FAQ

What is Oneida County Economic Delelopment Corporation? Is it a government agency?
The Oneida County Economic Development Corporation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation and is NOT a government agency. The mission of the OCEDC is to stimulate the orderly growth of businesses and industries in Oneida County.

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What is the primary focus of Oneida County Economic Development Corporation?
OCEDC assists individuals investigating the feasibility of going into business, works with existing business to
expand and retain economic viability, and works to attract new business in an effort to expand our economic base and provide employment alternatives to the citizens of Oneida County. OCEDC also acts as a conduit between business and government on a local, regional, state, and federal level.

The core focus of the OCEDC’s work is retaining and attracting living wage businesses in order to expand the local economic base and diversify employment opportunities for the citizens of Oneida County. To accomplish this, the OCEDC seeks to attract businesses that provide:

• Year-round employment
• Livable wages
• High quality of life
• Stability

Does Oneida County Economic Development Corporation work to bring businesses to Oneida County?
To help attract and foster the establishment of new businesses, the Oneida County Economic Development
Corporation assists individuals investigating business start-up feasibility, works

with existing businesses to enhance and preserve economic viability and works with
economic development partners to create the best possible senerio for interested businesses.


What is the difference between services provided by the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation and the region's Chambers of Commerce?
Do we need both?

by Roger Luce, Executive Director of the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation

Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Corporations (EDC's) Directors are often asked that question when discussing who is the "belly button" for economic development in a community. The missions of Chambers and EDC's have long been misconstrued. Having spent eleven years as Executive Director of both types of organizations, at the same time, I've drawn my own general conclusions that I hope will clarify any misunderstanding as to the need and value of both entities in a community. But first a quick discourse on the foundation of economic development.

Economic development ideally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of communities and policymakers that improve thestandard of living and economic health of a specific locality. Economic development involves development of human capital, increasing the literacy ratio, improving important infrastructure, improvement of health and safety and others areas that aims at increasing the general welfare of the citizens.
Many people view economic development as an expensive process that involves buying large chunks of land, taking big trips, and spending bushels of money to recruit a "big fish." Some of that exists, but these are small elements of an overall economic development strategy-a strategy that must include efforts to promote business retention, entrepreneurism, economic gardening, marketing, infrastructure, housing, quality of life, education (pre-K to lifelong learning), services, etc. To achieve the goal it takes a shared vision for the future from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

My belief is that every community organization is relevant to the economic development process. They are part of a community's economic development toolbox and community fabric. A sharp tool is a relevant tool, and every community
should have many sharp economic development tools in their toolboxes. Economic Development, especially business development, is a highly competitive, razor-sharp commerce.

There was a time when Chambers of Commerce included economic development in their programs of work, but then a gradual shift took place. In the late 70's economic development was often pulled from being a chamber role and instead established itself as a separate organization. Chambers were often stiff-armed and were told that
economic development was no longer their responsibility.

Unfortunately over time Chambers have become perceived as simply a "social" or "ribbon-cutting" or "events-only" organization. That is far from the reality however. Chambers work on the local level to bring the business community, their members, together to develop strong local networks resulting in a business-to-business exchange. Chambers are a great source of information keeping the private sector informed. By surveying their membership they stay on top of current trends and issues. They are experts in group purchasing, networking, retail sector, tourism, business retention and events to bring more traffic to the members businesses.

Chambers work with their local government and local State representatives to develop and lobby for pro-business initiatives on behalf of their members. In many instances the Chamber of Commerce is perceived as the "face" of a community and is often the first place someone from outside of the area stops for information; business or pleasure.

Economic Development Corporations, like OCEDC, are strong problem solvers. Their sole mission is economic growth.
Economic growth can be viewed as a sub category of economic development. In a nutshell economic growth can be described very succinctly: A positive change in the output, or production, of an area or an economy. This description involves all aspects of an economy, from profits to taxes and wages, to
such things as production rates. Positive economic growth signals a wealthier economy, and increased prosperity.
There is increased production, which means increased profits for the production companies. Increased production also translates to increased tax collection for the government and, reduced unemployment levels, and better prospects for the economy.

Together, Chambers and Economic Development organizations help people build community capacity; develop sustainable communities; enhance the local economy, infrastructure, and services; and work with the community members to build shared visions of the future. There will always be need for more players, not less, to advance economic development.

I want to begin a new business venture. How can you help me?
There are a number of necessary steps that must be taken to get your journey moving in the right direction and on to success.
The dream of going into business has never been as popular as it is today. Despite the tremendous risk of going into business millions of new businesses are started each year in the United States. Statistics show that many of these new businesses won’t last more than a few years and many owners close their doors as a result of poor market research, inability to compete effectively, miss-management, and/or many other reasons.

For information to get you started, we have compiled a information qualities, skills, and options, a timeline and procedure list in What makes an entrepreneur?

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Where can I get more information about Oneida County?
Oneida County, Wisconsin offers a unique opportunity for people seeking to mix business with an enjoyable lifestyle. The Oneida County Economic Development profile of the Oneida County business community demonstrates this natural opportunity. In selecting a location for your business, a variety of factors must be investigated including:
  • availability and cost of a qualified work force
  • technical training
  • surface and air transportation
  • utility costs
  • availability of buildings or building sites
  • taxes
Your lifestyle and that of your employees is critical to your decision as well. You need to know the emphasis placed by the community on quality of life factors such as:
  • quality education
  • four-season recreation
  • professional health care
  • affordable housing

For the Oneida County Profile, click here! »


Does Oneida County Economic Development Corporation help with expanding businesses?
The Oneida County Economic Development Corporation is also dedicated to the supporting and expanding of business in all sectors, including industrial, recreational and commercial enterprises.

Oneida County Economic Development Corporation assistance is available to all businesses in Oneida County. Oneida County Economic Development Corporation works with industrial, retail, and commercial development. On occasion OCEDC will work in partnership with real estate brokers in the Minocqua/Woodruff area, Rhinelander, or Three Lakes area.

Site selection assistance is generally provided to new and existing business in the value-added or manufacturing area. OCEDC has provided various types of assistance to Expera, Advanced Barrier Extrusions,Pintpack, Avanti Health and Rehabilitation, Superior Diesel, Inc., Ponsse USA, Inc., Laser Pros International, The Oldenburg Group, Grace Lodge, Burton Industries, Northstar Steel Fabricating, Spee-Dee Delivery Service and many more.

Site selection assistance is provided to new and existing businesses in the value-added or manufacturing sector.

Economic Development Resources »


How can I become more involved in the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation's work and mission?
There are several ways to become involved. The first would be to become a financial supporter.

Another way is to contact our office to see if we have a committee that you can serve on. We can always use the expertice and knowledge that is gained through life's work experiences. Contact us now!