7 Rivers Alliance - December 2016 

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Dear Investors and Members,

We are pleased to share with  you all the amazing things that are happening in the 7 Rivers Region.  There is a positive energy in the air and a sense of optimism about new possibilities. We think the 2016 Rising Stars Under 40 had a part in this new enthusiasm and rightfully so.  See below for highlights from our 2016 State of the Region event.  Click here to view the State of the Region slide presentation from Ron Wirtz, Outreach Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. 

During the last month, we also released the results of our 2016 Executive Business survey.  Over 150 executives participated and the results are very interesting.  See below for the link to the one page summary and the full report. 

This year, the survey confirmed the need for a skilled workforce and reinforced our commitment to the launch of the WISE Plan.  The Steering Committee has held its first official meeting and we recently let a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant to lead this project. 

Finally, we are making progress with our Strengthening Economies Together Project with the USDA.  We recently held a planning session with 40 business and community leaders.  The group will continue to meet of the next several months with staff from UW Extension and will complete their plan in April 2017.

What an exciting time in the 7 Rivers Region!

Lisa Herr

New Workforce Briefing
Click Here to Register
December 6th ECO DEVO
This is the last chance to RSVP for our next ECO DEVO meeting on December 6 from 10:00- 12:00 PM at the La Crosse Regional Airport!
Clinton Torp, Director at the La Crosse/Winona Airport, will be discussing his vision and long range plans for the airport along with the surrounding industrial park properties.  We will be sharing the full report of the results of the 2016 Executive Survey.  In addition, there will also be a discussion of new projects coming online in 2017. There are a lot of exciting advancements happening in our community and we want to hear what you are involved in along with share our ideas!

To RSVP Clink on the link below and fill out the short Google Doc.   

 La Crosse and Winona Regional Airport
 2850 Airport Dr, La Crosse, WI 54603
     December 6, 2016       From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Click Here to RSVP
Attention Chamber Executives

Image result for mark your calendarChamber Executives are invited to a complimentary lunch meeting to share economic development initiatives and discuss current workforce efforts. We will provide an update on the WISE Plan at this meeting. We are interested in learning all the projects you are involved in to continue the progression of economic development in our region.  It is important to share these goals and support one another to create a unified community.  

Where: La Crosse Chamber of Commerce 
601 7th Street North, La Crosse, Wisconsin 
When: December 8, 2016 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
An RSVP to  by December 5th would be greatly appreciated so that we can plan for lunch.

State of the Region
a Success!

Thank you so much for being a part of our 2016 State of the Region!  We had an amazing turnout of over 165 people, wonderful and informative presentations, and a great opportunity to meet the Rising Stars in our communities. Ron Wirtz, regional outreach director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, shared economic data on La Crosse and compared the city to three other local metros as well as Wisconsin as a whole. Also on Wednesday, The 7 Rivers Public Policy Intern, Jeremy Ames, presented the results of the organization’s business survey at the luncheon and DCS Netlink CEO Dane Deutsch spoke on the issue of business cyber security. We are excited about the results of this event and are busy starting to plan the 2017 State of the Region. 

If you attended the 2016 State of the Region we would love to hear your feedback! Please CLICK HERE to answer a short survey about this event and help us continue to improve this event for next year. 
Welcome New Investors
Image result for Brickl BrothersFounded in 1970 Brickl Bros. has grown from a start-up company specializing in Agricultural buildings to one recognized throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois as a leader in Commercial, Agricultural, and Suburban building design and construction.  Based in West Salem, WI, for nearly 40 years our company has successfully partnered with thousands of businesses, farmers, non-profit organizations and private property owners to help them achieve their building goals.  If your business, farm or suburban job site is located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, or Illinois, Brickl Bros. is ready to help you with your Commercial, Agricultural, Suburban or Building Rehabilitation project.  Brickl Bros. is committed to improving our economy through the construction and building industry of the 7 Rivers Region.   

Image result for Houston County EDA minnesotaHouston County is home to many innovative manufacturing companies who are continuing to grow and adapt in the current economic climate of the region, nation, and the world. The County is also becoming increasingly committed to growing its tourism economy, and is currently working on a Regional Tourism Initiative. In addition to helping our businesses grow and plan for the future, the Houston County Economic Development Authority is committed to improving the branding and marketing of the region to draw more people to live, work, and play here. It is so important for communities to recognize the value of our region--and capitalize on it. The 7 Rivers Alliance is an essential "thread" that encourages communication and collective promotion of assets. Our tri-state area is full of great people, natural resources, and an overwhelming sense of place--and telling the story of these wonderful attributes is something we must all do together!

Executive Business Survey Results
Thank you to all that participated in the 2016 Executive Survey.  We had an amazing turnout with over 150 responses. This feedback not only helps us see where businesses are excelling in our community but also where we need to focus our attention and create stronger programs. CLICK HERE to see the full executive survey.  The survey can also be found on our website. To see the survey summary click on the picture to the left. Stay tuned for the 2017 Executive Survey that will be available in April 2017.
Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants Announced

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today awarded $965,500 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants to 14 communities around the state. The grants will benefit local improvement projects such as façade upgrades and restoration, upper floor rehabilitation, building stabilization and repairs and remodeled spaces for expanding downtown businesses.

CLICK HERE to read the full article. 
Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest Open fro 2017 entries through Jan. 31, 2017

Image result for wisconsin governors BPC

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin.  The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital.    

To get started, contestants must create a simple account at  All entries are submitted through the website.  Contestants use their account to gain access to mentors throughout the process, as well as review the judges' comments and feedback.  

CLICK HERE to learn more.
A Paradigm Shift of Multicultural Proportions 

Image result for minnesota business magazine

The year 2017 will be a breakthrough time for many U.S. companies as they come to the realization that in order to compete and grow, they must take advantage of the fastest-growing demographic and market, which remains largely untapped by many businesses, despite its potential. Retailers, sports, nonprofits and other organizations will finally come to grips as they recognize the sheer size and impact of the Latin market.

To read the full article CLICK HERE. 
Save the Date!

The Next SET Regional Planning Meeting will be on February 1, 2017.  Stay tuned for location and time.
Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $83 million in capital investments in Iowa

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to six companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 108 jobs, retention of eight jobs and will result in over $83 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for nine startups.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.
The app is dead... and you killed it

Image result for minnesota business magazine

Except for some core apps, people seem to be downloading fewer, and using them less. This was supposed to be the beginning of a new economy. A new industry that would — by 2016 — create well over two million mobile apps aimed to accomplish thousands of tasks. The problem is, today nobody wants to download them. Last year, according to Business Insider, downloads from the top 15 developers fell 20%, and according to data released by comScore, the average American smartphone user now downloads zero apps a month.

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE. 
WISE Plan Update

On November 29th the Steering Committee for the WISE Plan met and discussed the next steps for this program.  The RFP for a workforce consultant was sent the following day.  There are updates and a summary to this meeting on The 7 Rivers Alliance website. Please CLICK HERE to read more about the progression of this project and get a closer look at the project's Request for Proposals. 
2017 Events and Projects

To get a better look at all of the events and projects The 7 Rivers Alliance has planned for 2017 CLICK HERE.

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Copyright © 2015. 7 Rivers Alliance. All rights reserved.

Mailing address:
601 Seventh Street North
Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601

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Phone: 608-787-8777
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7 Rivers Alliance · 400 Seventh Street North · La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 · USA

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