A Brief Overview of Columbia County Economic Development Corporation

What is the purpose of the Columbia County Economic Development Corporation?

The Purpose of the Columbia County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) is to foster and encourage activities in the county that result in constructive economic development and/or result in an improved quality of life.

The corporation utilizes four strategies to fulfill its purpose:

  • Retain and expand existing businesses.
  • Promote new business formation.
  • Assist Member Communities.
  • Seek additional funding for economic development activities.

Organizational Development
Create a structure for effective and accountable operations that enhances board member involvement and knowledge, builds trust and projects a positive image for the entire county.

  • Improves Communications
  • Promotes and Celebrates Success
  • Establishes a clear Mission, Goals and Objectives.

The Columbia County Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit corporation established in 1992 to coordinate economic development throughout Columbia County, Wisconsin. The corporation is staffed by a full time economic professional and an administrative assistant, and is governed by a Board of Directors with membership from all participating communities and the Columbia County Board of Supervisors. The corporation is funded by the Columbia County Board and participating municipalities on a per capita basis.

Columbia County Economic Development Corporation Activities and Accomplishments:

Business Development
Create an environment in which businesses flourish, new businesses are created, and employees prosper.

  • Focuses on Business Retention and Expansion. 
  • Offers Manufacturer / Business of Year Awards and conducts business visits. 
  • Encourages Business Recruitment through trade shows and web site.
  •  Assistance for Start-up Business includes help to develop business plans and suggestions of areas for financial assistance.
  • Promotes Entrepreneurship through Entrepreneur & Inventor’s Club and Small Business Development Committee.
  • Facilitates the creation and retention of quality jobs by working with the Columbia County Job Center.
  • Fills existing vacant buildings and Industrial Parks by utilizing Location One Information System (LOIS) program.
  • Maintains central regional data.
  • Updates community profiles and inventories of  buildings and sites.
  • Works with prospects from Alliant Energy, Forward Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
  • Works with the Wisconsin Development Board.
  • Maintains a Website serving as a portal for community information and resources.
  • Markets Revolving Loan Funds:
    • Cambria
    • Columbus
    • CCEDC
    • Columbia County
    • Portage
    • Randolph
    • Wisconsin Dells

 Forge strong partnerships that expand educational opportunities focused on life-long learning and a  skilled workforce.

  • Developed and maintains relationships and partnerships with Madison Area Technical College, University of Wisconsin Extension, area Chambers of Commerce and Business Groups.
  • Promotes coordination and innovation through the Columbia County Labor Forum and Manufacturer’s Network.

Community Assets
Endow communities with resources necessary for stable and sustainable economic growth.  Create a healthy environment of lively, profitable communities.

  • Build Support for Expanded Sense of “Community”.
  • Build Support for Economic Development.
  • Support Community Growth Initiatives.
Regional Impact 
 Known as the center of economic development in the region including industry, retail, recreation and tourism.
  • Encourages I-39/90/94 Interchange Expansion.
  • Promotes Natural and Recreational Resources.
  • Promotes Agri-Business retention and expansion.
  • Assists Town, Village, City and County Governments with local economic development activities.
  • Promotes the new Hwy 51 Tourism Initiative.
  • Markets Columbia County Assets including:
    • Located between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
    • Close proximity to Madison, Wisconsin Dells and Milwaukee.
    • 80% of Columbia County businesses intend to modernize/improve in the next five years.
    • 80% of the businesses report Columbia County to be "A Good Place to do Business"
    • 64% of the businesses report gross sales increasing.
    • 66% of the businesses are more than 20 years old

Since its creation in 1992, CCEDC has been involved in a number of successful economic development efforts aimed at improving the quality of life in Columbia County.