UW-La Crosse SBDC celebrates small businesses

La Crosse — The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-La Crosse (UWL SBDC) celebrated more than 30 small businesses that started in the Coulee Region in 2017 at its inaugural Celebrate Small Business event May 15, 2018.

In 2017, the UWL SBDC assisted over 370 clients in starting, growing and managing their businesses. Overall, the Wisconsin SBDC Network aided over 280 business startups, 32 of which were kicked off with the assistance of the UWL SBDC.

At the event, Mark Lange, Executive Director, Division for Business & Entrepreneurship at UW-Extension, addressed the Business Dynamics Driving Coulee Region Economic Activity. State Rep. Jill Billings presented findings on the State of Small Business in Wisconsin and the Coulee Region. The event was geared toward area businesses, those planning on starting a small business, and anyone involved in economic development.

The UWL SBDC assisted regional businesses in accessing $9.2 million in capital investments in 2017. The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., Coulee Bank, Park Bank, Altra Federal Credit Union, Merchants Bank, and State Bank Financial were recognized as Wisconsin Small Business Funders. In addition, Coulee Bank and Park Bank were recognized for providing more than $1 million in funding to small businesses. Park Bank was recognized as the Wisconsin Small Business Funder of the Year for providing over $2.8 million to small businesses assisted by the UWL SBDC.

Brian Fukuda, Community Development Specialist, La Crosse County Economic Development, and Robin Moses, Executive Director of Downtown Main Street, received Business Development Champion awards for their involvement and contributions to economic growth and support in the Coulee Region.

“The SBDC helped shape our business vision, while highlighting the necessary steps for us to follow to make that vision a reality,” said Dani Peterslie of Drift Mercantile and an SBDC client. “We were able to walk away with a written business plan that we reference regularly.  The SBDC is a great resource and an asset to our community and its entrepreneurs.”

Proceeds from the event will support area small businesses and outreach.

This event was supported by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-La Crosse and the UWL Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. For additional information, contact the SBDC at  or 608.785.8782.

About the Wisconsin Small Business Funder Initiative

Starting in 2017, the UWL SBDC began tracking the funders providing financial support to small businesses receiving SBDC technical support through its“Wisconsin Small Business Funder” initiative. The Wisconsin Small Business Funder initiative recognizes organizations (each a “Wisconsin Small Business Funder”) if the organization provided $100,000 or more in loans or other financial support to one or more small businesses receiving SBDC assistance.  In addition to the annual threshold of $100,000 in funding, the SBDC recognizes three other designations: “Wisconsin Million$$ Small Business Funder” ($1 million funded to small businesses assisted by SBDC in 5 years); “Wisconsin Mega$$ Small Business Funder” ($5 million funded to small businesses assisted by SBDC in 5 years) and the “Wisconsin Small Business Funder of the Year” (the organization providing the most funding to small businesses assisted by SBDC during the year).

About the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-La Crosse

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is a statewide organization supporting entrepreneurs and business owners through no-cost, confidential consulting and targeted educational programs. The La Crosse area SBDC is operated through the College of Business Administration at UW-La Crosse and serves seven counties: Buffalo, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon. SBDC training programs range from basic short courses to in-depth course programs, including an eight-week business plan writing workshop and several certificate programs in management. In 2017, the La Crosse area SBDC provided business consulting to more than 370 business owners and facilitated more than $9.2 million in small business financing from regional lenders and investors. See more at