Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch hosted the third annual Small Business Summit today. For the last three years, Governor Walker, Lt. Governor Kleefisch, and cabinet secretaries have joined small business owners to discuss the state of the economy in Wisconsin and discover how the state can help their businesses thrive in Wisconsin.
"Small business owners are finding success in Wisconsin and this summit is an opportunity for them to meet with the administration to discuss ways to continue growing our economy," Governor Walker said. "During the last three years, employers learned we are committed to their success. We will continue to partner with the small business community as we continue moving Wisconsin forward."
"Small business owners recognize the positive reforms we are enacting and that we are committed to working with them to create Wisconsin jobs," Lt. Governor Kleefisch stated. "The most recent budget improves Wisconsin's business climate, including funding for investment capital and nearly $1 billion in tax relief."
Recently, Wisconsin jumped to number two in the nation for economic growth, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's coincident index. Wisconsin's growth rate over the last three months was the best in 25 years and the state's ranking is the best in history. CNBC ranks Wisconsin 5th for top states for manufacturing and 94 percent of employers surveyed by the state's chamber of commerce say Wisconsin is heading in the right direction. Private sector job gains under Governor Walker are the best two-year gains under any Wisconsin governor in over a decade. Additionally, 11,590 new businesses have been created since the Governor took office, according to statistics from the Department of Financial Institutions.
The Governor's Small Business Summit was previously held in La Crosse and Green Bay. The Summit is an opportunity for small business owners to meet with cabinet secretaries to learn about initiatives on the state level that are improving the business climate in Wisconsin. Steve Pemberton, Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens, offered one of the keynote addresses on workplace diversity and hiring people with special needs.
In addition to the roundtables, a variety of workshops were offered this year including a session by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance on "De-mystifying the Affordable Care Act;" and a session by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on "Engaging Globally, Growing Locally." The Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Tourism also hosted sessions.