The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced today that nine organizations have been awarded a total of $500,000 in grants to help develop or expand innovative programs aimed at advancing the climate for entrepreneurship throughout the state.
The grants are being awarded as part of WEDC’s Entrepreneurship Support Program, which is now in its third year. The grants will help fund activities that promote entrepreneurship or deliver education, training and other resources to assist new and aspiring business owners. More than 400 entrepreneurs are expected to receive services through a wide variety of initiatives.
“These grants will enable organizations throughout the state to provide more resources to support their local entrepreneurial communities,” said Mark R. Hogan, Secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Through this program, we are supporting local and regional organizations that understand the unique needs of their communities and can provide key resources to foster a statewide culture that celebrates and encourages entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.”
The grant recipients are:
  • BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation of Milwaukee ($55,000) will organize and host three iterations of the successful HATCH entrepreneurial pitch program in three regions of Wisconsin, for a total of nine events.
  • Oconto County Economic Development Corporation of Oconto ($40,000) will promote and assist in new business formation and accelerate business growth in Oconto County.
  • Green County Development Corporation of Monroe ($80,000) will promote and assist in new business formation and accelerate business growth in Green and surrounding counties. The program is projected to engage more than 900 individuals and create 15 to 17 new businesses.
  • Couleecap Inc. of Westby ($70,000) will support its multi-agency plan to provide and expand entrepreneurship services in the region creating up to 35 new businesses.
  • Indianhead Community Action Agency Inc. of Ladysmith ($41,000) will provide technical assistance resources to entrepreneurs in 12 rural northwest Wisconsin counties.
  • Concordia University of Mequon ($59,000) will provide an innovative cohort-based education program to low-wealth communities in Milwaukee with the partnership of BizStarts.
  • Janesville Innovation Inc. of Janesville ($40,000) will build and expand the Rock County Entrepreneurial Business Development Program, which provides customized technical assistance to startups and scaling growth companies in Rock County.
  • UW Health Innovation Hub of Madison ($75,000) will create a “hub” to gather innovative ideas and solutions directly related to patient and health system challenges, and to enable those ideas to advance by providing resources in product development, legal and accounting services.
  • Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council Inc. of Eau Claire ($40,000) will provide business development services to underserved and disenfranchised populations in western Wisconsin.
WEDC received 22 applications for the program, which provides matching grants to nonprofit organizations and communities. The Entrepreneurship Support Program is part of WEDC’s suite of entrepreneurship resources, which also include support for startup accelerators, seed capital funds, investment tax credits and technology development loans. In addition, WEDC supports and engages an existing statewide network of partners that offers business training, mentorship and financing to aspiring entrepreneurs.
While WEDC already had a variety of programs to support the formation, development, growth and financing of technology-based and growth-oriented startup and early-stage businesses, the Entrepreneurship Support Program was added to provide funds for organizations and communities whose efforts may not meet the eligibility criteria for the other programs. Entrepreneurship Support Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and grant funds must be matched by the applicant. Projects supported by the new round of grant funding must take place in 2019.
Launched in 2016, the grant program has provided a total of $1.5 million in grants to 26 organizations statewide to help fund activities such as prototyping assistance, legal services and outreach to underserved entrepreneurs. More information: WEDC

Greater Hattiesburg Mississippi  Membership Directory and Business Guide 2018-2019

The Greater Hattiesburg Mississippi  Membership Directory and Business Guide 2018-2019 is available at the Area Development Partnership in Hattiesburg! Thank you to Chad NewellValencia Williamson and the Chamber team for their help and direction putting this together! 

Town Square Publications ( can help you accomplish your chamber's gloss map, directory, community profile or publication needs at no expense to the chamber. Please email John Dussman at or call (847)-427-4633.

Michigan West Coast Chamber Announces Community Champion Partnership with Gentex Corporation

The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the creation of an exclusive Community Champion Premier Partnership with Gentex Corporation, effective January 1, 2019. Gentex Corporation is a longtime Gold Premier Partner and has been a member of the Chamber since 1976.

“The partnership between Gentex and the West Coast Chamber is a natural fit, as we are both
dedicated to cultivating a thriving business community where people want to live and work,”
said West Coast Chamber President, Jane Clark. “Gentex, is a global corporation that makes a
point of supporting local businesses. We’re both focused on working for the greater good of our

"At Gentex, we have a passion for our team, our work, and our community. That's why we're so
proud to create a new and distinctive partnership with the Michigan West Coast Chamber of
Commerce. We believe in our community, and are committed to making a tremendous, positive
impact in it. We hope our commitment inspires others in the community to keep investing in this
special place we call home," said Seth Bushouse, Senior Human Resources Director at Gentex.

In addition to their Gold Premier Partnership, Gentex participates regularly with the Chamber’s
West Coast Cash program, purchasing significant amounts of the community currency gift
certificates to gift to Gentex employees. The West Coast Cash program is designed to
encourage community members to shop at over 90 local Chamber member businesses. By
investing in the program, Gentex is not only giving gifts to employees, but is also sending traffic
into local businesses, and supporting the local economy.

Gentex is Ottawa County’s largest employer, with more than 5,600 employees located in West
Michigan. The company was founded in 1974 as a manufacturer of commercial fire protection
devices, yet has grown into an automotive and technology enterprise with $6 billion in market
capitalization and sales approaching $2 billion annually. Its automotive product lineup includesunique digital vision, connected car and dimmable glass technologies, which can be further
explored at

The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce is the unified voice and leading advocate for
over 1,200 businesses representing 60,000 employees in the greater Holland/Zeeland area.
The Chamber represents a broad segment of the business community; our role is to be a leader
in and partner to the business community and the community at large. The West Coast
Chamber is proud to be recognized among the top 1% of Chambers nationwide, and was
recently named the 2018 Outstanding Chamber of the Year for the state of Michigan.

#Bestchamber practices: Quad Cities Chamber: Illinois Legislative Resources

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is the economic and community development organization serving the whole Quad Cities region. We are committed to advocating public policies that enhance our economic competitiveness, increase investment, and benefit our members and communities.

2019 Advocacy Resources

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Not finding what you’re looking for or have additional questions? Contact Tyler Power.

Chamber hosting IOSHA/INSafe program

The Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a lunch and learn program featuring Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) Deputy Commissioner of Labor, Michelle Ellison, and INSafe Deputy Commissioner K.R. Boucher, on Feb. 21.
The program will be held in the gymnasium at Greensburg City Hall, 314 W. Washington Street, and will start at 11:30 a.m. with lunch. Doors will open at 11:15 a.m.
Chamber executive director Jeff Emsweller explained why the Chamber is hosting this upcoming program.
“We try to organize a quarterly program and bring in speakers who can provide information that is important to their company,” he said. “One of the quarterly programs are the directors of Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration and INSafe. Among other things, they will be discussing ways to improve workplace safety and health for workers by reducing hazards and exposures in the workplace environment that result in occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities.”
The cost to attend this event for Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce members is $10 and includes lunch. Non-Chamber member price is $12 and also includes lunch.
Both Chamber members and non-members may register online through their company portal on the Chamber website or by emailing The Chamber will invoice the company involved if necessary.
Reservations are due by noon Feb. 19.
Ellison and Boucher will provide important updates and information from IOSHA and INSafe and will be available to answer any questions or entertain any comments attendees may have.
The program is slated to conclude by 1:30 p.m.
“These are important issues and the Chamber felt that we should open it up to more than just Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce members. So even if a business is not a member of the Chamber, they can still attend to hear these state directors speak,” Emsweller said. “The price includes the cost of the meal and we should be able to wrap of the luncheon and learn by 1:30 p.m. Of course the directors will stick around to speak with anyone who may have additional questions about anything related to those agencies.” Read more: Greensburg Daily News

New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Community Map

New Castle-Henry County Chamber map

The New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Community Map is available at the New Castle-Henry County Chamber today! Thanks to Missy Modesitt, Mary Campbell and the chamber team for their help and direction putting this together!

Town Square Publications  ( can help you accomplish your chamber's gloss map, directory, community guide or publication needs at no expense to the chamber. Please email John Dussman at or call (847)-427-4633. 

Hampton Roads Chamber: 2019 Diversity in Business Forum

The Hampton Roads Chamber means business and works to be an impactful advocate, powerful economic partner, and inspiring ignitor for the region. Now more than ever the Chamber wants to shine a light on issues of Diversity and Inclusion Practices in business and the workforce.

This forum will feature Keynote Speaker Carla Williams, University of Virginia Athletic Director
Panelists: Jim Bibbs, Port of Virginia
Dr. Deborah Fontaine, Norfolk State University
Dr. Johnny Garcia, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and small business owner
Susan Alaya-West, Hampton Roads Pride

Panel Moderator: Kurt Williams, WTKR Anchor
Comments by Congressman Bobby Scott

Be there to cover this important and timely discussion!

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
Time: 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Location: Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel
777 Waterside Dr.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Southeast Kentucky Chamber awards five education grants

The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently awarded nearly $6,000 in education grants through its Excellence in Education Grant Program to five schools across the region, including three in Martin County, one in Johnson County, and one in Pike County.

Jordan Gibson, president and CEO of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber, said the educators in the region who apply for the education grants always have exciting and innovative projects for which they are seeking funding.

“The Chamber is honored to be able to give back to the educators in the region who are making a difference in the lives of their students,” Gibson said. “The applicants who apply for these grants each year go above and beyond for their students by finding outside resources that will make learning more fun and efficient.”

Sheldon Clark High School, Martin County Area Technology Center, and Eden Elementary were among the three schools to receive grants from Martin County. Eden Elementary educator Micah Davis received $1,100 to purchase Google Chromebooks for her classroom. Students will use the Chromebooks, along with those already available, to learn coding and robotics. Sheldon Clark’s Emaleigh Osborn received $1,231 to purchase Google Chromebooks for her students to use. Osborn said those computers will allow students to participate in virtual labs, individual instruction and for a coding class. Rachel Addison-Miller, an educator at Martin County ATC, received $1,167 to create a school store operated by students, with supervision from teachers. In addition to students learning about business, the profits from the store will be invested into the store to keep it self-sustaining.

Johnson County’s Highland Elementary educator Amanda O’Bryan received $1,236 for a project she calls the “Creation Lab.” O’Bryan will use the funds to purchase building materials as well as coding equipment to engage students. The purchases include coding robots, roller coaster building activities, and others.

Pikeville High School Band Director Scott Bersaglia received $1,227 to purchase new equipment for students to use. Bersaglia said the purchases will allow the students to learn and perform more challenging and demanding music. The band will purchase new cymbals, stands and mutes with the funds. Read more: News-Express

Fox Cities Chamber Features Nationally-Acclaimed Economist Elliot Eisenberg as Keynote Speaker for 2019 Economic Outlook Lunch on February 14

The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Fox Cities Regional Partnership will host the Fox Cities Economic Outlook Lunch where both macro and micro economic insights come together along with an entertaining presentation by keynote speaker, Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D., discussing how national and global trends could impact the Fox Cities’ economy.

The results of the annual local Fox Cities Economic Outlook Survey, conducted by the Fox Cities Regional Partnership (the economic development division of the Fox Cities Chamber), will also be revealed which cover business trends from the previous year and projections for 2019.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D., often called the “Stand-up Economist,” is president, chief economist and founder of Graphs and Laughs, LLC. He uniquely specializes in making the arcana and minutiae of economics entertaining and relevant. With expertise and consultation sought-out by federal, state and local governments and legislators, hedge funds and investment advisory groups, Dr. Eisenberg is an established authority on the national and global economy and its impact on various industries.

When: Thursday, February 14, 2019

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Registration & Networking
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Program

Where: Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley, 333 W. College Avenue, Appleton, WI 54911

Tickets: Chamber members - $45/each or $400/table of 10; General admission - $55/each or $500/table of 10 (Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (920) 734-7101.)

For additional event information, please contact Tonya Boelter, Senior Director of Community Engagement, at (920) 734-7101 or

Petal Area Chamber Banquet Celebrates Successful 2018

The Petal Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its accomplishments and progress during 2018 at the annual banquet held Jan. 24. The banquet was sponsored by the chamber’s great partner, Mississippi Power Company. 

“We welcome and thank the businesses that have chosen Petal as their home and those that have re-opened or moved to a new location in Petal,” said Chamber Director Valerie Wilson. “They have invested in our community and should be recognized for their allegiance to Petal.”

Here is a listing of the ribbon cuttings that were held in 2018.

• Merle Norman & More – re-opening following the tornado

• The Mortgage Connection

• Sully’s

• Chappell Hill Grocery & Restaurant

• Robin’s Wharf

• Rhinestone Ranch

• Domino’s Pizza

• Keesler Federal Credit Union

The chamber was very active in 2018 organizing and promoting the following programs and events to improve the business climate and quality of life in Petal, including:

• Petal High School Ambassadors Leadership Program

• MS Scholars and MS Tech Master’s Program

• Petal Military Advisory Board 

• Shop Petal First

• Area Development Partnership Education Task Force

• Veteran’s Day Salute Cookout

• Petal Christmas Parade

• Petal Christmas Market

• Celebration in the Park

• Petal Southern Miss Powwow

• Star Spangled Celebration on the River

• Petal Police & Firefighter Thanksgiving Turkeys

• Petal Farmer’s Market

• Police Officer & Firefighter of the Year Awards

• Bobby Runnels Leadership Award

• Downtown Revitalization

• Business Recruitment and Retention

• Business Professional Development Seminars


The evening also recognized Ione Bond as the 2018 recipient of the Bobby Runnels Leadership Award. Bond was presented with the award by the 2017 recipient, Deborah Reynolds.

In addition, the Police Officer of the Year and the Firefighter of the Year awards were presented to DeReginald Keon Williamson and Chris Shows, respectively.

Carrie Flynt Holeman, president of the Chamber board of directors, was presented with plaque honoring her service by incoming president, Markus Simmons of the Area Development Partnership. New board members will begin their terms in April. New members include Chuck Parish/HomeCare Hospice South, Ann McWilliams/Ann McWilliams Properties, Mandy Wigley/Southern Lace Boutique and Leahne Lightsey/Petal Education Foundation. Read more: Hub City Spokes

Town Square Publications Chamber Membership Directories and Community Profiles: The best in the U.S.

Town Square Publications, a division of the Daily Herald Media Group, is a national chamber custom publishing group that specializes in developing partnerships by producing high-quality print and digitally integrated publications along with other added value programs dedicated to creating relevancy for local chambers of commerce and other membership focused organizations interested in raising non-dues revenues.

Town Square Publications parent company, Paddock Publications, has over 100 years’ experience of print product development and dedicated customer service in communities throughout the Midwest. Our experience allows Town Square Publications to offer you attractive royalty and non-dues revenue share streams, provide direct distribution of your custom designed printed publications, including digital and mobile integration, and all with the quickest turn-around times available in the industry. Town Square also offers multi-media maps in both print and online formats, both with our No-Cost guarantee. More information: Town Square Publications

Chambers of Commerce and member focused organizations serve as a valuable resource in the local marketplace. The networking opportunities and representation with a wide variety of diverse businesses in your community is the catalyst of a successful organization. For further information about Town Square's publishing partnership with chambers of commerce and our No-Cost guarantee and Earned Revenue Share Program, To request your chamber publication or map proposal, contact Town Square Chamber Proposal