Free Tuesday Trends sample: Crowdfunding rising, jobs mixed and Bank of Wausau falling

Below is an excerpt from the most recent edition of WisBusiness Tuesday Trends.

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RISING

Crowdfunding: A group of Republican lawmakers unveils legislation aimed at helping Wisconsin small businesses increase investment capital — allowing equity crowdfunding and loosening regulations for small businesses looking to sell stock. State businesses can currently acquire crowdfunding through Internet sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, which allow non-accredited investors to invest money in businesses, though only in exchange for gifts or products. The state proposal, which mirrors federal legislation signed last spring, would allow people to purchase stock in businesses instead — up to $1 million from non-accredited investors or up to $2 million if the business provides an audit. Supporters say the current costs and regulations involved in selling stock hinder startup funding, and argue the proposal would help create jobs without spending state funds.

MIXED

Jobs: Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remained at 6.8 percent in July as the state gained 2,000 jobs — 1,800 in the private sector — according to the latest monthly estimates from the state labor department. But the Department of Workforce Development also releases its preliminary job count for the first quarter of 2013. That analysis shows the state gained 23,351 jobs from March 2012 to March 2013, but dropped 58,900 jobs from December 2012 to March 2013. The drop between the end of 2012 and the end of the first quarter regularly occurs at the end of every calendar year, generally due to the lack of seasonal adjustments to those figures.

FALLING

Bank of Wausau: The small Wausau-based bank becomes the 18th bank in the country — and second in Wisconsin — to fail this year after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announces it had taken over earlier this month. The single-branch bank had $43.6 million in assets and $40.7 million in deposits as of the end of June; Green Bay’s Nicolet National Bank agreed to take on the deposits and $29.9 million in assets, with the remainder staying with the FDIC. Bank of Wisconsin — operating as Bank of Kenosha — was the last Wisconsin bank to fail on May 31, after which it was taken over by North Shore Bank of Brookfield.