Madison’s City Council will continue considering funds for damaged businesses downtown after referring a revised proposal Tuesday to a future meeting.
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This Weeks Articles...
A letter and Response...more
Abby council votes to not pay CCEDC dues for 2020
We’re All In campaign aims to spur economic recovery
Madison City Council continues debating revised downtown business support program
Viewpoints: Lack of innovation explains collapse of Briggs & Stratton
Communities, businesses, citizens say ‘We’re All In’ to stop spread of COVID-19
Wisconsin businesses say industry-specific funding, extending the PPP loan forgiveness period important if PPP continues
Seeding tech growth in Wisconsin’s fertile ground
Judges, more details announced for Summerfest Tech pitch competition
Interapt partners with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, General Assembly to expand technology training options
Waukesha County and WWBIC to Launch Small Business COVID-19 Business Assistance Grants Program
GM site owner stalls on giving city latest cleanup plans
Parting Wisconsin is such sweet sorrow for Jelly Belly
Epic Systems employees decry CEO`s decision to call workers back to the office
New Survey Results Show Fragile Economic Recovery Taking Shape In Wisconsin
`Another Body Blow` To State`s Economy As Extra $600 In Unemployment Benefits End
WHEDA updates application materials for rural affordable workforce housing initiative
Tom Still: Companies cooperate on coronavirus testing
‘How are we going to fix that? How are we going to move forward?’
WEDC Sec. Hughes Outlines Impact Of COVID-19 On State`s Economy, Complexity Of Recovery
Health care developer plans to build $20 million outpatient medical facility in Appleton
Plan Commission denies Langdon apartment project
MON AM News: WEDC recognizes childcare as critical for economic development; Senate ready to ‘fight back’ on mask mandate
Statewide, businesses are cautious in business, personal travel plans
Ken Notes: I so miss the days when OM and Judge Doyle were the BIG stories. ALSO I am looking to reboot my Radio Show "Development Matters" this fall but need a sponsor. So if you are interested in helping the lone fiscal conservative lamb live among the voracious liberal talk radio media wolves give me or or Mike Crute a call. Actually his bark is worse than his bite...
Sheila Nyberg, the head of economic development and tourism in Clark County, gave Abbotsford’s city council a short refresher course last week on everything that her organization does to promote business development in the area.
The city has not yet paid its annual dues to the Clark County Economic Development Corporation and Tourism Bureau for 2020, and before voting to do so, the council wanted to hear from Nyberg. She spoke at a July 22 committee of the whole meeting.
The CCEDC is a private, non-profit organization that acts as both a tourism bureau and a business promoter for all of Clark County — and parts of Marathon County in municipalities like Abbotsford that are divided along county lines......more
Ken Notes: First I like the new direction Missy Hughes has taken WEDC, but I would still advocate for partially funding at least one local economic development professional in every county and major cities. These local professionals could then be trained to work with WEDC on behalf of there communities. This may be even more important now that WEDC offers even more and better programs to rural and smaller communities. Covid budgets will have all communities looking for ways to cut and ED professionals are low hanging fruit...
I find these very informative. As an FYI, local economic development organizations are growth facilitators and work with a variety of partners, not just WEDC. WEDC does not do local economic development directly, nor should they, but benefits from having a strong local EDO work with with. EDOs are also strong partners to universities, technical colleges, K-12, cities/towns/villages, county, SBDCs, utilities, etc. and these relationships are made stronger with a local EDO - without total reliance on the state.
Our organization is happy with many of the things that WEDC is doing, and value this partnership.
Note the Link will take you to the Greater Oshkosh EDC...
Ken Notes: Jason Thank you for the note. I thought I would respond publicly since I believe you have outlined the role of the local economic development professional very well. In fact the mention of the Universities, Tech, k12, and Utilities are often forgotten, yet play a huge role in local economic development.
My goal to have local EDO`s partially funded by the State through WEDC in not to change this dynamic in fact I would hope to strengthen it. My observation is simply in times of budget tightening by a County or Municipalities EDO`s are often seen as low hanging fruit and cut or eliminated which I am sure we both agree is bad. By having the State help fund them especially in the area of benefits, I believe we can do much to preserve and strengthen local EDOs.
In exchange WEDC could help with the continuing education of the professionals serving their communities while local professionals could bring special needs to the attention of the State. Local EDO`s would continue to function locally with an even stronger relationship to the state. We also need to remove partisan politics from the equation..
If anyone reading my comments feels I am suggesting the State assume the role of local EDO`s my apologies because that is NOT what I would like to see. I am an advocate for partnerships, an art form totally lost in the current political climate. Thanks for reading and your note. Also Oshkosh in on a roll, congrats.
Wisconsin`s unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in June, compared with 12.1% in May, according to a report released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
There are still more than 260,000 people out of work across the state, the report shows. The report also shows Wisconsin added 104,600 non-farm jobs, and 99,300 private-sector jobs in the month of June.....more
press release: The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is now welcoming applications for the rural affordable workforce housing pilot.
A webinar to answer questions about the application process will be held July 24 at 1 p.m. Information about the initiative including the rural affordable workforce housing initiative plan and application documents can be found here; registration for the free webinar is available here.The pilot will work with stakeholders from at least three rural communities to develop partnerships and processes that ultimately will benefit communities statewide. ...more
Ken Notes: Please share this and thanks Isthmus for first promoting this program...
Abbotsford will not be paying its annual dues to the Clark County Economic Development Corporation this year after the city council voted Monday to withhold funding for 2020.
The vote to deny the $3,397 in dues was a close one, 4-3, with one member absent.
Alds. Jim Weix, Roger Weideman, Brent Faber and Lori Huther voted to withhold the funding, while Alds. Dennis Kramer, Dale Rachu and Frankie Soto voted against the motion. Ald. Mason Rachu was not in attendance.
Council members who voted to deny the funding said they felt like the CCEDC has not done enough to promote business development in Abbotsford.
“I think we can get by without it. I don’t know for sure, but we’ve got a good team here that’s aggressive about getting industry in,” said Ald. Weideman, referring to city officials’ efforts to bring in new businesses.
Ald. Weix agreed. ...
Ken Notes: This is what I am talking about -- and it is wrong, WEDC can do something to help without taking over the role of the local EDO here.
“Founded in 1976 by George and Candy Gialamas, The Gialamas Company specializes in Class A Commercial Real Estate. Old Sauk Trails Park, is one of the most prestigious business parks in Wisconsin; containing numerous office buildings supplemented by restaurants, hotels, financial institutions, a childcare facility and a walking/jogging trail system....
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
— The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is announcing the lineup for its “Endless Frontier” series highlighting Midwest research and development and building assets for the national economy.
The series is a partnership between WARF, UW-Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Technology Council and Michael Best Strategies.
John Austin, a nationally known scholar and author will anchor the first of two webinars Aug. 11 “Shaping the ‘Endless Frontier’: How the Midwest can spark the U.S. economy.” The series draws its name from the “Endless Frontier Act,” which has been introduced in both houses of Congress...
Registration is free but required in advance.
Register for the Aug. 11 webinar: https://warf.wufoo.com/forms/z1hdta8813xh0ga/
Register for the Sept. 16 webinar: https://warf.wufoo.com/forms/z5m0xhs0nn8jl9/
To learn more, visit: warf.org/frontiers
Ken Notes: This will be a great series....
MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the release of its eWorkBoard, a new virtual workplace bulletin board. The DWD eWorkBoard includes posters on a variety of topics including minimum wage law, fair employment, and more.
For decades, DWD and other agencies informed workers of their rights by requiring employers to display physical posters in the workplace. To better meet the diverse and changing needs of Wisconsin`s workforce, DWD has developed a virtual bulletin board to display these posters. The eWorkBoard does not replace the traditional workplace bulletin board, but instead provides today`s more mobile workforce the opportunity to view these materials directly from their smartphone or home computer.
To browse DWD’s repository of workplace posters and other resources, visit the new DWD eWorkBoard at dwd.wisconsin.gov/eworkboard....more
Ken Notes: A tech savy company could easily create eboards at work that would display these posters along with info about the company picnic and items for sale by employees. This data would display at work as well as on any devices the employees use i.e. phones, tablets, tvs... I would be happy to set one of these up for anyone interested.
Apply now! A free entrepreneurship program for women and people of color. Whatever your background, UPSTART -Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) welcomes you. People with interests ranging from farming to real estate, personal services, mobile apps, and more have benefited from WARF`s UpStart program.
Each cohort includes motivated individuals from diverse professional and educational backgrounds. Participants with GEDs to Ph.Ds learn from each other and share their own ideas and experiences.
For Fall 2020, in light of the constantly changing environment surrounding COVID-19, we will be accepting applications for UpStart Extras – a virtual four-part series of classes with timely and valuable topics to help entrepreneurs explore starting new ventures or re-imagine existing businesses as a result of these evolving times......more
Ken Notes:Apply Today as the deadline is July 31...
(WLUK) -- The final round of federal unemployment benefits are being sent out this week.
“A lot of people are really concerned and want to see that benefit extended to keep our families and our communities afloat,” said Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman.
People who received unemployment insurance were given $600 a week on top of the state’s unemployment benefits.
Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development would like those federal payments continue.
“If 8,9 or 10 percent of Wisconsin families don’t have that supplement, that’s going to be a large chunk of Wisconsin’s workforce that, if they’re still unemployed, will receive a maximum of $370 a week which is really challenging," said Frostman. "Even to make it in Wisconsin, but let alone to help keep our economy afloat.”......more
Ken Notes: I support this, but it should e based on a percent of actual wages. I know many who were actually making more with the stipend and unemployment than without. Same with PPP loans, companies were paying some employees 100% of their salaries to stay home. I guess I would like to see a Nation that could bend together rather that separate into winners and losers. We should have learned this in the last recession but there are those who thrived and those who will never recover. All Bank executives that we all bailed out still make 10`s of millions each even though their "salaries" are all bellow one million.
Recovering from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic will require a coordinated effort across statewide social and economic networks. If there is one thing this crisis has taught us, it is that the health of our people and the health of our economy are interdependent. That’s why the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is being joined by communities, businesses and organizations throughout the state in encouraging Wisconsin companies and citizens to adopt the necessary practices and behaviors for our state to continue its progress toward reopening with confidence. We’re All In is a collaborative initiative built upon a rallying cry that reminds us all that when it comes to the well-being of Wisconsin, we’re all in this together.
Financial assistanceOf course, for many businesses, surviving the health crisis boils down to cash flow, plain and simple. To help Wisconsin’s most vulnerable small businesses get back on their feet amid disruptions caused by COVID-19, WEDC quickly developed...
Ken Notes: I again need to point out that WEDC has quickly morphed into a strong advocate for all Wisconsin businesses. Seven years ago I used the analogy of needing to turn the ship around because it was in rough waters, Missy as captain has done just that.
Madison’s City Council will continue considering funds for damaged businesses downtown after referring a revised proposal Tuesday to a future meeting.
The proposal would alter the scope of an existing grant program for facade improvement to include a recovery component for small, independently owned downtown businesses. Currently, the balance of the program for 2020 includes $60,000....
Ken Notes:We need help here, but first we need to assess the total damage.
We will power our communities and empower cooperative members
to improve the quality of their lives.
Other companies better learn that lesson, or they will follow suit
Briggs & Stratton is our canary in the coal mine. The fundamental problems that pushed the 100+-year-old company into bankruptcy will devour many other Midwestern businesses if we don’t begin steering differently.
Some want to blame COVID-19, convinced it’s the perfect villain, the reason for Briggs’ collapse. But as Vincent Shiely, who ran two of Briggs’ product groups in the early 2000s, said in a recent LinkedIn conversation, “It’s more complicated than COVID.”
“There are many who say that under a different path this would not have happened,” added Shiely, now a partner at Lubar & Co.
That different path is called innovation...
Ken Notes: An interesting read and some very good points. I believe we can not overlook foreign competition and price points as a strong factor in the collapse as well. I refuse to shoot the wounded, and want to thank Briggs & Stratton for all the good they did for Wisconsin, they will be missed.
Audited documents will determine whether company receives tax credits agreed to in 2017 contract
Foxconn — and Wisconsin — are another step closer to learning whether the Taiwan-based company will qualify for a portion of the $3 billion in state tax credits that were part of the deal signed three years ago to bring the electronics manufacturer to Racine County....more
A formal audit of the company’s 2019 jobs report was released Wednesday, a week after being submitted to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. But the audit doesn’t evaluate whether the company has met conditions set in the contract that former Gov. Scott Walker and the state signed with Foxconn in 2017.
That will be decided in the coming months as state officials review the audited report and compare it against the terms of that contract. The review might not be finished until the fall.
Ken Notes: Remember at the time we were not allowed to look at the agreement, so now we will see how carefully it was written. What employees qualify, where must they live, and so many more details. If I can make a prediction - There will be language open to interpretation that will not serve us well...
In September, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin will begin accepting applications for $24M in broadband expansion grants......more
Ken Notes: This sounds great but the actual cost to a rural internet desert is millions per. This is also 24 million that will be paid to companies making millions per day on the service they already provide. Since they will still charge the customer at the other end, we are in fact paying them to provide service on which they will profit.
We need to trade the "access rights" to high profit urban density for providing rural systems that are not profitable. We need leadership and direction and while I applaud the task force, I am not sure they are positioned to play hardball with the existing vendors. Also for the record we are talking about roughly 5% of the State population not able to access high speed internet, I promise if we suggest limiting the profits of the nine major provider until they provide 100% coverage they will lay cable, dual pair copper, and 5G towers 24/7. The providers can fix this - we can not!
MADISON – A growing number of citizens from across Wisconsin—including small business owners, local leaders and sports and entertainment figures—are declaring “We’re All In” for working together to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The We’re All In initiative is an effort by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and its partners to create a “community of communities” in support of public health and safety measures. The initiative aims to reach every person in every corner of Wisconsin through social media, advertising and other outreach efforts and give them opportunities to actively participate in the state’s recovery effort....
Despite lingering questions surrounding Foxconn Technology Group’s contract for billions in state tax credits, the Taiwan-based company reports it created enough jobs in southeast Wisconsin last year to be eligible for state aid.
Foxconn’s jobs report — which was completed by independent, third-party professional services provider Deloitte and Touche LLP — must first be verified by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. before any state money is doled out. WEDC will determine how many of the jobs listed by Foxconn meet eligibility requirements laid out in the 2017 contract.
Ken Notes: Like I said...
Group says regulators should encourage new technologies, update rules
A new report by Wisconsin energy stakeholders outlines more than a dozen recommendations on how the state can speed up the clean energy transition in the power sector.
The Milwaukee-based Midwest Energy Research Consortium and Great Plains Institute out of Minneapolis brought together utilities, consumer advocates, businesses and environmental groups in the last year to pinpoint the role technology plays in Wisconsin`s energy distribution and make recommendations to upgrade the electrical system.
The grid is becoming more complex as the system is shifting from delivering electricity from power plants to including distributed energy resources like solar, wind and battery storage, according to Trevor Drake, GPI`s senior program manager...
Ken Notes: Interesting but remember the power companies are now our environmental friends and need to lead the charge. We can and should hold their feet to the fire but doing this without them is not an option...
Wisconsin has joined a lawsuit against a new environmental regulation passed by the Trump administration curtailing states` ability to reject federally permitted projects that may cause pollution in bodies of water or wetlands.
Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Tuesday afternoon that he joined 20 other attorneys general in opposing the change to the Clean Water Act, which he contends violates both the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act......more
Ken Notes: I will ask again how can we depoliticize environmental issues...
ASHWAUBENON - Once booked with a packed schedule of concerts and events, the Resch Center remains unused since March 13 — the last day of the State High School Girls Basketball Championships.
Now, as the 2020 pandemic barrels on, half of the staff at the center`s management company, PMI Entertainment, is laid off.
PMI notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development it would have to lay off 31 employees as of July 1. It could have been worse, PMI`s chief operating officer, Brendan Bruss, said. PMI received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of more than $1.2 million that helped it keep employees on the payroll for months and postpone layoffs......more
Ken Notes: Very difficult decisions here. I really think we needed to call an economic time out rather than try to fund the continuation as normal. What happens if this continues for several more months and businesses default on their PPP commitments. Yet of some companies this seems very likely while for other the loans may not have been necessary at all. The Resch Center is a perfect example here...
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Why would a global program for tech startups tackling risk decide to make Wisconsin its home? And how does a partnership with a Fortune 300 insurance company help support success for the startups?
When the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – an innovative nonprofit that has created programs in support of early stage startups worldwide – decided to partner with the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Madison-headquartered American Family Insurance for only its second U.S. location, it gave a nod to the ever-growing recognition that the region is fast becoming a hub for technology and innovation.
CDL is not alone in this belief. In December 2019, two national think-tanks, the Brookings Institute and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, released a report putting the Madison area at the top of the list of regions positioned to be the next national tech hub. This thinking reflects what many in the area already know: The education level, business climate, and rich environment for innovation and scientific discovery make the region fertile ground to seed the next wave of entrepreneurs and tech growth...
Ken Notes: We need to work together on this, we have WRP II ready to go. Great examples of what can happen in Exact, Promega and EPIC among others. Strong support from the Tech Council, new venture capital resources, and WEDC. A world leader UW system and so much more... CDL welcome and thanks for doing business here!
Empty big box stores surrounded by acres of crumbling blacktop parking lots litter communities throughout Wisconsin. Collectively, these properties are classifi ed as brownfields.
The reasons for these empty buildings are varied. Some chains have closed down completely, others moved to bigger locations a few miles down the road, others fell victim to shifts in traffic patterns — turning once prime commercial real estate into a backwater.
Regardless of why these building sit vacant, they present a real challenge to communities by creating blight. The vacant buildings cast a pall of decay over otherwise thriving areas. This is further aggravated by the vacant stores typically being in high visibility areas. Often at the same time these stores sit vacant, new construction is taking place elsewhere in the community....more
Ken Notes: While it is never on the radar screen the time to discuss this is when the development is being forst approved. You can add to the approval process how the building will be handled after it is no longer in use. I also always established a minimum assessed value for the life of the building. This allows you to continue to tax the property after it has been vacated.
The City of Milwaukee is looking into using tax dollars to finance a homeownership assistance program.
The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday approved legislation directing the commissioner of the Department of City Development to prepare a report on the feasibility of using tax incremental financing for a homeownership assistance program...
Ken Notes: I like this in principal but believe the private sector Habitat For Humanities can do a better job than government programs, so I would partner with them and ask for more and smaller homes. If we used well designed stick built mini homes and apartments as part of the mix we could make a huge dent in homelessness and affordable homes. 200 to 400 sq feet is better that a doorway on the street or having to commute 30 miles into the city. They could also create pride of ownership, a desire to move up, and by integrating these developments into existing communities we could create both socioeconomic and race diversity. I love the idea of creating a TIF District in neighborhoods with established or potentially new housing, retail or commercial development.
Representatives from some of the largest venture capital funds in the Midwest and the U.S. have been assembled to judge Startup Wisconsin Pitch at Summerfest Tech in September.
Summerfest Tech, now in its third year, will be virtual this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will take place on Sept. 2.
The startup pitch competition is being produced by Startup Wisconsin and sponsored by Wauwatosa-based accounting and consulting firm Wipfli. Originally said to be a $20,000 competition for winning teams, the cash prizes will now be just $15,000. ...
RIPON, WI. JULY 22, 2020 – The City of Ripon is receiving a $190,000 state grant to help in the renovation of a vacant former grocery store into an indoor urban vertical farm produce operation with the potential for retail operations and a future rooftop garden.
The Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the expansion of Ernessi Farms’ urban vertical farm produce operation using the vacant space.
“A vibrant blend of businesses is vital to a community’s overall economic success, and the urban vertical farm redevelopment will serve as a catalyst for future development and investment in the Ripon community,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “I congratulate the community for working together on this important project that will serve as a foundation for future economic growth and for the collective good of the local economy.”...more
Ken Notes: Here is a great use for an older building...
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WISCONSIN RAPIDS – As the Verso Corp. paper mill quickly approaches a planned shutdown this month, local, state and industry leaders continue looking for ways to keep it up and running, including by finding someone to buy it.
State Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said because there are valuable assets inside the mill, he is optimistic the Miamisburg, Ohio-based papermaker will be able to sell it and that there are a couple potential buyers interested in the facility.
Verso announced in June
it would stop production at its paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and
Duluth, Minnesota, indefinitely while "exploring viable and sustainable
alternatives for both mills." As a result, Verso said it would lay off 902 employees at the Wisconsin Rapids mill starting July 31. ...
Ken Notes: This is a perfect project to partner on with existing mills, federal dollars, and state support by way of tax credits...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The papermaking industry has ties to other industries like forestry, trucking and construction, and Verso’s decision to indefinitely idle two of its mills affects those industries it works with.
Verso announced in June it would stop production at its paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Duluth, Minnesota, indefinitely while "exploring viable and sustainable alternatives for both mills."In its announcement, Verso said options for the two mills included restarting operations if market conditions improve, selling the mills or closing them permanently...
Ken Notes: I do worry that the holding costs of these complexes may be low enough that the owners can wait for the market to change...
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has now disbursed more than $3 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, mostly to state residents who have lost their jobs due to economic fallout caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The state has paid $3.02 billion to about 463,500 claimants, according to a recent report. Since March 15, DWD has received over 800,000 unemployment insurance benefit applications......more
GREEN BAY — Louisville technology services firm Interapt is teaming up with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and global education provider General Assembly to launch a new tech training pathway for people in the Green Bay area.
With unemployment at an all-time high in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the software engineering program will provide tuition-free technical training to a class of 25 individuals, giving them an opportunity to develop the technical skills needed to kickstart a new career in data science, software development, digital marketing, UX design, robotic process automation, information technology and other tech related fields.
Waukesha County through the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is launching the Small Business Assistance Grants Program to assist micro businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
$170,000 has been approved by the CDBG Board for small business assistance grants – up to $10,000. These dollars will be able to assist a minimum of 17 businesses in Waukesha County.
The funds have been made available to Waukesha County from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Federal CARES Act....more
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Model showcases nationally acclaimed interior designer Tom Stringer Design Partners
GREEN BAY, Wis., July 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Titletown Development and Mahler Sotheby`s International Realty announced today that the TitletownHomes Model Residence is now open for private tours. Construction for the 54-unit, TitletownHomes development, successfully launched last fall in the heart of Titletown, and the first townhome residents are beginning to move into their homes this summer....more
"The Model Residence provides an exceptional opportunity for potential buyers to experience the elevated architecture and stunning interior design work of Tom Stringer Design Partners," said Peter L. Mahler, founder of Mahler Sotheby`s International Realty, the exclusive marketing and sales agency for TitletownHomes. "The model spaces are inviting, impeccably curated and functionally progressive for modern living."...
Ken Notes: Every packer fans dream home. I woner if they can throw in season tickets...
MADISON – Three projects that will provide housing to extremely low-income elderly and disabled residents have been awarded a total of $1.9 million in National Housing Trust Fund financing by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
The projects, in Ashwaubenon, Bristol and Milwaukee, previously received highly competitive federal 9% or state 4% housing tax credits administered by WHEDA. The housing trust fund awards expand the number of units available to vulnerable residents with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income by addressing the financing gap between what it costs to build the units and rents that are affordable for the residents.
“We are pleased to provide this critical financing to the partners working to build and rehabilitate these properties,” said Joaquín Altoro, WHEDA CEO. “National Housing Trust Funds make it possible to expand housing opportunities for some of our most vulnerable community members. This source of funding supports construction and rehabilitation of housing that would not otherwise be available for extremely low-income households.”
The 2020 awardees include:
The 21-island archipelago in Lake Superior is the closest thing Wisconsin has to a national park.
For more than four decades, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was a Midwestern secret.
A six-hour drive from Milwaukee off the tip of northern Wisconsin in ice-cold Lake Superior, the 21-island archipelago remained off the radar of most travelers, even Wisconsinites.
“When I moved up here in 1992,
nobody had heard of it. I barely knew the place existed. It was a sleepy
little place, as far as national parks go,” said Bob Mackreth, who
moved to the area to work as the park’s west district ranger and later
Ken Notes: I sort of want to keep this a secret, it is beautiful...
The pandemic could change the nature of school for the better
To re-open or not to re-open? The great back-to-school debate currently taking place in communities all across the country pits public health against education.
It’s a difficult dilemma: Should school districts pack kids into classrooms to share germs with each other and vulnerable, older school staff — even as COVID-19 rates continue to spike? Or should they start the fall with another round of at-home online learning? Madison and Milwaukee school boards have opted for the second choice, which means frazzled parents have to miss work and students will swap in-person interactions for staring at a screen all day.
Here’s another option: Hold school outside.
Ken Notes: They do know this is Wisconsin????
The owner of the former General Motors plant site says it intends to give the city plans later this year on how it will tackle the next phase of demolition and clearing of the 240-acre industrial property.
But Commercial Development Company continues to be opaque about how it will handle dozens of acres of concrete floor slabs still in the ground—a lingering but sizable remnant of the former plant.
City officials have said the concrete question likely is central to the site’s redevelopment. It’s a question that has lingered since last summer, when the city began sending letters prodding Commercial Development for its plans...
Ken Notes:My guess is they are looking for an economic engine to drive the next phase of the project. Unfortunately those talks need to take place behind closed doors. Patience...
Let us return to a gentler time, the early 1980s, when sugar was a good enough high for most of us. When Ronald Wilson Reagan brought Jelly Belly brand jelly beans into the White House.
With President Reagan’s tacit endorsement, the candy treat manufactured by the Herman Goelitz Candy Co., began a steady relationship with the Illinois native and the nation’s 40th president. At the same time, it saw its Jelly Belly sales soar...
...Fast forward to this week and Jelly Belly is in the midst of a liquidation sale at its retail store and warehouse in Pleasant Prairie, just over the Illinois border off Green Bay Road near Wisconsin Highway 165. The selloff began Monday after the company announced late last month a strategic change in its retail operations...
Ken Notes: Great read, sorry to see them go...
Epic Systems employees decried Tuesday the Verona-based company’s decision to call workers back to the office while the COVID-19 pandemic still rages, claiming that CEO Judy Faulkner is ignoring advice from public health officials.
Most of Epic’s nearly 10,000 employees will be required to return to the health software company’s campus by Sept. 21, according to a statement made in conjunction with the Industrial Workers of the World labor union and released to public officials and news media...
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An initiative to build profitable farm businesses in Wisconsin is launching with events this summer and fall.
Financial management boot camps and customized consulting for farm-based entrepreneurs will be provided by the Food Finance Institute (FFI) and the Wisconsin Small Business Development (SBDC) Network. Both programs are part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship.
To broaden the impact, the initiative will start by creating a pool of specially trained farm-focused consultants who have the skills and expertise to address complex farm financial situations and diverse business models. These consultants will be trained in July and August to provide one-on-one consulting to farm-based businesses across the state......more
Ken Notes: We should require CAFO`s to better protect their environment.
Schools in the city of Milwaukee that have approved plans will be allowed to reopen in the fall under a new order the city`s Health Department expects to issue either this week or next.
Limits on capacity and a focus on ensuring that necessary accommodations are made for people who are high risk will be part of the order, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said during a virtual news conference Tuesday......more
MADISON - Wisconsin`s massive backlog for unemployment benefits could get far worse if Congress passes a new relief package from Republicans in the U.S. Senate, a top official in Gov. Tony Evers` administration says.
Senate Republicans are proposing a $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill known as the HEALS Act which would, among other measures, cap federal unemployment assistance to 70% of workers` pay instead of extending a weekly $600 unemployment subsidy through January as Democrats have proposed.
Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman said the state`s system to process unemployment claims — which has been overwhelmed since the pandemic hit — would all but grind to a halt...
Ken Notes: Both sides are right here. We have designed our systems in relative darkness at the State level. This means we have little options to upgrade and reuse the data in meaningful ways. We could fix this with some modern computer expertness at the helm but, not in time. I suggest porting the data from both DWD and revenue into a system that could turn out new reports that could show the 70% number by SSN and then rebuilding a payment system around that. Still will take more that a few weeks but it could be done for everyone who paid taxes at least...
Results ShowA Reluctance To Travel, Raising Questions For Wisconsin`s Tourism Industry
Wisconsin businesses reported income gains in July, marking the first time since April the state`s businesses did not report losing income, according to new survey results the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh released Tuesday.
Businesses surveyed statewide said they saw a collective $11 million gain in income compared to July 2019. That`s an improvement from the losses they have seen throughout the pandemic, including $85 million in lost income reported in April when the survey was first conducted. Losses were reported in the months of May and June as well.
But according to Jeffrey Sasche, interim director UW-Oshkosh`s Center for Customized Research and Services, which conducts the survey, the results show a fragile recovery that still hasn`t started for many businesses...
Ken Noetes: We need to help tourism, our campgrounds are filling up but hotels and more "crowd dependent" venues continue to struggle. I was talking to some musicians and they are all looking for anything to bridge the gap. Again winners and losers will not help as much as working together...
Economists Warn Of Devastating Effects As Hundreds Of Thousands In Wisconsin Face Prospect Of Less Aid
A federal program that provides unemployed workers with an extra $600
a week in unemployment benefits has expired Friday, leaving many
unemployed workers in Wisconsin and across the country
without additional government aid to help offset the financial toll of
the COVID-19 pandemic...
Ken Notes: It is fair to mention that for some the $600 provided a bit of a disincentive to go back to work, while for others it was much needed.
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FREEPORT, Ill. — Are you curious about hemp variety performance in the Midwest? Would you find value in a publicly accessible variety evaluation tool?
What about receiving significantly discounted cannabinoid testing in exchange for data sharing via university and private partnerships?
The goal of a project between University of Illinois Extension and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be to provide insight into agronomic performance and cannabinoid development of industrial hemp varieties across Illinois and Wisconsin.
Industrial hemp is a fast growing, annual herbaceous plant which can be used to produce fiber, grain and cannabinoids....more
Notes:I``ll ask the 64 thousand dollar question, can a Wisconsin farmer grow product with a higher THC content and then ship it to Illinois for sale.
MADISON, WI. July 28, 2020—To help Wisconsin companies continue to grow their exports even while international travel is limited, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is organizing a virtual Global Trade Venture that will connect Wisconsin exporters with potential buyers, distributors and other partners in South Korea.
The virtual Global Trade Venture to South Korea will consist of online meetings taking place from Nov. 2 to Dec. 4, 2020. This is the second virtual Global Trade Venture organized by WEDC; the first one, connecting Wisconsin companies with potential partners in Germany, is taking place in late September and early October.
Registration for the South Korea virtual trade venture is open now through Sept. 18. Interested companies are encouraged to register early so Wisconsin’s trade office in South Korea has plenty of time to research potential partners and set up meetings.
MADISON – The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has updated online information about the rural affordable workforce housing pilot to reflect community inquiries.
The pilot will work with stakeholders from at least three rural communities to develop partnerships and processes that ultimately will benefit communities statewide. Following two webinars to introduce the project and engage with stakeholders, WHEDA received a number of interesting and unanticipated questions, prompting helpful updates to the application materials and FAQs, which can be found here.
The updates include:...
uch of the news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been trending somewhere between bad and awful.
Within the last week, the United States recorded daily death counts unseen since May, bringing the total to more than 150,000 people. About half of the 50 states had outbreaks serious enough to warrant more restrictions. In Wisconsin, all but a few of the state’s 72 counties reported a surge in positive cases as the state inched closer to 1,000 deaths...
Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report, a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.
OSHKOSH – The city will receive a $250,000 state grant to help turn the former Gibson Auto Body into an event venue downtown.
The community development investment grant will convert the 100-year-old building to the Gibson Social Club for weddings, meetings and other social gatherings, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The building was most recently an antiques and salvage company called Crescent Moon. It was purchased by Eric and Kristen Hoopman, who plan to preserve historic elements and use salvaged materials in the new design. It’s renovation will include a catering kitchen, bathrooms and three bars, including one a mezzanine level....more
WEDC’s Hughes offers answers as report assesses COVID-19 impact on state’s economy
Months after lawmakers — and even the state’s top economic development strategist — thought it would be waning, COVID-19 still threatens Wisconsin, as its economy struggles to recover.
Industries are “reeling” — and so are other sectors of the state that are critical to its long-term success: education, child care and health care.
As grim as all that might sound, though, it has also given Wisconsin a chance to focus on important priorities, according to Missy Hughes, CEO and secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC)...
GREEN BAY - A Madison-based organization will offer free virtual job training in August to Wisconsin residents seeking work and then connect participants to hiring companies.
The organization, gener8tor, says it is starting the program specifically to help job-seekers improve their technology skills.
Those who complete the program will earn a certification. New North,
a regional partner to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. serving
18 counties in northeastern Wisconsin, will connect
certificate-holders to local companies hiring.
Ken Notes: If there is a program like this in the Madison area I would be happy to teach any of these platforms...
Hughes Stressed That Wisconsin Remains In The Middle Of An Outbreak
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes briefed lawmakers Thursday on the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wisconsin`s economy, saying the impact has been "as broad as possible."
"This is not a tornado or a flood that has touched down in one of our small towns or one of our counties where then we can dive in and understand the impact and act on it as quickly as possible," Hughes said. "Every community in Wisconsin was impacted."
Hughes stressed to lawmakers that the best way to restart the economy is to control the virus. But she acknowledged that Wisconsin is far from that point, saying the state remains in the middle of its coronavirus outbreak.
"No one expected on July 30, let alone June 30, that we would still be really essentially not moving towards a strong recovery yet," Hughes said. "So we need to be thinking about that, and we need to be continuing to assess this."...
Ken Notes: I used the analogy of trying to access the damage while still in the eye of the hurricane... We will not know the total extent of the damage until Covid 19 passes which could be a while. I want to make sure we have resources then to fix the real damage... As for now we need to call an economic time out...
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Festivals, sporting events and concerts have all been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But business is booming for companies that cater to people heading outdoors to pedal, paddle and pitch tents.
gyms and fitness centers closed and public transit use discouraged,
escaping to parks, lakes, rivers and paths has become more popular than
ever. As a result, shops selling bicycles, kayaks and camping equipment
have reported up to a 300 percent sales increase over the past months.
Ken Notes: I am still looking for a place to camp this weekend.
APPLETON - A Wisconsin health care developer intends to construct a $20 million outpatient medical facility in Appleton`s Northeast Business Park.
Luther Group of Elm Grove didn`t identify the occupant of the two-story, 40,000-square-foot building in documents submitted to the city. It is requesting a waiver from the city regarding repurchase rights and a variance for street access.
"They are repping a medical entity," said Karen Harkness, Appleton`s director of community and economic development. "We do not know who that is. That`s fine. We don`t need to know who it is."
Harkness said the secrecy is due to competition in the medical field......more
Ken Notes:One word of caution, these outpatient facilities can take profits away from your local hospitals that provide inpatient and more importantly emergency medical facilities. This is not always in the best interest of overall health care. Just and observation...
Core Spaces, the development team behind a controversial Langdon Street apartment development, is “disappointed” following the Madison Plan Commission’s denial of its application for demolition and conditional use earlier this week.
The commission voted 7-1 to deny the application from Core for The Hub 2 at 126 Langdon St., saying the proposal failed to make substantial changes during the application process to address concerns voiced by nearby residents, the Urban Design Commission and Plan Commission. Those concerns included the size of the building compared to the neighborhood — home to many UW-Madison fraternities and sororities — traffic and deliveries issues....
Ken Notes: I am out of the loop on details here, but I hope we are not returning to "protest" driven development.
MADISON—Beloit’s unemployment rate dropped by more than 4% in June, but the rate is still in double digits.
Beloit’s unemployment rate was 10.8% in June, down from 14.9% in May, according to figures released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The June 2020 rate is a far cry from the 5.2% rate reported for Beloit in June of 2019.
Beloit’s jobless rate was the sixth highest rate among the 34 largest communities in Wisconsin. Milwaukee had the highest unemployment rate in June at 12.8%, down from 15.7% in May. Fitchburg had the lowest rate at 6.8% in June, down from 8.4% in May....more
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...Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary Missy Hughes last week answered questions from lawmakers and their staff in the chat function of a virtual meeting, one of which: If schools don’t open, how will parents work?..
... Noah’s Ark Waterpark To Close Until Further Notice ...
...Hiring 400 people, expanding production, Generac’s standby generator business booms as consumers spend more time at home...
...Bucks reopening pro shop at Fiserv Forum; Packers to reopen Lambeau and Titletown District...
...The economy is in record decline, but not for the tech giants...
For Madison (OnFocus) – Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary-designee Randy Romanski announced today the creation of the new Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council. The application and additional details are available at AgYouthCouncil.wi.gov.
The purpose of the Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council is to encourage young people to engage with state government and increase their awareness of DATCP’s role in Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. The Council will be comprised of 15 Wisconsin high school seniors from across the state who represent a variety of interest areas in Wisconsin’s agriculture industry....more
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Lifelong Learning Institute Encourages Learning as Lifelong Pursuit
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (July 27, 2020)—At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, learning is a lifelong pursuit, and the member-led Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) isn’t going to let coronavirus get in the way of delivering enriching and engaging classes in a safety-conscious way for members.
LLI is a 20+-year strong membership program developed by retirees for retirees. Susan Pike, Program Specialist, and volunteers on the curriculum committee, worked diligently and creatively with a network of instructors developing courses in formats best suited to the subject matter. Instructors include existing and retired faculty, local experts and enthusiasts. Class formats encompass online live, online recorded and outdoors. Topics cover art, fitness, government, health, history, reading, writing, science, nature, religion, special interest and travel...
Businesses responding to the July COVID-19 Wisconsin Business Impact survey expressed extreme caution in business and personal travel plans.
The Madison Region Economic Partnership, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state’s eight other regional economic development organizations and UW-Oshkosh released results yesterday from its fourth statewide survey.
For the first time, respondents were asked to share their perspectives on business and personal travel during the pandemic, with 65 percent of respondents eliminating all non-essential travel for the remainder of this year, and more than one-third already deciding to do the same in 2021.
Personal travel has also decreased for 70 percent of respondents... ...more
A site developed for Milwaukee but helpful for everyone StayHomeMKE.com
If you or someone you know needs assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare or other essential services, follow this link or call 211 to speak to someone who can help. 211wisconsin.communityos.org/
211 connects you with thousands of nonprofit and government services in your area. If you want personal assistance call the three-digit number 211 or 877-947-2211. A friendly voice to talk with you 24/7/365. The COVID-19 Information and Resources page deals with information and help specific to Covid-19.
The State of Wisconsin web page for Covid-19 has now been established at Wisconsin.gov/Covid19 . And the Wisconsin Department of health website is here www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/.
WEDC has several resources here https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/covid-19-response/.
Ken Notes: Please be very careful when someone offers assistance for a fee. Deal ONLY with advisors you know and trust.
I will keep this page updated and at the top of WisconsinDevelopment.com until the crisis passes.
Ken Notes: WDNews relies on the actual journalism provided by your local media outlets. Without these partners we can not bring you the unbiased news, leads and updates you need to thrive in Wisconsin. Support your local media...
Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.
I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!
Milwaukee - 1/1/2020 Journal Sentinel business reporter Tom Daykin talks about commercial real estate and development, including stores, hotels, offices, condos, apartments and industrial buildings...
Ken Notes: Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily...
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