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Business and Industry

Cottage Grove has been enjoying a dynamic business boom over the past 20 years. It started out as a rural agricultural community, historically serving the locals with small retail businesses and family-owned restaurants. Today Cottage Grove boasts a diversified collection of businesses from aspiring entrepreneurs to a North American headquarters for a global firm.

With the exciting recent addition of a large commercial park, Cottage Grove has welcomed a variety of new corporate businesses to the landscape, including Stihl and Johnson Health Tech. With that, came many new jobs across the area. This modernization allows for continued growth with more positive change on the horizon.

Cottage Grove has a prime spot on the map for any corporate operation, with its location conveniently situated at the intersection of interstates 90 and 94. Bordering Madison, Cottage Grove is one hour from Milwaukee and two hours from downtown Chicago. This proximity to major cities has drawn these larger companies to set up shop in Cottage Grove.

Cottage Grove has been quite proud to welcome so many new companies, said Erin Ruth, director of planning and development. The addition of a new commerce park brought on a burst of business, like the Midwest distribution center of major tool and power equipment manufacturer, Stihl, and the North American headquarters for the global fitness equipment company, Johnson Health Tech. Large corporations see the village’s closeness to the highway as an unmistakably major asset.

“Our location is an element we really try to push, as well as the easy access off the freeway and the high quality we can offer as far as the design of the park and the environment,” Ruth noted.

After analyzing many options, Johnson Health Tech chose Cottage Grove because of its close proximity to Madison, as well as the convenient location to Interstates 90 and 94, said Becky Quick, the company’s human resources director.

“The location enables us to recruit top talent from the Madison area, including Cottage Grove and the surrounding communities,” Quick said. “With a large amount of product being shipped in and out on a daily basis, it was important for us to be close to the interstate in order to best service our customers.”

In addition, getting in on the ground floor of the commercial park development had its benefits, Quick noted. Cottage Grove was easy to work with throughout the construction project and provided Johnson Health Tech with tax advantages for their business.

Within the past several years, new incoming businesses, such as a health clinic and day care provider also have opened their doors, expanding the business community beyond the commerce park, while also diversifying the services Cottage Grove provides to its residents.

A tremendous amount of credit goes to local developers Homburg Inc. and R.G. Huston Company, who have assisted Cottage Grove with its continuing successful development.

According to a 2015 study conducted by Vierbicher and Associates, Cottage Grove is a prime market for aspiring entrepreneurs. Local demand exceeds supply across many services and industries. Strong support from the local chamber of commerce and government combined with a loyal and eager customer base provides the perfect environment to launch a business.

Businesses that have recently seized this opportunity and opened their doors in Cottage Grove include Cottage Grove Eye Care, Arboretum Music School, Stutz Photography, Odyssey Dance Studio and Doughboys Pizza. In addition to their business success all the owners are active in the community.

The Cottage Grove Chamber recently launched the Cottage Grove FIRST campaign. The 130 members of the chamber are highlighting the importance of frequenting local businesses, which leads to money cycling back into the community. Still in its first year of existence, the campaign is drawing awareness to the types of services, dining and retail available in Cottage Grove.

Future development will likely take place on the north side of Cottage Grove concentrated around the access to interstates 90 and 94. Location will no doubt play a large role in attracting businesses with the growing population and an easy planning and development process added bonuses.

Employees of businesses in Cottage Grove enjoy a wonderful quality of life with close proximity to biking and walking trails, golf courses and convenient access to major roadways. The completion of the bike trail connecting Glacial Drumlin State Trail to the Capitol Trail will allow easy and enjoyable bicycle commuting to or from Cottage Grove. These recreation opportunities allow employees to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle right outside their company’s door.

The business climate in Cottage Grove is exciting and positive. Chamber of Commerce President Mike Millage sums up Cottage Grove’s business environment: “Now is an exciting time for everyone in Cottage Grove with the ongoing business development. Cottage Grove’s business community has energy right now and continues to build momentum. I am excited to see what happens in the next few years.” AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is the foundation of Cottage Grove economy and continues to be a driving force today. Essentials like row crops and dairy production continue to thrive and provide in the community.

Specialty crops, like orchards, nursery greenhouses, marsh hay and recently, agricultural tourism have become prosperous additions to the village’s agricultural identity. Landmark Services Cooperative, one of the largest producer-owned co-ops in Wisconsin, proudly calls Cottage Grove home.

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