West Bend creates Business of Year award

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

Dec. 10, 2014

WEST BEND - West Bend is starting a Business of the Year program as a way to thank the job-producers in West Bend.

“The award is another step in showing we want to be welcoming to businesses in our community and acknowledge that they are the heartbeat of the city,” Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said.

The winner will be announced in January.

“This will complement our Business of the Month (program) nicely, where we really focused on our smaller businesses,” said economic development specialist Amanda Knack with the city’s Department of Development. “We wanted something more robust to recognize our larger businesses in the city.”

“When I was first elected (in 2011),” Sadownikow said, “I recognized that improving customer service was needed and that the perception of West Bend was that it was a hard place to do business. The (Common) Council and I have worked very hard over the years to change that perception.”

A group of local community leaders will select the winning business, Knack said. They are:

■ West Bend School District Superintendent Ted Neitzke.

■ Moraine Park Technical College West Bend Campus Dean Peter Rettler.

■ West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Craig Farrell.

■ West Bend Economic Development Corp. Board Director and Director of Continuing Education Mary Kurer, University of Wisconsin- Washington County.

“We want to recognize those businesses that are creating not just life-long career opportunities for our citizens, but also healthy, civic-minded individuals that continue to enhance our community,” Knack said.

To be eligible for the award, a business must:

■ Be in the manufacturing or service industry.

■ Have at least 50 full-time, equivalent employees.

■ Be in the city for at least one year.

■ Other criteria based on career opportunities and community involvement.

Businesses not eligible for the Business of the Year program may be eligible for the business of the month program, Knack stated, which focuses on smaller businesses and is selected by the Department of Development staff. Each month a small business in the city is highlighted by the Department of Development with a wall display in City Hall and presentations put on the city’s social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, as well as the city’s website, Knack said.

Awarding business interest

Businesses in West Bend interested in being considered for the 2015 West Bend Business of the Year Award should complete and return a nomination questionnaire to the city. Questionnaires are available from the Department of Development in City Hall, 1115 S. Main St., 262-335-5122.

Completed questionnaires are due by Monday.

For more information, call economic development specialist Amanda Knack, 262-335-5122.
Source: West Bend Department of Development