Business Development |

Business Development in Portage

Did you know North America’s largest glass manufacturing campus, belonging to Cardinal FG, is located right here in Portage? Energizer/Rayovac has a battery plant here, too. Other industries that have a base in Portage include plastics, silicone products, coated paper, pre-cast concrete, a tool & die maker, a tire distributor and a food processor. 

Portage continues to make positive strides in economic development. The north side of the city has seen the recent addition of WCCU Credit Union. Growth is expected to continue with the new Rolling Prairie subdivision breaking ground in December 2022.

We are eager for more businesses to join us in Portage, which is ideally situated along Interstates 90/94 and 39, just outside of Madison and within a few hours of busy markets in Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities. 

Portage is an economic hub with a population of 10,400 and regional population of 55,000. The downtown retail district is a great location for the entrepreneur or small business owner selling a unique product. The business park is ready for more large industries with its quick link to Interstate 39 and the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline. 

Portage is combating the skilled labor shortage plaguing industries and employers nationwide. The Portage Enterprise Center offers workforce training with Madison College – Portage, which also offers a Skilled Trades Open House for the opportunity to learn more about careers and training in the trades. The local CESA 5 Youth Apprentice program offers students paid employment and up to two years related instruction.

Portage is the place to grow your business. The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is here to help.


city of portage logo

The City of Portage is dedicated to building on our past and providing its citizens with a good quality of life in a safe and caring community.

Facade Improvement Grants Available – The America’s Best Communities (ABC) grant award that Portage received as a quarter-finalist has supported some nice programs and projects in our community.

The latest product of the ABC grant award, a matching loans funds program, now exists for the purpose of upgrading and improving the exterior front, side and rear facades of existing privately owned businesses. The loan program will facilitate completions of many smaller scale exterior improvement projects.

Funding for this program was made possible through the City of Portage and Portage Area Chamber of Commerce’s participation in the America’s Best Communities competition, sponsored by Frontier Communications.

Click Here for grant guidelines. Click Here for grant application.

Score Madison

SCORE Madison, a national nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and success of the nation’s small businesses, provides free and confidential business advice, counseling and education. SCORE Madison also offers workshops for entrepreneurs.

MadREP (formerly THRIVE) is the economic development partnership for the eight-county Madison Region with a vision to create a dynamic environment where people and businesses prosper. MadREP and its partners aim to position the region to take advantage of economic opportunities while preserving and enhancing quality of life.

Tax Credits and Historic Buildings. If you are planning work on a historic building you may be eligible for a tax credit.

The Wisconsin Business AnswerLine provides free information to Wisconsin small business owners on a wide variety of business topics. AnswerLine staff often field calls about starting a business, business planning, permits and licensing, insurance, legal entity types and business financing topics. These resources can also be e-mailed to the caller to answer their questions quickly and efficiently. The AnswerLine is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Call: 608-263-7680 or 800-940-7232.