A supportive environment for success
Wisconsin's outstanding resources for businesses create a powerful infrastructure helping entrepreneurs to thrive, while benefiting local economies/communities and quality of life.
- Madison ranked 7th on Kiplinger's 2009 Best Cities list.
- Policom Corp. put Madison's economy at No. 6 out of 366 metropolitan areas.
- Madison ranks among the top start-up friendly cities. Entrepreneur Magazine, 2009
- Madison ranks 1st for brain power among the country's metropolitan areas. Bizjournals.com, 2008
- Madison ranks among the top 30 Best Places in the nation for business and careers. Forbes, 2008
- UW-Madison ranks among the nation's top 30 business schools. U.S. News and World Report, 2008
- Madison ranks 8th among the nation's best places to raise a family. Best Life, 2008
- Madison is 4th on the list of best bargain markets – livable cities where you won't need to trade the good life for the boring. MSN Real Estate, 2008
- Madison's Dane County Regional Airport is one of the world's top 20 most noteworthy airports. Passenger Terminal World magazine, 2008
- Madison is one of the world's top start-up hubs. Fast Company, 2007
Some helpful business resources appear below, with Web site links where applicable. Please contact us if you have questions. Our experienced economic development staff is here to help your business get started, stay competitive and grow.
Numerous information resources, financing programs and facility/site assistance are available to help your business prosper:
- Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin promotes ethical business practices through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence.
- Business news is featured in a number of paper and electronic publications:
• Wisconsin Development News
• Wisconsin Technology Network
Magazines and newspapers
• Business Watch
• The Capital Times
• In Business
• Madison Magazine
• Wisconsin State Journal
- City of Madison's Office of Business Resources provides information and help on start-up, retention, expansion; technical assistance; demographic/economic data and more.
- The Dane County Economic Development Resource Guide provides information businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs and communities can use to grow and help strengthen the economy.
- Wisconsin Department of Commerce offers a wide range of information on how to start and grow a business, obtain financing and other assistance, and connect to various resources.
- Greater Madison Convention and Visitor's Bureau offers a variety of information on the area, with fast facts on population, weather, geography, recreation and more.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Madison Office assists hundreds of businesses yearly in obtaining loans and micro-loans totaling millions of dollars. Posts state economic profiles yearly.
- The U.S. Government's Census database offers a wealth of economic and demographic data of interest to business.
- University of Wisconsin Office of Corporate Relations helps businesses access university resources, including executive and continuing education opportunities.
- UW-Madison Small Business Development Center provides programs, counseling and education to help small business owners grow.
- Launching Entrepreneurial Advisory Programs (LEAP) helps south-central Wisconsin women entrepreneurs to navigate and grow their businesses with profitability and success.
- UW-Madison School of Business' Weinert Center is dedicated to teaching, research and service pertaining to entrepreneurial management and enterprise development.
- Wisconsin TechSearch is a fee-based information retrieval service for business/industry at the UW-Madison. Online literature, patent and trademark searches are available.
- Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp. provides business education and access to capital for entrepreneurs.
- Wisconsin State Bar Business Assistance Program offers small and emerging businesses up to two free hours of counseling with a business lawyer. For details, call (608) 250-6006.
- State of Wisconsin Department of Administration offers a direct link to Population & Housing Estimates of the Demographic Services Center.
- State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development provides market information wage and hour labor standards, regional projections, links to job centers and more.
- Thrive shares business resources and information about living and working in Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk counties.
- WorkNet, the State of Wisconsin's Workforce and Labor Market Information System, offers up-to-date statistics, employer search and other features.
Tap into the many loan, grant and financial programs which help businesses with start-up, growth/improvements and expansion. Visit our Financing section for details.
Quickly search site/building databases for property in MGE's service area that meets your needs.
- PropertyDrive is a Commercial Real Estate Listing Service serving southern Wisconsin and beyond. The public is welcome to search for commercial properties.
- CIREX—a Commercial, Investment and Industrial Real Estate Exchange—features hundreds of commercial properties for sale or lease in Greater Wisconsin.
- Forward Wisconsin's state-of-the-art, Internet-based database tool - LocationOne® Information System - provides state, county, metro, locality, building and site information.
A wealth of business and professional organizations provide information, member services and networking opportunities. Many industry-specific associations (not listed here) are also active.
- BiotechProfiles provides personal networking and productivity tools for the biotechnology industry.
- The Business Forum is a professional organization aiming to help women realize their potential in their businesses and communities.
- Chambers of Commerce
- Dane County Public Affairs Council presents speakers on topics related to governmental impacts on local business. Contact: Rick Remeschatis, e-mail address at email@example.com.
- Downtown Madison is a member-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the economic vitality of Madison's central city.
- East Side Businessmen's Association aims to develop and stimulate the civic, industrial and commercial life of the community.
- Greater State Street Business Association focuses on issues of interest to State Street and central Madison area businesses.
- Greater Williamson Area Business Association works together in an area from the Capitol to Yahara River between East Washington Ave. and Lake Monona.
- Madison Area Business Consultants (MABC) is a professional association of independent business consultants based in Madison.
- Madison Area Small Business Council is a politically motivated alliance dedicated to giving Madison area small businesses a louder voice.
- The Madison International Trade Association (MITA) serves south-central Wisconsin's international business community.
- Monroe Street Merchant Association consists of retailers and restaurants dedicated to promoting Monroe Street businesses. Contact: Carol Schroeder at 255-8211.
- National Association of Women Business Owners, Greater Madison Chapter, represents women entrepreneurs in all industries and is affiliated to an international association.
- National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) representing 13,000 Wisconsin small and independent businesses, gives members voice in governmental decision making.
- Northside Business Association promotes and supports continued growth and development of existing and new businesses on Madison's north side.
- South Metropolitan Business Association aims to improve quality of life in the City of Madison, City of Fitchburg and Town of Madison by promoting well-planned, high-quality and balanced development and economic growth.
- Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network (WEN) offers statewide support to entrepreneurs in all industries and developmental stages from finance/accounting to product development and marketing.
- Wisconsin's Minority Business Enterprise Program helps certified minority-owned companies sell their products and/or services to the State and its agencies. Lists minority-owned firms by county.