Keeping Wisconsin 'open for business'

Published On: Nov 08 2012 06:24:49 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 08 2012 06:28:18 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

When you cross the border from Minnesota into Wisconsin, the welcome sign says "open for business."

At the Small Business Summit at the La Crosse Center on Thursday, Gov. Scott Walker brainstormed with local business leaders about how to keep it that way.

The governor’s message was that the state is heading in the right direction to be a partner for business, but there's still a lot left to do.

“The way the tax code is in Wisconsin, it's disproportionately burdened on the middle class. And that's not only for individuals. That affects a lot of the small businesses that are here today. We'd like to ease that burden," said Walker.

He said now that both the recall and the presidential elections are over, it's brought a lot of uncertainty for businesses to an end.

"I think actually getting through both the June election and now just the fact that the elections are done period gives people certainty -- at least knowing about the state and federal level what's next," said Walker.

Melissa Remis, a leader at two La Crosse businesses, isn't so sure.

"There's still some uncertainty with the health care side of things. Remis Power has 15 employees, and we offer health insurance, and we're worried about the price of health insurance. So that's a big concern," said Remis.

Another big concern for Remis is finding employees trained in the right technical skills. She said having these kinds of summits with government leaders is a big step toward getting issues like that resolved.

"They're listening to us. They want to listen to us. There's nothing between us and the government in Wisconsin that's putting up a wall,” said Remis.

In La Crosse, the unemployment rate is lower than it is statewide. In September 2012, La Crosse's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. Statewide, it was 7.3 percent.