University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Business
Wisconsin Small Business Forum
Like many states, particularly those in the so-called "rust bucket" of the industrial north, Wisconsin is concerned about its business climate. A number of different steps with the potential to make Wisconsin's business environment more hospitable have been taken. For example, the state income tax has been reduced; the state has partially funded a business development organization, Forward Wisconsin, to attract new companies to the area; and a state-appointed panel, the Wisconsin Strategic Development Commission, has filed its recommendations concerning the actions that should be considered in revitalizing the region's business community. This article provides another perspective. It reports upon the views held by a sample of Wisconsin business executives concerning the nature of the business environment in 1995. Specifically, this paper reports on the perceptions held by 24 executives (mostly vice presidents of planning or marketing) from Wisconsin corporations. Because vice-presidents of planning and marketing are most responsible for translating environmental trends into strategic actions, we believe their vision of the general business climate in 1995 will be of keen interest to those concerned about the future of Wisconsin's economy.