Jan 28, 2018

Baraboo economy ranks 15th among small cities

Excerpted from Baraboo News Republic

By Ben Bromley

A national economic analysis ranks the Baraboo area the 15th-most prosperous small community in America.

Policom Corporation’s recently released economic strength rankings place Baraboo 15th among “micropolitan” markets. The Florida research firm used county-level statistics in analyzing employment, earnings, growth and stability. That means the high ranking is a feather in the caps of both Baraboo and Sauk County.

“It’s great to show we’re a strong economic driver,” said Bobbie Boettcher, executive director of the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Being ranked 15th in the country, that’s pretty remarkable,” Mayor Mike Palm said. “We will strive to be No. 1.”

Policom’s ranking is the latest honor for Baraboo. In September, the Circus City made U.S. News & World Report’s list of six up-and-coming American cities. In 2013, Smithsonian Magazine named Baraboo the No. 4 small town to visit in the U.S. The next year, the book “The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America” noted Baraboo as a success story.

Baraboo is the top-ranked micropolitan market in Wisconsin. Madison placed 13th among metropolitan markets.

Boettcher and Palm said the Baraboo area’s diverse economy is critical to its strength, boasting robust tourism, manufacturing and retail sectors. “We weathered the recession so well because we have that diversity,” Boettcher said.

The community’s latest honor is another selling point for the Baraboo area. Boettcher said it’s one more accolade the Chamber of Commerce can promote, along with Devil’s Lake State Park being the most popular in the Wisconsin system. “It’s part of our portfolio,” she said. “It’s another part of the story we can tell.”

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