Business & Industry

Business news

The long-vacated Cirilli's County Market  in East Point Center on Rhinelander's far east side will have a new tenant soon.

Fire Chief  Terry Williams....

"....Hobby Lobby has taken out permits to do an interior demo and remodeling for the old County Market property in the East Point Center. Their intent is to be open by March of 2016...."

The national chain offers hobbyists a variety of items.


Plastics barrier manufacturer Advanced Barrier Systems presented the Oneida County Board with a final payment check for more than $2.7 million dollars. The county had helped the Rhinelander firm begin and expand, and the money provides a final payment to state loans.

The company asked Oneida county in 2005 for help in getting money from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. Oneida County Economic Development's Executive Director Roger Luce thanked the county board...

Aspirus At Home has been named among the top quarter of  home health agencies in the U.S.

The agency formerly was known at Aspirus VNA Home Health. An organization called HomeCare Elite ranks the home health agencies and it marks the seventh time Aspirus has been in the top 25 percentile of providers in the nation.

Spokesperson JoAnn Borchardt says they provide skilled home nursing care for a variety of ages and needs. She sees this type of care will be more common in the future...

The goal is having healthier employees as a chronic disease prevention and management coalition is hosting another Worksite Wellness Summit.

The coalition in Vilas and Oneida counties is known as Northwoods LEAN,( or Linking Education, Activity and Nutrition) is hosting the summit next month at Nicolet College.

Spokesperson Maria Skubal says the event is free..

Wisconsin Public Service  is proposing a 8 percent increase in electric rates and a slight decrease in natural gas rates. In addition, WPS proposes an increase in the customer fixed charge.
Kerry Spees from WPS says the average electrical customer would see a $6.00 a month increase. But the customer fixed charge would go from $10 to 25. He says the cost of the electric grid system remains fixed at about $60 per customer,  but customers using less electricity aren't supporting their portion of the grid cost...

Labor Day is a day when  the public  gets a day off from work. The idea is to think about what you do for a living and appreciate American labor's work toward our prosperity.  But for organized labor, the day is bittersweet. Michael Murphy is the retired former president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40. He lives in the town of Newbold and today reflects on the bigger picture of what has happened to organized labor, and his hope for a change...


A state economist says the wild fluctuations of the U.S. stock market aside, the economy still appears to be growing.

Scott Hodek studies state labor trends. He says the most recent numbers still are pointing upward...

".....when I look at the fundamentals and leading indicators, I still see moderate growth throughout 2015. Maybe not as good of growth as we probably thought early in the summer but still moderate growth...."

He says consumer confidence in August was down, but the prior six months found confidence in the economy to be good.

Northwoods Summer Tourist Season Sets Records

Aug 31, 2015

 Chilly temperatures and a wet spring made for a slow start to the summer and tourist season this year. However, Rhinelander Chamber Director Dana DeMet says area lodgers report that July and August were the busiest months on record for the Northwoods.

 “It’s been a very mild summer. It hasn’t been too hot, it hasn’t been too cold, as well as decreased gas prices means that people have a little bit more spending money to be able to get out and go around and enjoy some of the things here in the Northwoods.”


Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch stopped by the Vilas County Business Incubators in Eagle River today.

Kleefisch talked with Christine Gaffron at Stitch It, who makes embroidered logos on items like hats and shirts. Since being in the incubator, Gaffron told Kleefisch her business has grown and it has helped to be in the incubator...

Grow North Regional Economic Development Incorporated has sent out a number of surveys to Northwoods towns to gather information on Internet use.

Executive Director Angi Schreiber says the surveys will help get a clearer picture of broadband in the Northwoods...

"....residential, home-based business and businesses. We have teacher surveys going out to the schools. Those should be distributed directly to the schools. Those will be sent directly to the schools. The business and home-based business surveys will be hitting mailboxes this week..."


An economist says the state's economy is showing mixed signals...slow job growth yet relatively low unemployment in some areas.

David Clark is an economist for the Wisconsin Realtors Association. He says job growth has been slow...

"....job growth has been pretty minimal  in some months compared to the previous year they've actually seen a slight decline...."

A Rhinelander manufacturer... Advanced Barrier Extrusions.. is expanding, but the city council had to do some lot clarification last night to keep things legal.

A group of counties from northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula continue to work toward providing new rail cars for the logging industry. They hope the new cars will help keep freight rail service in the region.

Wisconsin Public Service recently received several customer calls  about scammers claiming to be WPS or We Energies employees and demanding funds to prevent a disconnection of service.

Spokesperson Kerry Spees  says a new twist surfaced as customers also are reporting that they are receiving emails attempting to obtain bank account numbers and claiming to represent WPS.  Additionally, the scammers say they're from WE Energies, though WE Energies doesn't service this portion of the state...

Northwoods Housing Market Above State Average

Aug 19, 2015


   Wisconsin’s hot housing market is setting a trend for the rest of the year with existing home sales around the state seeing a drastic increase. Wisconsin Realtors Association economist David Clark says every region around the state saw an increase in sales, but the Northwoods came out on top.

 “…Sales volume is actually stronger in the northern region for the first seven months than the statewide average. The state average was 13.7 percent; the north was up 17.4 percent.”