Economic and Business Development

Crawford County Economic and Business Development

DID YOU KNOW small businesses create 60 to 80 % of new jobs and pay more than 45 % of the U.S. payroll every year AND 99% of new jobs in rural areas are from expansion of existing businesses or new business start-ups. Crawford County is a great place for business!

Centrally located at the heart of the driftless region of southwest Wisconsin between Dubuque Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin, Crawford County offers a variety of opportunities for industrial development within minutes of the Midwest’s most spectacular scenic areas and educational hubs.  The county is known for its ridge and valley scenery, world class trout streams, abundant outdoor recreation, and creative independent spirit. Crawford County supports a wide variety of businesses from automated sensor manufacturing, abrasives and wood products manufacturing, to specialty goat cheese production.  Crawford County’s scenic landscapes are the home to a diverse range of small family farmers including dairy, beef, more than twelve apple orchards, and a variety of diversified vegetable farmers.

Click on the link below to access the following information provided on this page:

For more information about living the good life in Crawford County contact our local Industrial Development organizations directly:

Crawford County’s Economic Development Organization:


Other contacts include: Prairie du Chien City planner Garth Frable 608-326-6406.   Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce (Robert Moses) 608-326-6658, the Soldiers Grove Community Development Corporation 608-624-5209, or Gays Mills Economic Development Corporation (Rich Stevenson) 608-735-4800

Starting a Business in Crawford County

Community Information and Maps

Workforce Training and Technical Assistance

The University of Wisconsin System campuses of Madison and Platteville Southwest and Western Technical Colleges serve our communities with outstanding educational opportunities, research, great art and a culture that supports vibrant entrepreneurship.

  • Southwest Technical College Southwest Technical College is located 30 miles from the City of Prairie du Chien and offers certification in metal machining, computer numerical controls (CNC), and welding as well an Engineering Technologist degree program.
  • Western Technical College has campuses in Viroqua (45 miles) and La Crosse (58 miles) and offers associates degrees in areas such as Electromechanical Technology and Mechanical Design as well as certification in CNC operator setup and programming and welding.
  • University of Wisconsin Platteville and University of Wisconsin Lacrosse offer four year degrees in many fields related to manufacturing, engineering, and ITC.
  • Upper Iowa University also has a center in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and offers degree programs such as Managment Information Systems and Human Services Administration.
  • Workforce Connections, Inc.  and offers a variety of employment related services for adults, dislocated workers, youth, older adults, veterans, ex-offenders and persons with disabilities in Crawford County.
    • Workforce Connections, Inc.  – By appointment only – 608-326-2246, 1304 South Marquette Road, Prairie du Chien, WI 5382;   608-433-2775 or   608-326-2239
  • Other nearby Collges and Universities include Luther College, Decorah, Iowa (40 miles) and Viterbo University,  in Lacrosse, Wisconsin (58 miles).

Grants, Loans, Financing and Incentives

Commercial Banks and Lending Institutions

  • Old National – Located in the City of Prairie du Chien.
  • Fidelity Bank & Trust – Located in the City of Prairie du Chien.
  • Royal Bank– Located in Gays Mills.  Loan services for real estate, equipment upgrades as well as revolving lines of credit and working capital loans.
  • People’s State Bank – Offers Loans for Farms, business and residential purposes, as well as Auto loans.  Located in Prairie du Chien, Seneca, Boscobel, Soldiers Grove and Wauzeka.  Link found here.
  • Badgerland Financial – Offers loans for homes, hobby farms, recreational land as well as construction and lot loans.  Farm loans including for the purchase of cattle and machinery upgrades are some of the services offered.  Insurance services are also offered by Badgerland Farm Credit.  Located in Prairie du Chien.
  • Associated Bank– Offers Small business services including loans, Employee direct deposit, and international banking among others.   Larger Commercial services would include asset based lending, international banking, and insurance serves as well as many others.  Individual services would include home, auto loans as well as individual health savings accounts plus many more.
  • River Bank– Located in Ferryville, WI.
  • Marine Credit Union– Located in the City of Prairie du Chien.

Business Networks and Services

Building Sites, Real Estate, and Industrial Parks

Industrial parks located in Prairie du Chien, Wauzeka, Soldiers Grove and Gays Mills provide opportunities for affordable development in small communities with excellent schools and access to the best outdoor recreational amenities in the Midwest.

Business Park Information

Crawford County is served by several business parks within the City of Prairie du Chien and in Village areas throughout the County.

  • For informtion about Prairie du Chien Industrial Parks contact: Garth Frable, Prairie du Chien City Planner 608-326-6406
  • Wauzeka Industrial Park Map (PDF)
  • Gays Mills Industrial Park Map (PDF) Contact: Dawn McCann, Village Clerk
  • Soldiers Grove Industrical Park Map (PDF) Contact: Soldiers Grove Community Development Corporation

Available Sites & Buildings

Location One Information System (LOIS)* Crawford County , in cooperation with Alliant Energy, is working to update a searchable listing of available commercial and industrial sites and buildings throughout the County. This centralized database provides the real estate professional, site location consultant, or business executive the ability to conduct real time on-line searches for sites and buildings in Crawford County.

To attract new companies in today’s highly competitive environment, economic development professionals need to maintain reliable, comprehensive data that is easily and quickly accessible. LOIS is an online searchable database designed specifically for organizations performing economic development activities. It provides data on demographic and economic profiles for states, counties, and communities along with detailed information about their available sites and buildings. All of the data on LOIS can be printed in PDF or HTML format or downloaded into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, thus facilitating a variety of options for analyzing a location.

Local real estate brokers and realtors may contact Laura Brown 608-326-0223 to include their properties in the system. The LOIS database is free to anyone in Crawford County. Contact us now to get your property listed.

*DISCLAIMER* The LOIS database is updated on quarterly or biannual basis.
The information contained on this web site or linked sites is provided on an “as is” basis. We make no guarantee or representation about the accuracy or completeness of the information, and disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. We are not responsible for any damages arising from the use of information on this site. It is your responsibility to independently investigate the information’s accuracy and completeness, and to determine to your satisfaction the suitability of the property for your needs. Any projections, opinions, assumptions or estimates used are for example only and do not represent the current or future performance of any property.Labor market, job training, and To assure that we can properly address your specific needs, contact Laura Brown 608-326-0223.

Transportation and logistics

Bounded by the Mississippi River to the west and the Wisconsin River to the south, Crawford County is served by unbeatable industrial transportation opportunities through the port of Prairie du Chien and rail service in all directions. the City of Prairie du Chien, the County seat is located at the junction of U.S. 18 (east west) and WI 35 along the Mississippi River (north-outh “the Great River Road”). (See OSOW WI-Truck Routes Map)  A Highway Improvement project along U.S Highway 18 as well as a WI 35 by-pass project to improve truck transport to and from Iowa are scheduled to be completed by 2013. A feasibility study is also being conducted to establish commuter bus routes between Prairie du Chien, points throughout Crawford County, and the City of La Crosse.

The Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport provides air service for private indivduals and business in the region. Fuel (including jet fuel), terminal building, and hangers are available at the airport. Services include 2 paved, lighted runways, (4,000, and 5000′), private hangers, a self service fuel station, restrooms, weathermation WSI information, and a lounge area. the airport is staffed 7 days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Contact information Richard Yeomans 608-326-2118. National and international access is close by at the La Crosse Municipal Airport (70 minutes), the Dubuque Regional Airport and from the Dane County regional Airport in Madison. Prairie du Chien is a three and a half hour drive from the Chicago airports, affording you the opportunity to fly directly to your global destination.

The City of Prairie du Chien is well situated on the main line of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad, as well as the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR) The WSOR is a regional railroad operating 700 miles of track (600 owned or leased and 100 in trackage rights) throughout south central Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. (See Wisconsin Rail and Harbor Map) 

Prairie du Chien is one of Wisconsin’s eight main points of entry. The Port of Prairie du Chien is located on the Mississippi River in the southwest corner of the state. The city owns docks that accommodate large paddlewheel cruise boats and small excursion boats. Privately owned docks and storage facilities handle bulk cargo.

The Port has direct access to U.S. 18 and WIS 35 Burlington Northern-Santa Fe and Wisconsin Southern Railroads  Cargo currently handled at the Port includesover 600,000 metric tons of coal, salt, sand, cement, grain and fertilizer. Approximately 20,000 square feet of covered warehouse space is available and 25 acres open. Fleet capacity includes 30 barges on site and availability of 10-ton lift equipment These modern port facilities serve as multi-modal distributions centers, linking cargo vessels with land based transportation of both highways and rail. For more information about the port contact Blair Dillman Prairie Sand and Gravel, Inc. P.O. Box 210 Prairie du Chien, WI 53821 Phone: (608) 326-6471 Fax: (608) 326-8955

Utilities in the City of Prairie du Chien

  • WATER – City of Prairie du Chien PO Box 324, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821 608-326-6406
  • SANITATION –  Town & Country Sanitation Special Assessment on tax bill –  1-800-626-1915 $107.00 per year for weekly pickup Mandatory recycling
  • NATURAL GAS –  Prairie du Chien Gas Co. / M G & E PO Box 266, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821 608-326-2417
  • ELECTRICITY –  Alliant Energy PO Box 2960, Madison, WI 53701-2960 800/862-6222
  • TELEPHONE –  CenturyLink, La Crosse, WI Residential: 800-201-4099 Business: 800-201-4102
  • TELEVISION –  Mediacom 800-332-0245 Premium channels available: CINEMAX/HBO/SHOWTIME/ENCORE/STARZ Package rates available upon request
  • INTERNET/DSL –  CenturyLink, 800-872-4099, Mediacom, 800-332-0245 (home800-379-7412 (Business)   800-843-5827

Starting A Value-Added Food or Agricultural Venture

Exploring Your Food or Agriculture Business Idea

  • Starting a Small Food Business in Wisconsin  This factsheet, created by Barbara Ingham Extension Food Scientist June 2008 608.263.7383, helps you think through food safety requirements including licensing, facilities and equipment needs, packaging and labeling, and recipe development.
  • Information for Food Entrepreneurs offers a producer’s guide to marketing locally grown food, a food processing and sales requirement guide and Got Moola Booklet
  • Something Special From Wisconsin Link to online marketing information for locally produced products in Wisconsin. Brochure available from Lois Federman 608-224-512
  •  –   One Stop Business Portal
  • You’ll also want to become familiar with resources available through the Small Business Development Center and the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network  The Small Business Administration (SBA ), both the federal and state, offers multiple resources, partners and programs to support the needs of the small business. 1-800-U-ASK-SBA
  • The University of Michigan Product Center has papers and product development fact sheets on a range of food and agricultural products from ethanol to apple cider to greenhouse tomatoes.
  • Data Tools and Community Profiles
  • Business Feasibility: A First Cut Analysis is a workbook and guide for Agricultural Entrepreneurs developed by the University of Wisconsin Extension.  The workbook includes worksheets to help you calculate cost benefit analysis, market research, identify suppliers and make comparisons with similar businesses.

Financing and Grants 

  •  Got Moo-la (pdf) Is an excellent compilation of grants, loans, equity capital and other financial resources available for agricultural businesses including USDA Value Added Producer and SARE grants, and financing tools.

Resources for Production Agriculture Businesses

Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection

Transition to Organic Information

  • MOSES offers a mentoring program in which an organic farmer will partner with a farmer transitioning to organic to go through the regulations and make the transition easier.  Published Studies on the benefits of organic production are also on the Moses site, as is the steps and guidelines on how to become a certified organic grower. Farmer Transition Hotline | 1-888-551-GROW (4769) (From Moses)  Hotline for farmers making transition to organic
  • The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) This program helps farmers develop grazing plans on their farm as well as providing information as well as financial incentives such as grants to new grazers.


Community Development Educator
Crawford County – UW Cooperative Extension
225 N. Beaumont, Suite 240
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Phone: 608-326-0224
Fax: 608-326-0226