(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 9 Oct. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The latest report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), drawing both on state forecasts and federal figures, finds that Wisconsin’s economy has been lagging the nation for some time.

In 2006, total state income rose 5.4% to $191.7 billion, while national growth was 7.1%. Reflecting the economic slowdown, 2008 personal income is estimated to increase 3.4% in Wisconsin vs. 4.3% nationally.

Several factors help explain why state per capita income trails the U.S., according to WISTAX. With “baby boomers” starting to retire, the state’s senior population will double by 2030. Meanwhile, school- and working-age populations will not grow. Fewer workers earning and spending money means less income to fuel the economy (and fill state tax coffers).

See more from the analysis:


— Challenging economic times have resulted in a year-over-year loss of nearly 14,000 non-farm jobs throughout Wisconsin, based on numbers from the state Department of Workforce Development.

However, WisBusiness columnist Jennifer Sereno says, state government has not been idle in the face of this challenge, and the combined efforts of the nine state-level entities that share responsibility for economic development have done much to preserve existing jobs while aiding business start-ups and expansions.

Read her new column for details:


— Local investment experts said during a panel discussion Wednesday that nobody knows how long the current economic downturn will last and stressed the importance of getting credit flowing again to begin the process of recovery.

The panel shared its investment advice and concerns at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon at the Newsroom Pub in downtown Milwaukee Wednesday afternoon.

“We think the really bad part of the recession is just starting,” said Michael Sadoff, an adviser at Sadoff Investment Management in Milwaukee.

Michelle Picard is vice president and principal at Geneva Capital Management.

“We’re all looking into the same black box,” she said of the current crisis.

“When the market no longer falls on bad news, that is when you know you’ve hit bottom,” she later added.

Read more from the panel:


— Wisconsin ranked 38th for its business tax climate in the latest rankings from the Tax Foundation for fiscal year 2009.

That’s up one spot from No. 39 in the rankings for fiscal year 2008.

Wisconsin was squarely in the middle of its neighbors. Minnesota ranked No. 41, Iowa was No. 44, Illinois was No. 22 and Michigan was No. 20. Wyoming ranked No. 1, while New Jersey came in at No. 50.

See the report:


— Entrepreneurial leaders are due to discuss stimulating Wisconsin’s economic growth at today’s meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network’s Milwaukee chapter.

Read more about the meeting:


— Get links to audio, video and photos from this week’s WisBusiness luncheon with Madison real estate executive Dave Stark: http://www.virtualbroker.com/2008/10/dave-stark-speech-on-the-local-real-estate-market.html

— Read about and listen to a new WisBusiness interview with John Neis, managing partner of Madison-based Venture Investors: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=138416



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Press Releases
· AG Van Hollen: 33 states reach landmark $62 million settlement with Eli Lilly
· Alliant Energy: Mid-Continent Railway Museum awarded $10,000 flood recovery grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation
· Citizen Action of Wisconsin: New report reveals increasing cut insurance industry is taking from Wisconsin health insurance premiums
· Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Candy found on Wisconsin grocery shelves may be melamine-tainted
· Office of the Commissioner of Insurance: September 2008 administrative actions
· UW-Madison: UW E-Business Consortium celebrates 10 years of serving Wisconsin companies
· UW-Madison: UW students and alumni to connect at career networking event

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


American Superconductor gets new big wind deal: American Superconductor Corp., which has its booming wind power unit based in Middleton, on Wednesday announced that it has signed another multimillion-dollar contract for wind power in China. The deal makes XJ Group Corp. the fifth manufacturer to provide American Superconductor’s Windtec-designed wind turbines to the Chinese market.

DeForest area targeted for planned biogas plant: Sanimax and StormFisher Biogas announced a plan Tuesday to spend more than $160 million to build eight biogas plants, the first of which will be constructed in Wisconsin. A site for the first plant has not been selected but the plant will process materials from Sanimax’s DeForest facility, which produces biodiesel fuel from restaurant grease, rendered animal fats and vegetable oils.

Hal Leonard venture to sell translations in China: Hal Leonard Corp. has formed a joint venture with a company in Beijing that will allow the Milwaukee print music publisher to sell translated works in China. Hal Leonard, the world’s largest publisher of sheet music, formed the joint venture with People’s Music Publishing House, one of the largest music publishers in China. The new company will translate Hal Leonard flagship publications into Mandarin, and also create new publications specifically geared to the vast market of Chinese music makers.

Marinette Marine appeals government contract on Coast Guard cutters: The marine division of Manitowoc Co. has appealed an award of a government contract, valued at up to $1.5 billion, for construction of U.S. Coast Guard cutters by a Louisiana shipyard. Marinette Marine Corp. said Wednesday it has filed the protest with the federal Government Accountability Office. Company officials declined to say why they have taken the action, but last week they acknowledged that the contract award to Bollinger Shipyards Inc., of Lockport, La., was surprising and disappointing.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– UW entrepreneurs hope laptop stickers become ‘Livestrong’ of renewable energy

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Green Bay: EDA OKs funds for branding initiative

– Valley business leaders hopeful

– Localization World Conference brings global commerce to Madison

– Report: Tax revenue dropping across the country

– Wisconsin has third-lowest rate of uninsured residents in U.S.

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Wisconsin paper industry could sway vote

– Lake states paper conference slated

– Sensient secures $85M term loan

– Modine promotes Kelsey to top attorney

LABOR (back to top)
– Greenville’s AstenJohnson workers OK new 3-year deal

– Grant will pay to train 532 workers

– State grants will help local companies add jobs

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stock market remains shaky

– Rate cut fails to ignite stocks

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Boldt: Appleton gets best deal in land swap

– Oshkosh: Rohloff rolls out redevelopment big picture

– Menomonee Falls hotel project finally moves forward

– Company that recycles brownfields finds success

RETAIL (back to top)
– Truck sales increase in south-central Wisconsin

– Kohl’s comparable store sales drop 5.5 percent

– Retail sales still slow with only a 1.7 % rise expected

REGULATION (back to top)
– E. coli possible in recalled meat in Wisconsin

– Financial adviser files age-discrimination lawsuit

TOURISM (back to top)
– Glacier Canyon Lodge completes conference center expansion

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Wisconsin to get tighter mercury standards

– Power outage response focus of Madison conference

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Walker to veto vote against St. Michael Hospital plan

– Shifting Gears: Banking on a different course

– Suby, Von Haden & Associates forms trust company

– M&I leads in total Milwaukee-area deposits

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Jadin elected board president of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: Business Beat: Yo-yo economy comes home to roost

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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