In recent times, Wisconsin’s business climate has not been as welcoming as it is now. In 2010, a mere 10 percent of the employers surveyed said that our state was headed in the right direction.
In 2012, 93 percent said Wisconsin was heading in the right direction. Over the past two years, Wisconsin moved up 21 spots on Chief Executive Magazine’s ranking of the best and worst states for business. CNBC moved us up to number 17 and Site Selection Magazine ranked our state as high as 13.
Employers now feel good about our state. We have shown we are turning things around and heading in the right direction. Still, there is much more work to be done, which is why our main focus is on growing our economy.
In Wisconsin, cutting-edge academic research is the catalyst for growing companies and prosperous careers. We have a healthy supply of new invention and potential commercial innovations. Wisconsin holds 2.11 percent of the nation’s patent filings, 12th in the nation, and is responsible for 2.15 percent of the nation’s academic research spending, 13th in the nation. However, we only have 0.36 percent of nation’s venture capital investments.
Start-ups are being created all over the state and we need to be able to invest in these ventures to ensure small businesses in our state can thrive. One way I plan to invest in new or expanding business in our state is through a $25 million investment capital initiative. I have also charged the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) with continuing to improve the state’s business climate by investing in our workforce. We need to continue to provide competitive advantages for companies interested in growing here or moving here.
I hope WisconsinBiz will be a valuable resource to you. The purpose is to provide a focus on economic development, research and innovation, and business growth. I would like to thank the WEDC and BizTimes for their work on this publication. I am glad we are continuing to work to move Wisconsin forward.
Gov. Scott Walker