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Economy forces GCDC to take action in 2009
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State of County Government

This is the first in a five-part look at Green County government departments based on each department head's annual report presented in July. The Highway Department will be featured Wednesday.

MONROE - Green County Development Corporation (GCDC) took steps to help businesses combat the global economic downturn that affected Green County in 2009, Anna Schramke, GCDC director, told the Green County board in her annual report in July.

Green County experienced record unemployment due to the closing of the Woodbridge Corp. in Brodhead, the General Motors closure in Janesville and a general slowdown in the agricultural industry, she said.

"Our unemployment rate reached a high of 9.4 percent in June 2009, which equated to nearly 1,100 additional unemployed persons as compared to June 2008," she said.

One of GCDC's goals, Schramke said, is to attract new businesses and serve as a liaison between public and private economic development activities.

In 2009, the department launched a new website, Schramke said the website is the "cornerstone" of the department's marketing work.

GCDC also met with 16 entrepreneurs who considered starting a new business in Green County. The department also updated the "Starting a Business in Green County" brochure that summarized contacts and information for people who might be interested in starting a new business.

In 1993, GCDC was started to help foster economic growth in the county, Schramke said.

Schramke said the department has a renewed focus on marketing and public relations.

"History has shown that you don't reduce marketing and sales efforts in a down economy," she said.