MUKWONAGO — Over
this past year, Mukwonago has seen an influx in the number of
businesses from big-brand names like Starbucks and Qdoba to mom-and-pop shops like the Green Rabbit and the Feather and Fringe.
In 2017 alone,
28 businesses joined the Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce,
according to April Reszka, executive director of the chamber. She
said teamwork between the village and the chamber has been
instrumental to a growing Mukwonago.
between the chamber and the village is critical to offering an
inviting environment to make a great impression on potential
property buyers, renters and business owners,” said Reszka.
According to Village Administrator John Weidl, the village has seen
an increase in development in all sectors, which includes public,
private and nonprofit.
“In the early
20-teens, we were building $6 million a year and now in 2017, we’re
at $12 to $14 million a year,” said Weidl. “We’ve exceeded our
rolling five-year average for new growth every year I’ve been here.”
businesses like the YMCA in Mukwonago have expanded, but business
has boomed for even the smaller shops like the Country Porch at 110
Main St., according to owner Ken Kurt.
business, at least in Mukwonago, is considerably better than it was
in 2016,” said Kurt. “I can also speak for other dealers in town.
They’ve done a whole lot better than last year.”
Kurt said people
are willing to spend money nowadays and there is a greater
appreciation for uniquely crafted art. He also said the new
presidential administration has motivated people to buy products
from the United States.
“They like it
handmade in the USA, let’s put it that way,” said Kurt. “People are
willing to spend more money on not just art, but functional art.”
businesses like End of the Leash owned by Susie Bower-Rodriguez and
her husband Joe Rodriquez have become an integral part of the
community from providing teens with their first job to hosting a
variety of community events. “Our employees live and work in our
communities,” said Bower-Rodriguez. “We are constantly trying to be
a part of the community and give back when we can.”
She said 2017
was actually the slowest year since the store opened in 2005.
However, she said this has been the case for many stores due to
online competition from Amazon and other big-box retailers.
To get ahead,
Bower-Rodriguez and her husband are thinking out of the box and have
been adapting to internet competition by providing their customers
with a special experience that can’t be replicated online, she said.
“It’s a fun
environment and we provide a unique atmosphere even for people who
don’t have pets,” said Bower-Rodriguez.
community involvement, partnering with local businesses for events
and loyal customers have kept them going and will continue to do so
into the new year.
A few of 2018’s
larger development prospects include a new Aurora Health Center in
Mukwonago to be located at 120 Chapman Farms Blvd.; and ProHealth
Care, which will add a multimillion dollar expansion on their
current facility at 240 Maple Ave., according to Weidl. He said the
business climate is good and will continue improve in the coming
“The village is
going to continue doing what it can to be a business-friendly and
family-friendly environment,” he said. “Anecdotes aren’t evidence,
but every year when we meet with local businesses, they all say they
are exceeding expectations.”