Economic Development

The following are a list of economic development tools and programs available in Sauk County through UW-Extension:

Resources for Starting a Business in Sauk County

retail bagsBaraboo Retail Market Analysis –  The study assembles market information to support business retention, expansion and recruitment efforts.  This information can be used to identify retail gaps in the community and to fill empty and new commercial space.  The study also develops strategies for each district to help them establish a position in the market that is clearly defined and complementary to other districts. Baraboo Retail Market Analysis

Freight Rail Studies – In 1988 and again in 1990 the Pink Lady Rail Transit Commission (PLRTC) partnered with Sauk County UW-Extension to conduct a rail use survey of the line from Merrimac to Reedsburg, WI (approximately 22 miles).    In 2010 a similar survey was emailed to 13 industries that utilized rail in 2009.    UW-Extension also helped conduct a Sauk County Rail Economic Impact Analysis for the Merrimac to Reedsburg line in 2011.

Baraboo RiverBaraboo Riverfront Revitalization Survey – A baseline survey of Baraboo residents was conducted in 2007 to begin to evaluate the impact of the WI Department of Commerce funding. Another survey will be conducted after the riverfront revitalization has been completed. Click here for 2007 survey results.

Baraboo Labor Skills Survey– High School students and graduates are a vital part of the Sauk County workforce. In order to ensure that their skills and knowledge sets meet the needs of local businesses and industries, the School District of Baraboo, the Sauk County UWEX, the Sauk County Development Corporation and the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce conducted a labor skills survey. (Brochure inside and brochure outside)

First Impressions Program In this community improvement program volunteers from two similar communities (size, location, county seat, etc.) agree to do unannounced exchange visits and then report on their findings. Participants became “secret shoppers” for the day to discover what they can about their sister city. They follow procedures and reporting guidelines in a fully developed manual, which is copied for each participant. The manual helps insure that the evaluations and reports are thorough and somewhat uniform and minimize the training of volunteers.

Community Economic Development Preparedness Index – The CEDPI helps communities analyze their strengths and weaknesses before developing a plan to improve economic development opportunities in the community. Index results provide a reflection on your community’s readiness to retain existing businesses and income; attract new businesses, residents and income; and expand small businesses and income within the community.

ShoppersDowntown and Business Market Analysis – The market analysis is designed to help local business leaders, entrepreneurs, developers, and economic development professionals understand the changing marketplace and identify business and real estate development opportunities that are realistic and make sense for their communities. To learn more click here. (Sauk Prairie Market Analysis)  (Baraboo Market Analysis)

Let’s Talk Business – A newsletter put out by the UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development, Let’s Talk Business covers a wide variety of topics. The newsletter is available online from the UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development.

Wisconsin Small Business Development Centers
The Small Business Development Centers provide educational assistance to strengthen small business management. This service is available at twelve of the 4-year UW campuses. Specialty centers include:

  • Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation –
    Uses technology Transfer to connect entrepreneurs with “unused” technology from large companies.
  • Center for Innovation and Development –
    Helps small businesses with prototype development.
  • WI Innovation Service Center –
    Specializes in new product and invention assessments and market expansion opportunities.
  • Wisconsin Business AnswerLine: (800) 940-7232
    Provides entrepreneurs access to resources of the Wisconsin SBDC Network.

 Additional Links:

For more information please contact:

Jenny Erickson
Sauk County – UW Extension
West Square Administration Bldg
505 Broadway
Baraboo, WI 53913-2404
Phone: 608-355-3250
Fax: 608-355-3550

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