The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

The Economy & You #48: Milwauke Picked as Best City for Incentives

English: Flag of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

English: Flag of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Global Trade Magazine listed the top 50 cities for global trade in its August/September issue.  The overall city rankings lists the 50 largest metropolitan areas by export volume. The metropolitan areas can include multiple communities, multiple counties, and even multiple states. The total export volume is compiled by the International Trade Administration.Milwaukee was listed as the 34th largest city by export volume.  The Milwaukee region includes Waukesha and West Allis. Machinery, computer and electronic products and transportation equipment were identified as the main export products sent out from the Milwaukee area. Milwaukee has historically been recognized as a metal fabrication center. The main trading partners were Canada, Mexico, and China.

In addition to the objective rankings (export volume), the editorial board at Global Trade Magazine reviewed a wide variety of reports, analyses and other materials to create a special designations for a number of cities on the list.  Under these subjective set of criteria , Milwaukee was designated as the city with the best incentives.

Milwaukee was chosen because Milwaukee is seen as catering to new start-up companies and manufacturers. In fact, approximately 85% of Milwaukee area businesses have 25 employees or less.  The editors designated start-ups as most likely to search for incentives. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Milwaukee as one of the hottest urban area for entrepreneurs as Milwaukee provides early stage funding to help support new start-ups.

To a greater degree, the state of Wisconsin has shown a commitment to assisting its manufacturing sector.  The state provides various tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery, equipment, and other materials. The state also provides tax credits and incentives for various things like relocation, job creation, dairy manufacturing and research expenditures. Finally, the state has a number of programs that are designed to help businesses get started including industrial revenue bonds, programs to help recover employee training costs and technology development funding.

Global trade is an important part of our state and national economy. The manufacturing of exports can be the life blood for local communities. There are numerous communities who are major exporters, some are easily recognizable: GE Medical, Nicolet, Briggs & Stratton, Harley-Davidson, Allen-Bradley (to name only a few), as well as the many agricultural products that are sent throughout the world.

It is encouraging that Milwaukee has been recognized as an important area of global trade, and that Wisconsin is recognized for its commitment to the manufacturing sector. We must continue to provide the climate will attract and retain those businesses that export goods and services abroad. These businesses will help to diversify and strengthen our state economy now and into the future.

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