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9/19/2006

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WisBusiness Tuesday Trends
September 19, 2006

By Brian E. Clark

RISING

Fair Indigo

Fair trade coffee. Now clothing. Madison-based Fair Indigo, the brainchild of former Lands' End executive and ecommerce guru Bill Bass, launched its online business on Monday. A retail store in Madison's Hilldale Mall is set to open Nov. 1.

Initial analyst reaction is good.

The company's motto is "Style With A Conscience." Fair Indigo's aim, according to a statement on its Web site, is to "pioneer a change in the apparel industry" by putting the people who make the clothes first.

To put workers first, a company spokeswoman said Fair Indigo has handpicked what it considers the best, most ethical factories around the globe and presented them with a new concept of paying workers a fair wage for making what it says are stylish and beautiful clothes.

See the WisBusiness story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=71849

MIXED

Red Prairie

John Jazwiec, head of Waukesha-based Red Prairie Corp., says he doesn't want to move his company or family out of Wisconsin. But he is warning -- again -- that the state must drastically change its business climate to keep him.

Jazwiec wants a 50 percent cut in state taxes, a phase-out social entitlement programs and elimination of handouts to companies to encourage them to stay in Wisconsin.

"We need to focus less on baseball teams that play in empty baseball fields and fake creative places like the Third Ward, which is greased by local politicians and people want to leave in a year," the outspoken businessman said.

Some critics, however, suggest he's simply looking for attention or maybe a handout and not really looking to improve a business climate that apparently is good enough to allow other tech businesses to thrive.

FALLING

Dells business

Gas prices that lingered in the $3 range for much of the summer are being blamed for a slight drop in tourism at the Wisconsin Dells.

Tim Gantz, Noah's Ark Waterpark owner, said his visits were down by several percentage points. He said many day trippers from Madison and Milwaukee were no-shows.

Tom Diehl, who owns the Tommy Bartlett attractions, said many small motels on the Wisconsin Dells Parkway were hurt by high gas prices. For his business, the $3-plus cost of fuel trimmed revenues by as much as 6 percent.


Written exclusively for subscribers. Tuesday Trends is Copyright © 2006.



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