- Economic Development
The need for economic stability and growth of the region led to the creation of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NWRPC) in 1959 by local units of government. Today, NWRPC continues to provide professional services to local units of governments, communities, and businesses in an effort to strengthen the regional economy and assist businesses with the retention and creation of high skill/high wage jobs. Professional services include preparing state and federal grant applications, creating local economic development strategies, construction and management of economic development facilities, facilitating local business expansions, creating or amending Tax Increment Finance Districts and project plan development.
In 1973, the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce designated the NWRPC as an Economic Development District (EDD). As a result, a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is prepared to guide the economic growth of the District. In 2015, NWRPC prepared a major update to the CEDS which provides an analysis of local conditions; identifies the problems, needs, and opportunities of the district; defines the vision, goals, and objectives of the district; and designates and coordinates strategies and/or activities to accomplish and implement its goals.
NWRPC administers the various revolving loan fund programs of Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Corporation (NWBDC), Northwest Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Fund (NWREDF), and Wisconsin Business Innovation Corporation (WBIC). NWRPC also owns and operates a regional network of enterprise centers (business incubators). NWRPC and WBIC formed and manages the Wisconsin Rural Enterprise Fund, LLC (WREF), the only community-based venture capital fund in the Northwest Wisconsin Region and provides technical assistance to businesses. For general information on business development and resources on starting your own business, please see our Business Resources section.