Walker: $25 million for startups

GREEN BAY — Helping small businesses get started and succeed is a key part of the governor's job creation plan.

In his budget proposal, he included $25 million for an investment capital program to help with startup and emerging businesses.

However, some political opponents of the governor wonder if it's enough.

NetPeak Energy in Green Bay is still in its infancy stages. The company tracks utility use for large and small companies. Its president says the small business is slowly yet surely showing promise.

"The first couple years were pretty rocky," explained NetPeak president Fred Krumberger. "We had all sorts of unexpected things happen. Now were growing very rapidly. We've basically grown from an employee and a half to nine employees and probably grow a little more as the year goes on."

Governor Walker says he hopes to hear more stories that in the state, with the help of a new investment capital initiative.

"This is another way to promote prosperity in Wisconsin," said Walker during his address.

The governor announced the new plan in his budget address Wednesday night.

If passed, the venture capital fund would combine state tax dollars with private investments, to try to boost the economy and create jobs.

In other words, the governor wants to ensure startups have access to capital.

Area Democrats say it shows promise, but they question whether it's enough.

"We're a little surprised it's only $25 million," explained State Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay. "It seems to be below the amount business groups like the Wisconsin Capital Growth Coalition say is necessary to actually create jobs and grow the economy."

Details of the new investment capital program still need to be worked out by the legislature.

However both the governor and area Democrats hope they can work together to develop a plan which ultimately creates jobs.

"We've got to think positive, small businesses are the economic driver for this state and we are 42nd in job creation and we believe we have to do anything to bring jobs to this state," Hansen said.

The governor wants the legislature to pass the framework for the program, before the full budget is passed.

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Wisconsin (change)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
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Governor: Scott Walker
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
Attorney General: J.B. Van Hollen

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