BOOST program plans to leverage existing firms

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has announced a plan to provide sales and marketing support for existing “second-stage” companies through a program called revBOOST.

The first cohort of companies, expected to be five total, will be chosen through an application process. The program is a key step toward the development of SCEDC’s Economic Gardening Network.

“Economic Gardening represents a new way of thinking about supporting growth companies and letting business owners know how important they are to the Sheboygan County economy,” stated SCEDC’s business development manager Jim Schuessler.

Economic Gardening traces its roots back to 1987 in Littleton, Colo., when missile manufacturer Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) cut its workforce in half, which resulted in 7,500 lost jobs and 1 million square feet of vacant real estate. In response, Chris Gibbons, Littleton’s director of business and industry affairs, began to implement his version of Economic Gardening, working with local companies to create new jobs in lieu of costly recruiting, incentives or tax rebates. Over the next two decades Littleton more than doubled jobs and tripled sales tax revenue.

To help other communities implement his approach, Gibbons founded the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG) and partnered with the Edward Lowe Foundation in 2011 to host the center. Since then, NCEG has helped establish Economic Gardening programs in more than 25 states.

“Assisting companies in Sheboygan County grow is the best way to perpetuate the entrepreneurial spirit throughout our communities. We expect local companies to enjoy a 10-30 percent growth in revenue as a result of revBOOST.”

Eligibility for the program requires meeting a few criteria:

1. Be a for-profit, privately held company headquartered in Sheboygan County for at least the past two years

2. Generate annual revenue between $500,000 and $50 million

3. Employ between 4 and 99 full-time employees

4. Demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue during two of the past five years

5. Provide products or services beyond the local area to regional, national, or international markets

Interested companies can find more information about revBOOST, including the on-line application, at www.SheboyganCountyEDC.com/revboost.


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