Making my list, and checking it twice for nice

From the pages of In Business magazine.

With the holiday season upon us, it’s a great time to make a list, check it twice, and determine who’s been “naughty” and who’s been “nice” this past year. Actually, I’m going to stay positive and just highlight a few stories on my “nice” list for 2013.   

1. Building Boom! After a handful of down years in residential and commercial construction, it was extremely nice to see new buildings and developments on the rise again throughout Madison — especially the exciting projects coming to fruition along the East Washington corridor. While it may be a long time before we see anything like the pre-recession building boom, it’s very encouraging to see dirt being moved and cranes in the air again.  

2. Madison Central Library. It was well worth the wait to see this crown jewel of Madison reopen this fall. This certainly isn’t your parents’ library, either. Yes, books are still the backbone of the renovated building, but you will also find e-books, computers (and iPads), workshops on a wide range of topics, a café where you can grab a snack or a cup of coffee as you read, and much more. They’ve also turned the library into a destination for companies and organizations, with a multitude of wonderful meeting spaces throughout the building. This truly is a place where both the public and the business community can come to read, research, learn, and grow.  

3. Co-working Spaces and Incubators. It’s great to see the continued emergence of co-working and incubator spaces around the Madison area. I think we all know that there are some absolutely brilliant minds in this city, and it is vital for these entrepreneurs to have low-rent offices where they can come together to share ideas, equipment, capital, and other resources to help get their startup businesses off the ground. There have been some amazing business ideas that have already been generated out of these spaces, and this is pivotal for the continued economic growth of this region.  



4. Declining Unemployment. Madison’s unemployment rate dipped below 5% this year, and the city continues to lead the way in the development of high-tech jobs. Plenty of work still needs to be done, but it is good to see Madison’s unemployment rate well under state and national levels.  

So there you have it — a small sampling of the many nice developments that have taken place in the Madison business community in 2013. If only I had space to print the entire list! 

As we turn our calendars to 2014, here’s hoping that the upcoming year brings even more construction, new business ideas, and continued economic and job growth to the area. 

Happy holidays! 

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