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Economic Development Corporation now operating

Wisconsin's new Economic Development Corporation officially began operating at the beginning of this month. The public-private entity replaces what used to be the state Department of Commerce. And its new leader says the corporation will "operate...

Wisconsin's new Economic Development Corporation officially began operating at the beginning of this month. The public-private entity replaces what used to be the state Department of Commerce. And its new leader says the corporation will "operate at the speed of business."

With the signing of the new state budget, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was born. And it will have a lot more money to work with than the Commerce Department ever did, according to the WEDC's Chief Executive Officer, Paul Jadin.

Instead of a budget of about $50 million a year, Jadin says the corporation will have $84 million,

"Our operations will be roughly the same with the exception of $1.5 million dollars for marketing," says Jadin. "So that significant increase is going to allow us to allow entrepreneurs to be innovative to create businesses, allow us to work with industry clusters. Of course, it's going to allow us to create the kind of awards and incentives which we've historically done whether it's tax credits, grants, or loans."

The Commerce Department's divisions of licensing and regulation are moving over to another state agency.

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Jadin hopes the changes, coupled with tax breaks for manufacturers and capital gains, will make Wisconsin more competitive.

"As you compare us to states around us--Minnesota had to shut down, Illinois with tax increases and a significant structural deficit and the myriad of problems that Michigan is facing, we do stand out and this is not lost on the business community."

Since it operates as a pseudo private entity, Jadin says the WEDC is able to solicit money from corporations to help with a beefed up marketing campaign aimed at attracting businesses to the state.

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