An economist with UW-Madison argues the state should focus more on developing “homegrown” businesses rather than recruiting companies to move to Wisconsin.

“Going out and trying to recruit that business is not a good use of their time,” Prof. Steven Deller said yesterday during a rural innovation event held in Beloit. “Much better off working with the businesses that are already in your backyard and the entrepreneurs that are thinking of starting a business.”

Deller pointed to research he and colleagues conducted showing 97 percent of all businesses in the state “are in the same place as they were last year.” What’s more, the “vast majority” of companies remain in the same location where they started, he said.

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