Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am
Forward Wisconsin, a nonprofit agency dedicated to bringing out-of-state businesses to the state, is partnering with a consortium of economic development groups to implement the Location One Information System (LOIS), which will establish online lists of available commercial real estate sites in each of the state’s municipalities.
Sharon Seffrood, a Web marketing specialist with Forward Wisconsin, said the free online program will enable municipalities or economic development agencies to display demographics about their communities, along with sites and buildings for sale.
Seffrood said the LOIS program will enable interested developers to search the Web site for available land within the municipalities they are interested in. The site also features a geographic information system component that enables users to find economic and geographic data on sites or municipalities, as well as information on the local available labor force.
"It’s a free platform," Seffrood said. "Forward Wisconsin has bought the subscription for it, and we are giving it to economic developers throughout Wisconsin."
Seffrood and Scott Reigstad, director of communications with the agency, said Forward Wisconsin has already entered state, metropolitan statistical area and county demographic data into the LOIS system. Information about local communities still needs to be entered by each municipality or economic development organizations.
More than 30 members of the Wisconsin Economic Development Association have been trained to teach local officials how to input information about their municipalities into the LOIS program and will hold training seminars on technical college campuses around the state through late April.
The LOIS program has been posted online for about 18 months, but information has not yet been entered for southeastern Wisconsin, Reigstad said. Other parts of the state, such as Baraboo, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Janesville and Wisconsin Rapids, have entered information and already are using the system, he said.
Forward Wisconsin is hoping that the manufacturers of the LOIS software will create an aspect of the program that real estate brokers can use, Seffrood said. Entries by real estate brokers would be subject to the review by local economic development officials who enter information into the program for individual municipalities, she said.
Seffrood also said Forward Wisconsin officials are still considering which agencies in southeastern Wisconsin will be responsible for entering information into the LOIS system.
"It’s such a big metropolitan area, and there are so many brokers that have a handle on that now, that it’s quite challenging," she said. "We’re in the process of meeting with people."
Seffrood recommended interested individuals attend one of the LOIS training sessions or call Forward Wisconsin. For a schedule of all training sessions, visit www.forwardwi.com or call the agency at 1-800-669-1190.
April 1, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI