BIO 2007, Boston

- CoreNet Global Summits - US

In addition to its business advantages, Wisconsin also enjoys close proximity to the major markets of the U.S. and Canada. That means freight cost savings for distribution companies and just in time production firms. Within 500 miles of Wisconsin (one day's shipping) are:
  • 33% of the nation's population
  • 31% of all U.S. manufacturing
  • 30% of all U.S. business operations

Tax information



Governor - see US directory


Business Incentives

- Wisconsin incentives information

- incentives consultants

- Incentives research sources

Wisconsin’s business climate is strong.
  • Construction activity is at record levels.  Wisconsin recorded $11 billion worth of construction starts between May 2003 and April 30, 2004.  Construction employment in Wisconsin hit 121,600 in April--the highest level ever for that month--and grew to 129,100 in May.
  • Wages in Wisconsin are below the national average. Wisconsin's average wages are 11.6% below the national average of $36,764 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Wisconsin is among the top 15 states in industrial production. Wisconsin ranks 3rd nationally in percentage of total jobs that are in manufacturing (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Best Places for Business. Forbes Magazine (May 2004) ranked Madison, Wisconsin as the No. 1 Best Metro Area for Business.  Inc. Magazine (March 2004) ranked Madison as the No. 2 Medium City for Doing Business right behind Green Bay, WI that took the top spot.
  • International trade leader. Wisconsin recorded a 1.86% increase in exports last year compared to a 5.17% national decline.
  • Smart and safeWisconsin ranks as the 6th smartest state, the 10th safest state, and the 11th most-livable state (Morgan Quitno Press).  In 2003, Wisconsin high school seniors topped the nation in ACT scores for the 7th straight year.  Wisconsin has the nation's 3rd lowest dropout rate (U.S. Department of Education).
  • Most Livable StateWisconsin was recognized as a 2003 Most Livable State (Morgan Quitno Press).
  • Tops in R&D. UW-Madison ranks first among the nation's public universities in R&D spending.
  • Low insurance rates. Wisconsin's homeowner insurance rates are the lowest in the U.S. and its auto insurance rates are fifth lowest (National Association of Insurance Carriers).  Wisconsin is among the six best states for physicians to practice thanks to the low level of malpractice insurance premiums.
  • Low health care costs. Wisconsin's hospital patient-care costs are 20% below the national average (Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association).
  • Short commutesWisconsin has the nation's 10th shortest travel time to work with an average of 20.3 minutes (U.S. Census Bureau).

Existing Companies, Clusters


Sites, Buildings, Business Parks

- Wisconsin commercial property list

- CRE Search

- Featured properties - none


Science Parks and Incubators

- Technology parks directory


FTZ's - Foreign-Trade Zones

- FTZ directory


BRAC - military base closures

- BRAC directory


Rail, Ports, Airports



Wisconsin is business-friendly.  It offers a variety of tax incentives for corporations and other businesses to locate or expand their operations within the state.  Available tax incentives include exemptions, credits, and other special corporate tax treatment along with preferential treatment of capital gains.

In addition, Wisconsin has designated certain areas as Economic Development Zones and local governments have created Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) districts.  Businesses locating or expanding operations within Development Zones are eligible to claim development zone tax credits.  Businesses locating operations within a TIF district benefit from infrastructure improvements financed by tax increments. 

More recently, a Technology Zones program was enacted that provides tax credits for high-technology businesses locating in a designated technology zone.  Enterprise Development Zones offer tax credits in areas of the state suffering from high unemployment or other economic distress.

Wisconsin is an emerging technology center.

Wisconsin's vibrant and growing technology base bolsters both its traditional and knowledge-based industries. For more than 80 years, Wisconsin entrepreneurs have built successful businesses using leading-edge research--from the Vitamin D milk irradiation discoveries in the 1920s, to the world’s first commercially available computer in the 1960s, to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) innovations in the 1980s.

  • Today, Wisconsin is in the international spotlight through the isolation of human embryonic stem cells--a discovery now paving the way toward treatments for incurable diseases.
  • Strong technology transfer programs underpin the state's fastest-rising industries, including biotechnology and medical imaging.
  • Public-private partnerships--including the $317 million dollar BioStar Initiative for construction of University of Wisconsin research facilities--are another way Wisconsin is investing in its technology infrastructure.

Labor Market

Demographic and cost data

Utilities information

GIS map presentations

The Wisconsin Available Building & Site database is a searchable database providing details on nearly 1,900 available buildings and about 700 sites throughout the state. It also gives you instant access to profiles of Wisconsin communities, maps you can customize, plus GIS information.


For additional information on why Wisconsin is the place for your business, contact:


Pepi Randolph


Forward Wisconsin

201 West Washington Ave; Ste. 500

Madison, WI 53703



Professional services directories

- Site selection, strategy

- Project management

- Corporate real estate

- Property developers

- Human resources

- Logistics

- Tax services

- Legal - international

- Utilities

The above article was provided by :

Scott Reigstad
Director of Communications
Forward Wisconsin, Inc.

Please let him know if you found this article to be helpful, or if you have suggestions for improvement.

PR : Project Announcements

- Wisconsin news, press releases

- US Great Lakes Region projects




Residential Real Estate

- national directory of resources

Latest update to the above article : May 8, 2006   Wisconsin replied quickly to our request for such articles relative to other states. The above is GDI-Solutions content.
If quoting the above material, please cite the state organization and contact as the original source, and that it was found through .    For more local area information, refer to our Wisconsin directory of economic development agencies and chambers of commerce, or refer to our US Great Lakes Region directory for additional sources of information.

Questions or Comments?

Contact : Bruce Donnelly

TEL 847-304-4655 Chicago

This article was prepared by professionals who are responsible for the attraction of business investment projects to the state, such as for new offices, factories, distribution centers, etc.  These articles are not edited to reflect our own research, experience, or point of view, nor do we validate the assertions which they have made in the article, or make any warranty about such content.  We provide other content and links through our independent GUIDE research work. Please let us know if there are other topics which you would like these articles to cover, or if you feel that any updates or corrections are needed.  Comments based upon experience as an executive or professional service provider responsible for the planning of investment projects anywhere are welcome.  We also welcome other professional research reports which we can summarize and make available through links to relevant websites where they are published.
Our USA Search feature at  can be used to selectively search the websites of US state economic development agencies as a convenient research tool. Similar research tools are the Area Search (areas within states), CRE Search (commercial real estate), Event Search (associations, trade shows), and Media Search (publications).
We also maintain many reference directories of economic development agencies, professional service provides, and topics of common interest for capital investment project planning.

This includes directories of project announcements, property listings, incentives information, labor market information, and many other resources to facilitate project plans.

Our Research directory provides links to many sources of information and data which may be helpful to executives for capital investment project plans and quick reference in general.

The focus of our work, however, is to provide personal response to business enquiries which are relevant to this field.  Please contact us for assistance with business expansion plans.

Feedback from our visitors  (Refer also to our general Guest Book)

Was this presentation helpful?  If so, please let them know, and inform us too.

With permission, we may selectively share comments below by executives and professional advisors with relevant experience at the planning and management of business operations in the state.  This includes executives who may have carefully considered potential investment in the state, such as to set up new offices, factories, distribution, R&D operations, etc.

In particular, we welcome comments which provide significant additional insights into the basic question posed by us to the state officials : Why invest in this business location?

Please rank the article in reply on the following point scale (such as zero to "five points").


●●●●●  Very helpful.  Please indicate what was most useful, and why.

●●●●○  Good.  What was most helpful?  What needs improvement?

●●●○○  Helpful.  What was good?  What needs improvement?

●●○○○  Needs improvement.  Please suggest how it could be better..

●○○○○  Not helpful.  Please indicate why not.  What would be very helpful?

○○○○○  Misleading or inaccurate.  Please substantiate with verifiable facts.


We do not publish anonymous comments, but we will respect specific requests to not be identified publicly here.  We can just describe the source of the comment without attribution.

Comments :

None available at this time.  Please be the first visitor to review this article.


○○○○○  No article ratings by visitors shared yet


Date :

Comment by :

Company :

Position title :

Basis : (doing business in the state, considered investment there, business advisor, etc.)

How to contact, if willing to discuss comments privately :

Ad Recall : Wisconsin        


Advertise in fDi magazine

Directory of fDi advertisers

Thumbnail images

will link to the ads

from relevant pages,

with contact details

and searchable ad text.

Ask us how to be

listed in our Ad Recall

feature, no matter

where or how often

you may advertise.

We handle US

advertising sales and

do US marketing work

for fDi magazine, an

FT Business publication.

"fDi - Foreign Direct

Investment - is the ONLY

global publication focusing

on the business of



Please let us know whether this article and their services were helpful to you.


Send questions, suggestions, or comments about this site to Disclaimer.

Global Direct Investment Solutions, PO Box 439  Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0439  TEL 847-304-4655  FAX 847-304-5375

The use of graphics and advertising has been minimized to improve performance.  Display settings
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  Global Direct Investment Solutions, Inc.      Last modified: 01/27/09