Business Development |

Business Development in Portage

The combination of strategic location, transportation infrastructure, industrial diversity, economic development initiatives, workforce development programs, and a supportive business environment makes Portage an attractive destination for businesses. Portage is the place to grow your business. The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is here to help.

Why Portage?

  • Strategic Location: Portage is ideally situated along Interstates 90/94 and 39, providing easy access to major markets such as Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, and the Twin Cities.

  • Transportation Infrastructure: The city’s proximity to major highways, the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline, and the Portage Airport makes it attractive for businesses requiring efficient transportation of goods/personnel. 

  • Industrial Diversity: Portage hosts a diverse range of industries, including glass manufacturing, battery production, plastics, silicone products, coated paper, pre-cast concrete, tool & die making, tire distribution, and food processing. This diversity creates a supportive environment for businesses of various types.

  • Economic Development Initiatives: Portage is actively engaged in economic development efforts, evidenced by the addition of new subdivisions, businesses, and infrastructure improvements like the Portage Enterprise Center and Madison College – Portage.

  • Workforce Development Programs: The city offers workforce training programs through institutions like Madison College – Portage and initiatives like the CESA 5 Youth Apprentice program, addressing the skilled labor shortage and providing businesses with access to trained personnel.

  • Supportive Business Environment: The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce plays a role in supporting local businesses, providing resources and assistance to both existing enterprises and those considering establishing a presence in the area.



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.