County Board Gets Report on Economic Development
The Economic Development Corporation is “moving Langlade County forward,” leveraging loans to create jobs and promoting tourism to aid the hospitality industry.
Those are among the highlights of the corporation’s 2014 annual report, presented by Executive Director Angie Close to members of the County Board of Supervisors this morning.
“We’re proud of our accomplishments,” Close said.
Much of the corporation’s work revolves around leveraging loan funds to support new and existing industries.
In 2014, the organization closed four loans through its economic revolving loan fund, which has a balance of $20,753. The fund has 20 loans in its portfolio, totaling $735,000. Nine were paid in full this past year.
Through the fund, 162 jobs have been created or retained, Close said.
The Community Development Fund has a balance of $159,215, with one loan for $120,000 to Langlade Springs in Polar closed in 2014, while the Public Improvement Fund had a $655,000 loan to Antigo Neon close during the year.
The corporation also maintains the Facade Grade Loan Program, with six projects approved and five reimbursed, leveraging $30,210 in 2014, Close said.
Sales tax is another highlight, she said, with $1,481,500 collected in 2014, a $88,505 increase over the prior year.
Close also touched on works in progress. Highlights include:
—establishing a program to assist with strategies to re-purpose downtown buildings that are off the tax roll.
—continuing to put the local wood products industry in the forefront to illustrate its significant economic impact.
—continuing to work with Northcentral Technical College regarding workforce needs.
—highlighting the Wolf River through a variety of marketing efforts.
—and working with Forest County to create the first-ever figure-eight scenic byway.
Marketing is another key component, Close said. The county’s tourism website had 17,030 visits in 2014. The tourism app has been downloaded 2,496 times and the Facebook page has 10,843 total “likes.”
“We are a very vital and a much-needed part of this community and act as a resource and facilitator for numerous entities, businesses and individuals,” Close said. “We have started many collaborative efforts and are proud of our accomplishments. We are excited to continue to move Langlade County and the city of Antigo forward.”
Source: Antigo Daily Journal