UpFront: Kenosha biz leader says location key to area’s development

Kenosha County’s position between Chicago and Milwaukee makes it a logical choice for many businesses, according to Todd Battle of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.

Battle also credited Wisconsin’s business climate with enticing businesses like Amazon, Meijer, and Uline to build facilities in the southeast corner of the state. He said the economic activity in the last 12 to 18 months has been particularly robust, with the area attracting $7.5 million in development money and adding 3,500 new jobs since December 2013.

“We feel really good about the mix,” Battle told “UpFront with Mike Gousha,’’ done in partnership with WisPolitics.com . “There’s a range of positions being created that really create some opportunities for lots of different people in our community.”

Some of the new growth includes businesses crossing the state line from Illinois, a result of the Kenosha area development community working with Chicago real estate brokers to generate leads, Battle said.

“We’ve had a good run of working with Illinois-based businesses to site operations in southeast Wisconsin,” Battle said.

While critics have said the growth comes from job poaching that increases barriers between communities, Battle said his organization is making sure Kenosha is taking advantage of the opportunities presented.

“This Midwest region is going to win or lose together,” Battle said. “The Milwaukee-Chicago corridor is an economic corridor, and we want to see that strengthened.”

See more from the show: http://www.wisn.com/politics/upfront