Chamber News

Shawano Country Vision 2017 Releases 3-Year Report
Click Here for Full Report

In 2010, the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce and Shawano County Economic Progress, Inc. (SCEPI) formed a partnership to proactively address the growing needs of businesses in the area. The plan was to raise funds in order to provide resources and assistance to local businesses looking to start-up, grow, or locate locally. After interviewing over 80 business and community leaders, it was determined the Shawano Country Vision 2017 plan was on-track and important for building both organizations' capacities and moving the communities forward. We kicked off our capital campaign in 2012 and successfully raised $1.11 million in cash and in-kind pledges. Implementation of our Vision 2017 five year plan to spur capital investment and help businesses create jobs officially began in 2013.

 What started as a partnership between two organizations, has grown into a much larger cooperative effort. Our many investors including businesses, non-profits, governments, tribes, individuals, and foundations have adopted collaboration as a way to strengthen economic opportunity in our area. We do not work alone and regionally we are committed to ongoing collaboration with our economic development partners on important regional strategies and tactics. Thank you to our supporters for investing in results and working together to grow our communities.

Our mission is to retain, promote and grow business in the Shawano County area. Economic development is the lifeblood of every community. It creates jobs, builds neighborhoods, supports businesses and provides a higher quality of life. Our four major areas of
emphasis include Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E), Tourism and Retail Development,
Community Development, and Workforce Development.

Growing from Within

Bringing new business in to our community may grab the biggest headlines, however, we know that over 80 percent of economic growth typically comes from the expansion of existing companies in a community. We therefore focus the lion’s share of our work helping our existing businesses. Vision 2017 has strengthened our organizations, empowering us to help many more businesses than before. We have often said Vision 2017 is a fluid plan, not written in stone, but flexible, empowering the Oversight Council to direct funds to the most effective initiatives. Who could have predicted when we developed this plan in 2012, when unemployment was over 9%,  that three short years later, our priority would be on finding workers for our employers. We currently have over 400 jobs openings posted for our area and many employers are struggling to find qualified workers to fill those openings. This is a challenge to oureconomic growth. The Oversight Council has added workforce development as a priority within
Vision 2017. 

3-Year Highlights

In the past three years, support and resources provided by Vision 2017 has allowed Shawano County Economic Progress, Inc. and the Chamber to improve and increase outreach, engagement, and assistance to numerous employers and communities throughout Shawano County.

In the past 3 years, SCEPI has utilized Vision 2017 funds as well as other resources to…

  • Help local companies secure funding of more than $20 million, in support of over 700 new jobs, and over$51 million in capital investment in the region.
  • Provide individualized, strategic guidance to over 125 businesses.
  • Award $125,000 In Vision 2017 Façade and Interior grants to 26 Companies, stimulating $922,000 in total capital investments.
  • Help Shawano County municipalities with business retention expansion and attraction activities.

Economic Indicators for Shawano County are very positive:

  • From January 2013 to December 2015 unemployment has decreased from 8.8% to 4.5 %
  • Since 2015 average weekly wages have increased from $518 to $580
  • From January 2013 to December 2015 average annual household income has increased by $1,847

In 2016 we will continue implementation of Shawano Country Vision 2017 in order to help
businesses create economic growth for our area and to ensure organizational financial sustainability, synergy and efficiency for the Shawano Country Chamber and Shawano County Economic Progress, Inc.

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