We took some of the most commonly asked economic development questions and answered them. Learn more about what we do, who we are and how we can help you in the Q&A below.
Q: What is economic development?
A: On a broad scale, anything a community does to foster and create a healthy economy falls under the definition of economic development. Oftentimes, economic development is referred to as “wealth creation”. More formally, it involves the allocation of limited resources such as land, labor and capital in a way that has a positive effect on the level of business activity, employment, income distribution and fiscal solvency.
Q: Why is economic development important to the average citizen?
A: Economic development is valuable because it increases tax base, job development, business retention, economic diversification, self-sufficiency, productive use of property, quality of life and recognition of local products.
Q: Why does economic development matter to my business?
A: Economic development acts as a catalyst by helping local businesses expand or by attracting new businesses into the community. Such activity increases the tax base of the area, thereby spreading the costs of public services and keeping overall costs down. An economic development entity increases the economic well-being of every business in our town.
The best economic development strategies are those that place Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) first. Studies have shown that approximately 80 percent of all new businesses come from businesses already in the community. Greater Oshkosh EDC’s top priority is BR&E.
Q: Why Greater Oshkosh EDC?
A: The creation of this new, targeted effort is intended to help promote comprehensive and integrated economic development to the greater Oshkosh area. This focused leadership and advocacy will help support new efforts to expand and help diversify the regional economic base.
Q: How is Greater Oshkosh EDC different than other efforts and organizations?
A: Greater Oshkosh EDC works in close partnership with a wide number of other existing organizations, such as The New North, Inc., Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Public Service and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to achieve success for the Greater Oshkosh area. Greater Oshkosh EDC is specifically leading four main areas within greater Oshkosh:
- Business Retention & Expansion initiative and visitation program
- Response to requests for information (RFI’s) for businesses considering locating to the greater Oshkosh area
- Aviation, manufacturing and information solutions – business cluster development
- Second stage entrepreneurship
Q: Who “owns” or is responsible for Greater Oshkosh EDC?
A: Greater Oshkosh EDC is established as a non-profit, non-stock Wisconsin corporation. It is presently governed by a seven-member Executive Committee and 20-member Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is set up to be self-perpetuating with new members approved by the Board of Directors. Therefore, there are no “owners”.
Q: How is Greater Oshkosh EDC funded?
A: As a public-private partnership, Greater Oshkosh EDC is funded by several sources. The primary source of funding is the private sector businesses in the greater Oshkosh area. Additional funding comes from local government partner organizations, which currently includes the City of Oshkosh, Winnebago County, the Town of Utica, the Town of Algoma and Winneconne. Funding is provided through 3-year pledges and Greater Oshkosh EDC has undertaken an on-going investor campaign.
Q: Why is Greater Oshkosh EDC organized as a 501(c)(6) not for profit corporation?
A: An organization that is structured as a 501(c)(6) is considered to be an income tax exempt nonprofit corporation organized for a non-charitable purpose, in this case to promote business growth as a primary purpose. Additionally, a 501(c)(6) is allowed to engaged in limited legislative lobbying and advocacy of political interests.
Q: Where do I find a list of city properties for sale?
A: Listings of available properties and buildings for lease or sale in the greater Oshkosh area can be found here.
Q: I am interested in expanding my business (or locating a new business). Does the City have any incentives or programs that may be of assistance to me?
A: Yes. Learn about Tax Increment Financing here.
Q: What financing packages does Greater Oshkosh EDC offer?
A: Greater Oshkosh EDC has a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program, which is a partnership between the City of Oshkosh and Greater Oshkosh EDC. The RLF is administered by Greater Oshkosh EDC and includes flexibility designed to encourage business growth and job creation. It also provides for recapitalization and growth of the RLF. For businesses engaged in high-income and job growth through projects involving expansion and/or relocation in Greater Oshkosh, it is a flexible gap financing tool. Find more information and eligibility requirements here.
Q: Are there any charges for Greater Oshkosh EDC Services?
A: There are currently no charges for working with Greater Oshkosh EDC. We do, however, charge an administrative fee for processing and filing RLF awards. These are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Other Funding Resources
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loan guarantees of bank loans to small businesses. The SBA also offers the 504 Debenture Program, which provides long-term, fixed-rate loans for owner-occupied business real estate purchases or construction and equipment purchases. The 504 Debenture Program will finance as much as 40% of the project cost. The bank and the borrower provide the remaining 60%. Local providers of the 504 Debenture are Wisconsin Business Development and Business Lending Partners.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) makes investments in companies that are expanding operations in Wisconsin. Specifically, WEDC will invest in companies that retain or create family-supporting jobs in the state of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Association provides small business resources throughout the state, including the Capital Access Program.