Pierce County, WI News


The PCEDC is a Resource for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in Pierce County

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Pierce County Economic Development Organization (PCEDC) is a resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking for advice, help navigating complex issues, financial incentives, real estate, tools and in search of general information. The PCEDC team provides direct support and will also connect business owners with other local agencies, support networks, city, county, and state officials as necessary. The PCEDC’s goal is to help businesses reach their full potential, bringing resources to the table to facilitate business growth. The PCEDC team is available to assist businesses at no charge and welcomes requests for help. In the meantime, additional tools are available...
The World’s Most Successful Caviar Entrepreneur Is A Scrapyard Operator In Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A long State Road 35 on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, there’s a junkyard filled with old boats, cars and refrigerators, where 20,000 pounds of aluminum gets melted down every day. A handwritten sign tacked onto the front door reminds all those who enter: Put Shirts On. Inside sits Bill Holst, the 69-year-old blue-jeaned, third-generation corn farmer who started this scrap-metal business 12 years ago. “I see value in things that other people don’t see value in,” he says. “I’m more of a risk-taker.” Click here for the complete article.
Artesian Ice Sculptures in Maiden Rock

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

When Roger Nelson purchased land with an artesian well on it, he realized one thing. An artesian well doesn't shut off during the winter. He directed the water to one area, and it formed an ice rink. He decided to experiment and made a little fountain. The next year, "I tried making one a little bit bigger. Then I made two, and then 10, and then 20, and then 30," he explained with a hearty laugh. Nelson has buried 1,200 feet of pipe underground, and he stretches 2,000 feet of garden hoses around the area to reach all the sculptures. "The artesian well is...
Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) applications now accepted!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Rural Development is now accepting applications for the 2019 Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program! This competitive program supports technical assistance, training and other activities that help develop or expand small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. Eligible applicants include towns, communities, state agencies, nonprofit corporations, tribes, and institutions of higher education. Application materials and the governing program instruction 7 CFR Part 4280, Subpart E, can be found by visiting our website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants/wi. Applications must be submitted and/or delivered by March 29, 2019 to the Rural Development State Office at 5417 Clem’s Way, Stevens Point, WI 54482. If you have questions...
East End Gifts is new draw in Ellsworth

Monday, January 07, 2019

A new surprise is waiting amid the workout zone and creative space for visitors to the shared Brush Strokes and Country Fit building. East End Gifts, located between the two businesses in their building at 273 N. Morse St., is operated together by the separate owners, Kayleen Jakes and CJ Young. The gift shop offers a variety of home decor and homemade items, all from local vendors. Continue to full article
RiverTown Multimedia celebrates excellence in sales

Thursday, January 03, 2019

RiverTown Multimedia recently held its annual Advertising Sales Department Awards recognizing multimedia sales representatives and their achievements this past fiscal year. Steve Engelhart, RTM advertising director, and Jean Brown, RTM sales manager, presented awards to the following: 1st place Salesperson of the Year: Donna Kauffman 2nd place sales: Nancy Knudsen 3rd place sales: Nancy Long Special awards were also given to: Top Specialty Digital Sales: Scott Thompson Top TV Week Tab Sales: Joni Juliar Top Special Sections Sales: Joanne Heebink Each sales professional is dedicated to learning, listening and assisting clients with their print, digital and special marketing needs. Continue to full article
Aldi opens in River Falls

Friday, December 28, 2018

More than 150 people lined up to be some of the first shoppers at the grand opening of Aldi grocery store off Main Street near Highway 35 on the morning of Monday, Nov. 19. Aldi Division Vice President Matt Lilla said Aldi is excited to be a part of the River Falls community. “We've had a lot of success with our Hudson store and customers were telling us for years that they wanted to have an Aldi store in town and we're extremely excited we could bring the newest, latest, greatest Aldi store to the community,” Lilla said. The grand opening event offered...
Five reasons entrepreneurs are starting their businesses in Wisconsin

Thursday, December 27, 2018

udging from the crowds at Startup Wisconsin Week earlier this month, Wisconsin is home to a booming entrepreneurial community. The excitement and innovation on display at more than 150 events in 12 cities across the state lived up to a recent study ranking Milwaukee as a top 10 city for young entrepreneurs and a report highlighting Madison as a top 10 tech city. Wisconsin is home to many startup success stories, including larger, more mature companies like Exact Sciences, Epic Systems and Promega, and younger companies like Jamf, Fasetto and TAI Diagnostics. Continue to full article for five reasons why Wisconsin’s startup scene has taken off in recent years.
Is your company ‘Best for Vets’?

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Do you work for — or know about — a company that goes the extra mile to recruit and support veterans? Make sure they get the credit they deserve! Military Times just launched our latest Best for Vets: Employers survey, which evaluates companies based on their culture, policies for military-connected employees and resources they devote to hiring veterans. The survey is open to for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies — but only the best will make the cut and be named “Best for Vets”. Continue to full article
New ‘Mission Wisconsin’ initiative provides state employers with unique opportunity to recruit military veteran

Monday, December 24, 2018

Initiative will help Wisconsin companies fill workforce needs by engaging with service members about to return to civilian life State officials today unveiled a new initiative to help Wisconsin companies recruit workers by enabling them to engage with military personnel around the country before they return to civilian life. The “Mission Wisconsin Talent Pipeline” is the next phase of the state’s $1.9 million national marketing campaign to encourage transitioning military personnel and their spouses to live and work in Wisconsin once they leave the service. The campaign is a joint effort of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of...

Monday, December 10, 2018

Grant funds will go toward research to uncover the area’s tourism brand Pierce County Economic Development Corporation receives a $13,144 check from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Dec. 10, 2018) – Pierce County Economic Development Corporation is launching a research project to identify the county’s tourism brand with help from a $13,144 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Data collected from the project will help Pierce County establish a new brand and develop marketing materials to attract travelers to the area. “We are excited to support Pierce County in their efforts to create a new...
2019 Govs Business Plan Contest open for entries

Monday, December 03, 2018

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest open for 2019 entries through Jan. 31, 2019 The 16th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2019 competition until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.   The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital. Over time, the contest has led to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and spurred economic growth in Wisconsin. In 2018, finalists shared in more...
EPA Opens $50M+ FY19 Brownfield Competition for Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants

Monday, December 03, 2018

Over 100 grants and $50 million in brownfield grant funding is expected to be awarded in the next round of EPA's storied and successful real estate redevelopment program. Submission deadline: January 31, 2019. Today, November 28, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new Request for Proposals & Application Guidelines to officially open the FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant competition. Grants offered by the Brownfields Program may be used to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and petroleum. In last year's brownfield grant competition, EPA awarded $54.3 Million in...
Join Us for Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Pierce County

Monday, December 03, 2018

The holiday season has kicked off in Pierce County and now is an excellent time to join family and friends as we gather to celebrate and create new memories. Our vibrant community events are one of the many reasons community members enjoy living and working here. In December, there are several fun events planned. Here is what you and your family can look forward to – Christmas in the Park – Ellsworth Date: December 2nd Time: 4:30 – 6pm Join us in Ellsworth's East End Park for a free family-friendly holiday celebration on Sunday, December 2, from 4:30pm-6:00pm. Santa Claus will arrive at 5:00pm...
Petition Period Opens for 2020 Ag Enterprise Areas

Monday, December 03, 2018

Petition Period Opens for 2020 Ag Enterprise Areas Media contacts:    Donna Gilson, (608) 224-5130. [email protected]                                 Bill Cosh, Communications Director (608) 224-5020. [email protected] Please note:  Although the petition deadline is not until June 21, 2019, the petitions typically require months to prepare. MADISON – Communities interested in being designated as agricultural enterprise areas in 2020 can submit petitions until June 21, 2019, to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Agricultural enterprise areas, or AEAs, are blocks of land that are used primarily for farming and for businesses...
Support Pierce County Charities on Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

We are fortunate to work with local charities making a difference in the lives of Pierce County residents. November 27th is Giving Tuesday, a day where people throughout our community, and the world, donate to the causes they are passionate about. This is a global day of giving and unlike other special days, like Black Friday, this one is all about community togetherness. It encourages us to look beyond the busyness of the holiday season and to consider those in our community who may need our help and support, along with the charities that are standing in the gap to...
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Minn.-based company tackling Pierce's internet needs

Monday, November 05, 2018

NorthfieldWiFi, a Northfield, Minn.-based internet provider, is expanding throughout the county — with its eye on a November buildout in the town of Clifton — in hopes to capitalize on and fulfill a glaring need for high-speed internet. And while fiber-based internet is faster, Pierce County's harsh terrain and low resident density create high capital costs with low returns, disincentivizing large companies from expanding to the area and creating an opportunity for Northfield's wireless service. "Nobody is willing to invest millions of dollars to put the cable down," said Sherry Keller, a county resident. Pierce County has faced expensive and slow internet...
Celebrate National Women's Small Business Month in Pierce County

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pierce County is home to many small businesses owned and operated by women. This year, the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation (PCDC) will be acknowledging the success of women business owners by creating an annual Women in Business Award. October is National Women’s Small Business Month, so in anticipation of “award season” this is an excellent time to celebrate the success of our county’s women entrepreneurs.   Here are just a few of the Pierce County companies owned by women – Cultural Cloth Co-owner Mary Anne Wise is making a difference throughout the world by working with indigenous women who are expert craftsman. From...
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Inside Design Ellsworth's Three Day Flurry

Monday, October 22, 2018

Todd Johnson, University of Wisconsin - Extension land use and community development specialist, tries not to use the French term charette to describe the Design Wisconsin program. But it might be the best word to describe the somewhat frenzied three-day community-planning process they run about twice a year. The 19th century French word charette refers to deadline-frantic architecture students who, near the end of the academic term, would have to toss their final semester work on a cart, or charette, for grading. Sometimes, Johnson claims, students would leap into the cart to finish their work. Charette now acts as design jargon for a...
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PACE Financing Now Available To Pierce County Businesses

Thursday, October 18, 2018

At their October meeting the Pierce County Board of Supervisors moved to adopt provisions that make Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing available to Pierce County businesses. This program is a financing tool businesses can use to obtain up to 100% financing for energy improvements. PACE Financing is sourced from an open lending market and secured through a voluntary PACE Special Charge, repaid directly to the lender. Like property taxes, PACE Financings may be transferred to the next property owner if the property is sold. Businesses may access this program through one of a number of preapproved lenders or ask...
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Swinging Bridge Brewery Promotes Growth in River Falls

Monday, October 15, 2018

Swinging Bridge Brewery is a River Falls gem. They are a local brewery that sources regional ingredients, supports local philanthropic efforts, promotes River Falls wherever they go, and most importantly, has become a gathering place for the community. Their mission is to be a “Community-focused brewery that tries to provide the freshest, high-quality product that we can, while being an asset to our community. Our whole brewery is founded on the community supported brewery concept” said co-founder Dustin Dodge. We had the pleasure of speaking with Dustin about how he and his partner Mike started the brewery, their mission, and...
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Family-Owned Nilssen’s Foods Has Expanded After 100 Years in Business

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Nilssen’s Foods is a full supermarket that offers deli, bakery, produce, meat, beer, wine, liquor, etc. Known for their Nilssen’s award-winning smokehouse meats, they have established a reputation across the state of Wisconsin for high-quality food products. Nilssen’s meats have beat over 1,000 competitors to win multiple awards at the State level, including the Grand Champion Award for their bacon and chili cheese brats. Of course, for those lucky enough to live in Pierce County, Nilssen’s is simply their family grocer. The history of Nilssen’s Foods dates back to 1903 when Carl Nilssen first opened a general store in Clear Lake....
Part local football star, part entrepreneurial woodworker

Monday, October 08, 2018

Two days after Ellsworth High School's 20-13 win over Baldwin-Woodville High School, Logan Melstrom was an hour late for work. He was sore from battling an injury all week before being cleared to play in Friday's homecoming game, where he scored two of the team's three touchdowns, and didn't head to his family's garage until closer to 9 a.m. He had a wood patio set to make. "I try to get out here every day," the 18-year-old high school senior said. "I've always been a hands-on guy, it's just the way I am." He planned to work the whole day, with only breaks...
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The National Ombudsman’s Mission – Giving Small Business a Voice

Friday, September 21, 2018

Businesses operate in an environment surrounded by regulations.  The regulations or rules a business needs to understand, apply and follow come from all levels of government- federal state and local. We as small business owners may be left with a feeling of helplessness and frustration as they are  applied in a manner we believe to be unfair or excessive in regulatory compliance or enforcement actions (such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, and retaliation by federal agencies).  Where can you turn? Fortunately at both the federal and state level there are processes in place to assure fairness and to reduce regulatory...
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Pierce County textile artist, former winner Small Business Of The Year recipient co-authors Rug Money How A Group Of Maya Women Changed Their Lives Through Art and Innovation describing her work with Maya women in Guatemala.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

          Mary Anne Wise of rural Maiden Rock Township and her co-author Cheryl Conway Daly of Cato, New York, offer a poignant memoir of their 8 year long journey working with Maya women in the highlands of Guatemala. Recognizing the dire need for more income-generating opportunities, Wise, an accomplished textile artist volunteered to teach a weekend long rug-hooking class. What follows is a surprising and heartening story about artistry, creative economies, and how access to opportunity truly does change lives.  In Rug Money’s moving narrative, Mary Anne describes how she created a curriculum for teaching art and design based on her Maya...
Extension plan emerges for part-time ag agent

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Plans to restore part-time UW-Extension agriculture agent services were among personnel proposals that moved forward at Monday's Pierce County Finance and Personnel Committee meeting. Committee members approved initial plans Sept. 10 for a shared position that Area Extension Director Kristen Bruder said would bring Pepin County ag agent Mike Travis to Pierce County on a limited basis. She said funding to cover the 0.20 position in Pierce County would come from redistributing horticulture educator funds. The need for those funds will be lessened through a new horticulture outreach educator position, which will service multiple western Wisconsin counties. Finance and Personnel Committee members...
Not Giving Up on Making Vino in the Valley

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

As the sun sets on the valley, lights turn on over diners and at the hands of guests at the bar, a fire heats the cooler night air, horses take off on a wagon ride, live music floats through the air; pizza, pasta, and of course, wine, makes its way to tables on the patio, and guests laugh and chat while gazing out at the vineyard and canopy of trees that surround them. Enjoying the full experience, from the food and drinks to the valley view, is what it's all about at Vino in the Valley. But one thing is missing —...
Wisconsin roundup: Walker proposes tax credit for Wis. college graduates; more state news stories

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing a new tax credit for college graduates as he campaigns for re-election. Walker's so-called “new graduate tax credit” of up to $1,000 per year for up to five years is aimed at keeping college graduates living and working in Wisconsin. This proposal is in addition to Walker's plan to freeze in-state tuition for another four years. The proposed tax credit is featured in a new campaign TV ad. Original story found here. 
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4 Tips for Buying A Business

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Many individuals enter entrepreneurship by starting their own business. Others, like myself, receive the opportunity to buy an existing business. Buying a business is a huge responsibility. You are taking the reins from its previous owner as the company’s new leadership. There are certain perks that come with buying an established business, such as transferring over existing intellectual property and having a built-in customer base. However, plenty of hard work still needs to be done before and after the purchase. Let’s start with the ‘before’ part of the conversation. Ready to buy a business? Don’t make an offer until you have carefully followed...
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Glen Park

Located in River Falls, Glen Park is home to trails connecting to the White Pathway to the north, River Hills Park to the south and the Kinnickinnic River; a public swimming pool; many large trees; grass and several types of recreational activities.