Driving economic growth

The MMAC is the key private sector partner for regional economic development, working to strengthen our business base and to attract and retain jobs and the talent to fill them.

The Milwaukee Region is a natural magnet for business. It ranks sixth among major metro areas nationwide in the number of corporate headquarters per capita.

Affordable land and leasing costs, abundant fresh water, an educated workforce, low business costs and easy access to financing, technical assistance and efficient infrastructure have helped businesses succeed and grow.

Market Watch ranks Milwaukee 20th out of 101 U.S. metro areas on its list of "best cities for business," outpacing cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Seattle.

              Milwaukee also receives high marks for its favorable business tax structure. Milwaukee ranked No. 4—4% below the national average for total taxes paid by corporations—in a study of 24 mid-sized U.S. cities by KPMG International.

The Milwaukee Region also ranks fifth in the nation for the number of Fortune 500 firms per capita.

Leading Industries

In total, the Milwaukee region flourishes with more than 50,000 business establishments, 1 million employees and a gross regional product of more than $99 billion. Roughly one-third of the region's businesses drive the export of goods and services beyond regional borders, bringing new income into the region. These regional driver industries include:

  • Power, automation and controls
  • Food & beverage manufacturing
  • Information technology
  • Distribution
  • Water technologies
  • Financial services
  • Medical technology and biomedical




For more detailed information about the regional economy, contact khenry@mmac.org for a copy of the latest Business Resource Guide.