Ron Johnson was on the Board of Chamco: A Gov-Financed Group That Helps Businesses Get Gov Assistance | WisCommunity

Ron Johnson was on the Board of Chamco: A Gov-Financed Group That Helps Businesses Get Gov Assistance

Ron Johnson has served on the Board of Direcgtors of the Oshkosh Industrial Development Corporation (Chamco), which according to their website is a "public/private partnership" that is :

...funded in part by the business community, the City of Oshkosh and Winnebago County...

According to their website, Chamco helps businesses get government grants:

The professional staff of Chamco Inc. has successfully helped area business apply for and secure over a million dollars in Customized Labor Training (CLT) grants. The CLT grant is a state program designed to assist companies that are investing in new technologies or manufacturing processes by providing a grant of up to 50% of the cost of training employees on the new technologies.  In addition to helping area businesses secure grants for employee training, Chamco will aid area business in securing Transportation Economic Assistance grants. The Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) program provides 50% state grants to businesses for road, rail, and airport projects that help business and industry to remain and expand in the state. The goal of the TEA program is to attract and retain business firms in the Oshkosh area for job creation and retention.
  Chamco also sells companies land in Oshkosh's industrial parks:

As an agent for the City of Oshkosh, Chamco handles the sale of the city’s four industrial parks and the associated business facility requirements.

And, of course Chamco helps with Industrial Revenue Bonds:

Chamco provides assistance to businesses in obtaining industrial revenue bonds, SBA loans, grants and various alternative means of obtaining capital.

Ron Johnson and his company, PACUR, owes a lot to Chamco.  According to former Oshkosh City Manager Bill Frueh, the Southwest Industrial Park (where PACUR is located) was started when Johnson's father-in-law and Bemis CEO, Howard Curler, approached Chamco about opening a new Bemis-subsidiary plastic plant in Oshkosh in the late 1970s:

The Southwest Industrial Park was started when the Bemis company... Curwood... came to us and said they were interested in Oshkosh.

This is echoed in CHAMCO literature, which also says Chamc was integral in bringing Bemis (and quasi-subsidiary PACUR) to Oshkosh:

As Bemis prepared to open the Oshkosh plant, Curler looked to the city and Chamco for help with site selection, to purchase land and to smoothout any problems along the way. The plant opened in 1980 with 30 employees; today Bemis Company in Oshkosh employs 2,300. Curler stated, #f36631; FONT-SIZE: x-small">#f36631; FONT-SIZE: x-small">#f36631; FONT-SIZE: x-small">“You could give Chamco credit for bringing 2,300 jobs to Oshkosh.”  Chamco later worked with Bemis on several expansion projects including building and leasing a warehouse in the 1980s, facilitating a $3 million Enterprise Development Zone tax credit, and assisting with Curwood expansions in the 1990s.

Most notably, Chamco helped PACUR (and Bemis, which accounted for all of PACUR's business in the early years and about 75% of PACUR's business today) by creating a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in Oshkosh's Southwest Industrial Park, where both Bemis and PACUR were built. 

By being in a TIF district, it allowed PACUR and the Bemis plant to not pay property taxes for the first years the company was open for business.  




September 21, 2010 - 11:19am