Entrepreneur Resources in Eau Claire, WI
Many great entrepreneurs got started in Eau Claire. The most famous is probably John Menard. A 1962 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate purchased some land in Eau Claire and built an office and workshop. Faced with huge demand for his post-frame construction work, John Menard expanded and added new work crews. By 1969, he had added numerous manufacturing sites for various home improvement materials and had added a distribution center. As of 2013, Menards has approximately 270 stores in 14 states and keeps growing. John Menard has kept his headquarters in Eau Claire and is the biggest employer in the city, employing over 4,500 people.
Another company that got its start in Eau Claire is Silver Spring Foods, Inc. The company is now the world's largest grower and producer of horseradish. Ellis Huntsinger founded Huntsinger Farms, Inc. and its subsidiary Silver Spring Foods, Inc. in 1929 when he started growing horseradish and other vegetable crops on a few acres of land near a fresh water spring south of Eau Claire. Silver Spring Foods, Inc. is now an important part of the Eau Claire business sector.
Join these world-class entrepreneurs with your business. There are many resources that can assist you in turning your dream into a world-class business.
Small Business Resources
- Chippewa Valley Innovation Center (CVIC) is a business incubator that offers not only a below market rent, but also resources to assist with business planning.
- Jumpstart Downtown Business Competition
- How to Write a Business Plan
- Start-Up Checklist
- Small Business Development Center
- Western Dairyland Business Center
- Pop-Up Business Toolkit
Freelancers in Eau Claire
The freelance worker has become an integral part of the economy. With the ever-rising costs of labor, businesses have looked for alternative ways to increase their profit margins. The freelance worker insures a high quality worker at a minimum overhead cost, all while increasing productivity. Eau Claire has recognized the value that these workers bring to our businesses and the local economy, and has thus strived to make an environment that accommodates their needs.
Community discussion during Idea LoungeHolding a discussion on this topic during Idea Lounge (a laid-back, community discussion series hosted by Downtown Eau Claire Inc,. and Volume One) was one way in which we sought to incorporate these workers into our economy. The panel of experts and community members in attendance pointed out some of the advantages and resources that Eau Claire offers. For starters, Eau Claire is in close proximity to the business hub of the Twin Cities, being only an hour and a half away by car and twenty minutes by plane. This closeness allows people to work for business located in the Twin Cities or other large cities throughout the nation all the while enjoying the benefits of a smaller community. Secondly, there are places around the area that serve as both a working and meeting place for potential clients. Finally, there is an abundant amount of local organizations and community gatherings, which are prime places for networking.
As the amount of independent agents continues to rise congruent to the ever-increasing need for specific-skilled workers, Eau Claire will continue to take steps to ensure the local business environment remains easily accessible to the freelance worker.Restaurants in Eau Claire with Free Wifi
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