Starting or Expanding a Small Business


There are a host of resources available to help you create a new business or to expand your current business. You might start the process by reviewing some of the resources below, or you might start with a visit to our office to discuss your ideas. We are happy to help connect you to the local as well as state resources. Please call our office at (715) 682-7017 if you’d like to set up a meeting to get your idea moving.


Resources for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in the Chequamegon Bay Region – 2016

New to our website is a matrix that lists over 30 services offered to small businesses. The matrix indicates which services the 20 organizations listed provide. This may be something that would help you zero in on exactly the type of help you need. The services are broken into five categories including: General Business Assistance; Economic Development; Financial; Operations/Management and Workforce Development. These categories include specific services ranging from help writing a business plan, to market analysis, to financing and legal issues. The organizations listed include local groups, as well as, regional and state organizations and agencies.  For contact information for the organizations in the matrix see our Resources for Businesses Survey Contact List.


Here is a listing of several of the most helpful organizations and their web sites, and then we’ll list some links by topical area.


Business Support Organizations

Small Business Administration


Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) business counseling


Small Business Development Center – UW-Superior


Center for Technology Commercialization


Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

WEDC business

Ashland Area Development Corporation


Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Innovation Network


Wisconsin Innovation Network – Lake Superior Chapter


Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce


Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation


Wisconsin One Stop Business Portal

WI One stop BusinessPortal


Topical Listing of Select Resources





Business Plans
Step-by-step plan writing from The U.S. Small Business Administration.  How to write a business plan.

Sample Business Plans for a Wide Range of Businesses
Business Planning Resources and Free Business Plan Samples from Bplans.

Business Planning Templates
Excellent business planning template and financial planning templates from SCORE.

Financial Assistance for Planning
Grant programs to assist with business planning. Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) formerly Wisconsin Entreprenurs’ Network (WEN).

Wisconsin Business Forms
Links to WI business-related forms including organizational (LLC, corporation etc.), state tax forms and employment forms. The State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions – Strengthening Wisconsin’s Financial Future.

Questions to ask yourself before starting a business.
Seven questions to ask before starting a business in 2014.
Farm Commons

Farm Commons
We cultivate a community of support and resources for sustainability-minded farmers.


Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit – Let’s Get Started!
The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit is designed to give innovators a guide to resources available in Wisconsin and beyond.

Trademark Basics

Basic Facts About Trademarks: What Every Small Business Should Know Now, Not Later.

Search the Trademark Database: Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

How do I get my D-U-N-S Number?

Good news! Getting your D-U-N-S Number is easy. Visit D-U-N-S Request Service to obtain more detailed instructions on applying for your D-U-N-S Number.

University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Publication on Cooperatives in Wisconsin: The Power of Cooperative Action

Cooperatives in Wisconsin

For agriculture and food related businesses, you may also want to start out with the University of Wisconsin Extension Ashland/Bayfield Counties Agriculture Agent, Jason Fischbach.



Preparing to go into Business



Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC)
The CTC, formerly WEN, Services:

  • One on One Business Assistance
  • SBIR/STTR Assistance
  • Training for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
  • Peer to Peer Learning
  • Grants

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Learning Center
SBA Learning Center – Find Content By Media Type

Wisconsin License, Permit & Registration Services
Need to apply for a license, permit, registration, or certification in Wisconsin? Start with the Wisconsin.Gov website to find out how to apply for these types of services.  Past website is being updated, more information coming soon.


small business


Starting & Managing



Small Business Administration (SBA)




Loans & Grants



 Small Business Administration (SBA)

Most if not all of the local and regional financial institutions have staff that work with small business loans.  Additionally both the Ashland Area Development Corporation and the Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation may be able to provide financing assistance.







Small Business Administration (SBA)




Counseling & Training


Small Business Administration (SBA)
Online Small Business Training

University of Wisconsin School of Business
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

UW-Superior Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
UW-Superior SBDC Training Programs and Business Consultation. One on one counseling sessions can be set up with the SBDC director through the UWEX office in Ashland.  Online business courses also available. UW-Superior Office:  715-394-8352 or UW-Extension Ashland County Office: 715-682-7017

Free Online Workshops from SCORE
Great selection of business start up topics online with SCORE including selecting legal structure, patents, trademarks & copyrights, market analysis and more!

Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) from Feasibility to Funding
Numerous training opportunities for entrepreneurs. Services include evaluate, plan and apply – Business assistance, training, financing opportunities and a network of over 100 organizations helping existing and potential Wisconsin businesses succeed.


Marketing Resources


Marketing Tutorials
Principles of Marketing Tutorial Series, focuses on the key concepts and functions that are common to most marketing situations.

Buy Local / Buy Wisconsin
WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin is an economic development program designed to increase the purchase of Wisconsin grown/produced food products for sale to local purchasers.

Business Trade Associations
Many Business Trade Associations maintain excellent data about their products or services that can aid someone writing their business plan or looking to change their marketing strategies. Google the service or product of your proposed business and find the trade associations for that product/service. Search the trade association’s web site for marketing information, assistance for new businesses and related areas.