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Volume 5, Issue 16, Sep 6, 2022
 Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Eau Claire, Wis.

Published the first business day of each week

Business Advocate Past Issues

Public Meetings Calendar

Chamber Events Calendar

Advocacy Blog


Eggs & Issues: Election Outlook with Bill McCoshen

Thursday, Sep 22, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center or online via Perigon
Click here for details and to register

Registration deadline 12:00 noon on Wed, Sep 21

   With the November 8 election approaching, join us to take a look at what's at stake for key offices at both the state and federal levels. For the third election season in a row, we'll hear from Bill McCoshen of Michael Best Strategies, one of the state's top political experts. He will assess Wisconsin's statewide and legislative contests to provide us with clues to watch for as the campaign unfolds. Bill is a former Secretary of Commerce, and served as Chief of Staff and campaign manager for former Governor Tommy Thompson. 


Other upcoming Eggs & Issues breakfasts:

 •  The Economic Impact of Tourism - Thursday, Oct 20

 •  Post-Election Analysis - Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin - Thursday, Nov 17

 •  Holiday Legislative Breakfast - Friday, Dec 16

In this issue: 

 • September is Chamber of Commerce month - Open House Sep 12

 • UWEC residence halls coming down to make way for Science Building

 • Eau Claire County awards $2.3 million ARPA to non-profits, small businesses

 • Augusta, Fall Creek, New Auburn schools win Mfg Education Eqt grants

 • CVTC projects near completion

 • YMCA hires new CEO

 • Election updates

 • Nominate the "Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin" 

 National and economic news

 • COVID-19 updates 

 • Mark your calendar
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
Publications known to have article limits for non-subscribers are marked with "+"


September is Chamber of Commerce Month

Open House, "Bravo to Business" Awards events planned

   Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed September to be "Chamber of Commerce Month" in Wisconsin. His proclamation recognizes that "chambers of commerce are critical community partners and problem solvers with the unique ability to work with stakeholders from both the private and public sectors." It commends chambers for their role as they "work hard to make Wisconsin a better place to live, work, start and run a business, and so much more."

   Wisconsin’s more than 265 local chambers help strengthen Wisconsin’s economy through advocacy, education and economic development. In addition, these chambers promote tourism, business-focused programming and community events on a regular basis.

   “The business community is grateful for the support and leadership of local chambers of commerce every day,” said Kurt Bauer, President and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. “But in September we get the opportunity celebrate the hard work of Wisconsin chambers and highlight the advocacy and resources that chambers provide for their local communities.”

   Nearly 1,200 investors make up the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, representing over 40,000 employees in the region. To celebrate, the Eau Claire Chamber is holding two related events this month - an Open House on Monday, Sep 12, and the annual "Bravo to Business" Awards on Wednesday, Sep 14.

More information:

Governor's Proclamation (Office of the Governor)

State & Local Chambers Declare September Chamber of Commerce Month in Wisconsin (WMC)

E.C. Chamber of Commerce Unveils Award Finalists (Volume One)

Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Open House

 • Monday, Sep 12, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Chamber offices

    Click here for details and to register

"Bravo to Business Awards"

 • Wednesday, Sep 14, 5:30-9:00 p.m., The Florian Gardens

    Click here for details, list of finalists, and registration


UWEC residence hall demolition begins to make way
for new Science Building

Live webcam provided to watch progress

   Demolition on UW-Eau Claire's Putnam Hall is expected to begin sometime Tuesday morning as work continues on the University's Science and Health Sciences building project. The demolition team is planning to begin on Putnam Hall, and demolition of Katharine Thomas Hall will follow in the coming weeks.

   The two lower campus residence halls are outdated and will be coming down to make way for the new Science and Health Sciences Building, to replace aging Phillips Science Hall. The UW Board of Regents recently approved a proposed 2023-25 capital budget that would include $235.5 million to complete the planning and construction of the building and monies to demolish Phillips Science Hall after it is completed. The first portion of funding was approved by the Legislature in the 2019-21 state budget. Since then, UWEC has been working to complete planning activities so construction of a single, unified building can be started as soon as completion funding is approved. 

Demolition live stream camera

   UWEC has announced that progress on the project can be monitored via a new live-stream camera, which offers an overall view of the demolition site. The camera will be operational 24/7. See the link below.

More information:

Live stream webcam (UWEC)

Board of Regents includes new UW-Eau Claire Science and Health Sciences Building funding in budget requests (UWEC)

IT SEEMS TO ME: Regents applauded for building approval (David Minor, EC Chamber, Leader-Telegram Op-Ed)


$2.3 million in Eau Claire County ARPA funds go to

non-profits, small businesses

   A final vote at the August 16 Eau Claire County Board meeting confirmed a total of $2,298,500 of the County's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal Covid relief funds being awarded to non-profits and small businesses. 

   The County had initially decided to set aside $2 million of its $20 million direct allocation of ARPA funding for the combination of aid to entities financially affected by the pandemic and for program initiatives by those organizations to assist the broader community in recovery. An ARPA committee was established to work with the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to design and implement the program. 

   Applications were opened last spring to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and non-profits. Component 1 provided $5,000 grants to qualifying entities who could demonstrate economic loss because of the pandemic. Component 2 offered grants up to $100,000 "for forward thinking and innovative projects, programs, or efforts that would assist the greater community in recovery from the pandemic."

   There were 87 Component 1 $5,000 grants awarded to 62 businesses and 25 non-profits for a total of $435,000.

   The County received 59 applications for the remaining $1,565,000 available in the program for consideration in Component 2. The ARPA Review Committee ranked the applications and selected 22 programs totaling $1,563,500. It also asked the County Board to make in additional funds available for two applications it deemed worth of funding. That request was approved by the County Board, making the total granted $1,763,500 under Component 2. 

   Additionally, the Committee asked the County to grant $100,000 to Cinnaire Solutions Corporation for its affordable housing project on Oxford Ave in Eau Claire. Its application scored high with the Committee, but didn't meet the eligibility requirement because the entity is based outside of Eau Claire County. The County Board also granted that request. 

   The Component 2 awards will fund a wide variety of programs among the 25 organizations taking them on. A list of awards and brief descriptions of the programs is linked below. (Not included on that list is the Cinnaire award, which will go to help fill a funding gap in The Current Phase II affordable housing project on Oxford Ave in Eau Claire.)

More information: 

EC County ARPA Committee webpage (Eau Claire County)

WCWRPC County Board memo with list of Component 1 awardees ($435,000 total)

List of Awards for Component 2 ($1,763,500 to 24 EC County entities)


Augusta, Fall Creek, New Auburn schools win Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Equipment Grants 

   Augusta, Fall Creek, and New Auburn were among eleven Wisconsin school districts who have been awarded Advanced Manufacturing Education Equipment Grants through the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Fast Forward program. 

   The grants were announced last week by Governor Tony Evers. The intent is to increase the number of students in career and technical education programs to prepare students for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers.   

   “We are committed to helping Wisconsin’s young people get the kind of high-demand, high-skill job training they need to be prepared to join our state’s workforce,” said Gov. Evers. “This is exactly the kind of collaboration and initiative we strive for in our relationships with school districts, employers, and our agency partners to help support student’s success and bolster the future of our workforce in some of Wisconsin’s most critical industries.” 

   The awards include $50,000 to Augusta, $38,840 to Fall Creek, and $15,645 to New Auburn out of a total of $414,000 awarded. The news release below gives details of which equipment each district will purchase with its grants.

More information:

Gov. Evers, DWD Announce Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Equipment Grants to Serve More Than 1,400 Students (Office of the Governor)

Evers, DWD announce 11 school districts receive over $414,000 grant funding (WQOW News 18)


New CVTC projects nearing completion, open houses in Sep

   Two key education centers in Eau Claire funded by Chippewa Valley Technical College's 2020 referendum are nearing completion. CVTC has scheduled open houses in September at the expanded Emergency Service Education Center on September 12 and at the newly-constructed Transportation Education Center on September 29. 

More information:

CVTC's referendum-funded building projects nearly done (Leader-Telegram $)

Emergency Service Education Center Open House

 • Monday, Sep 12, 4-7 p.m. Click here for details

Transportation Education Center Open House

 • Thursday, Sep 29, 4-7 p.m. Click here for details


Chippewa Valley YMCA hires new CEO

   The YMCA of the Chippewa Valley has announced its nationwide search for a new Chief Executive Officer has succeeded with the hiring of Derek White. He will replace Theresa Hillis who retired in June after four years in that position.
   White’s 22-year career has spanned YMCAs in Charlotte, Columbia, SC, and the YMCA of the Chesapeake in Maryland, where he currently serves as
Vice President of Operations. He will begin his post on October 15.

More information:

Maryland man to head local YMCAs (Leader-Telegram $)


More local stories: 


Inflation causes setbacks for county road construction; highway facility under budget (Leader-Telegram $)


UWEC students become consultants during Small Business Development Center internships (UWEC)


Experts come together for Lake Altoona brainstorm session (Leader-Telegram $)


New Nicolet Bank location to open in Lake Hallie (WEAU 13 News)

Nicolet Bank Breaks Ground on New Branch in Lake Hallie (Ghidorzi)


Eau Claire's S-Bridge joins National Register of Historic Places (Leader-Telegram $)


Children’s Museum of Eau Claire braces for change (Leader-Telegram $)


September 2022: The Library Moves Back Downtown (LE Phillips Memorial Public Library)


Eau Claire senior center expanding hours (Leader-Telegram $)


Eau Claire County Community Engagement Budget Survey 
   Eau Claire County wants your opinion on the importance of services provided by the County - those you consider essential, desired, optional, or unnecessary. The survey also provides an opportunity to provide comments and give suggestions for improvement. Deadline: September 30th.

Click here to take the Eau Claire County Budget Survey


Fall General Election

•  Tuesday, November 8, polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   Offices: US Senate, US Congress, Wisconsin Governor/Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer; State Senate (odd # districts), State Assembly, Eau Claire County Sheriff, Clerk of Courts

   Referendums: City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire Area School District

More information:

The Chamber's Guide to the Fall Election (Eau Claire Chamber)

MyVoteWisconsin (Register, find your polling place, what's on your ballot)

Wisconsin Legislative and Congressional District Maps (Wisconsin Legislature)


Mark your calendar:

Eggs & Issues: Fall Election Outlook with Bill McCoshen

 • Thursday, Sep 22, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center or via Perigon

Click here for details and to register


Eggs & Issues: Election Analysis with Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

Thursday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center or via Perigon

Click here for details and to register


Election stories:


Marquette and WTMJ to hold televised debates for Oct 13 for Governor, and Oct 20 for US Senate (WTMJ)


Activist charged with election fraud for requesting absentee ballot for Robin Vos (The Cap Times)


Wisconsin AG: Election worker threats to be prosecuted (Leader-Telegram $)


Judge: Disabled Wisconsin voters can get help with ballots (AP)


WEC votes to request $1.3M for elections inspector general office (The Cap Times)


On the 2-year anniversary of Kenosha unrest after the Jacob Blake shooting, Tim Michels criticizes Tony Evers' response to the riots (Journal-Sentinel +)


'Whatever it takes' - Evers touts classroom investment during Racine stop on back-to-school tour (Racine Journal-Times +)


Wisconsin Republican governor candidate Tim Michels uses his personal foundation to fund anti-gay and anti-abortion groups (Journal-Sentinel +)


Michels campaign: Media attack Tim Michels for donations to catholic nuns, churches (WisPolitics.com)


Michels Blasts Media, Defends Donations (Urban Milwaukee)


Democrat Pfaff: GOP opponent too extreme for office; Van Orden calls press event a 'stunt' (La Crosse Tribune +)


Ron Johnson rebukes Robin Vos for canceling Gableman election subpoenas, signaling ongoing Wisconsin GOP rift (Journal-Sentinel +)


Bice: Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes had 10 times more hours of security than his predecessor (Journal-Sentinel +)


Nominate the "Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin" 

Deadline: Friday, Sep 9

   Each year, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Johnson Financial Group partner to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin. The competition aims to highlight the state’s vibrant manufacturing industry. The contest not only brings attention to all the cool things made in Wisconsin, but also the outstanding career opportunities available in manufacturing – an industry that employs 1 in 6 people in the state!

   WMC and Johnson Financial Group have partnered together for this contest since 2016, and Wisconsinites have cast nearly one million votes since its inception. Last year alone, roughly 150 products were nominated and over 200,000 votes were cast to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin. Products have ranged from motorcycles, military vehicles, cheese products, boats, generators, food carts, iron castings, beer, all-terrain vehicles, snow blowers and much, much more.

   The deadline for nominations is this Friday, September 9. Public voting starts Sep 17. The winner will be announced at WMC's Business Day event in Madison on Wednesday, Oct 19

More information:

Coolest Thing nomination information and form (WMC)

WMC taking nominations for Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest (WKBT)

Business Day in Madison

Presentations on leadership, the economy, elections, policy, and more

 • Wednesday, Oct 19, Monona Terrace, Madison 

    Click here for details and to register (earlybird registration deadline Sep 30)


More state and regional stories:


Gov. Evers directs $90M in federal pandemic funds to Wisconsin schools (WPR)


Outagamie County devises regional strategy to address looming shortage of affordable housing (Appleton Post-Crescent +)


More than 90K homes could install rooftop solar in Wisconsin under Inflation Reduction Act (WPR)


A fight between the FCC and a broadband provider could cost thousands of Wisconsin homes broadband internet service (Journal-Sentinel +)


Public employees leaving at highest rate in decades due to tight labor market, aging workforce (Wisconsin State Journal +)

Report: Public Sector Workforce Takes a Hit (Wisconsin Policy Forum)


Milk plant closures leave schools with higher prices after summer scramble (WPR)


On Foxconn and Mount Pleasant's future: So many questions... that could be answered in 2023 (Racine Journal-Times +)


Wisconsin Boy Scouts who aided after Amtrak crash receive Heroes Award (WEAU 13 News)


National and economic stories:


Payrolls rose 315,000 in August as companies keep up hiring pace (CNBC)


US Jobless Claims Decline for a Third Week to a Two-Month Low (Bloomberg +)


U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in Two Months (Wall Street Journal $)


Fewer Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck as inflation begins to ease (CNBC)


Math and reading scores plummet on national test, erasing 20 years of progress (ChalkBeat)


Student Loan Forgiveness: What the right and left are saying (The Flip Side)


Mar-a-Lago search inventory shows documents marked as classified mixed with clothes, gifts, press clippings (CNN)


Court Releases Detailed FBI Inventory of Material Seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago (Wall Street Journal $)


Democrat Mary Peltola defeats Sarah Palin in Alaska special election (The Hill)


Resilience Should Be on the Climate Agenda (US Chamber)


COVID-19 Updates 

US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest variants (AP)

COVID deaths up slightly from last month, but remain lower than spring (Leader-Telegram $)

Wisconsin launches program to send residents free COVID-19 rapid tests (WKOW)


COVID-19 Resources: 

COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing (EC City-County Health Department)
Local COVID-19 Testing Sites (EC City-County Health Department)
Interactive COVID Data Tracker (CDC)
COVID-19: Staying Safe in Your Community (EC City-County Health Dept.)
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub 
Eau Claire weekly COVID Situation Report 
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Vaccination Page 
Metrics Dashboard
Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force


Mark your calendar:


Chamber of Commerce Month Open House

• Monday, Sep 12, Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce


Bravo to Business Awards

 • Wednesday, Sep 14, The Florian Gardens 


Eggs & Issues: Fall Election Outlook with Bill McCoshen

 • Thursday, Sep 22, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


Candidates Energy Forum

Eau Claire Energy Co-op, Eau Claire EDC, CVHBA, EC Chamber

 • Tuesday, October 4, 9:30-11:30 a.m., The Florian Gardens


Business Day in Madison

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

 • Wednesday, October 19, Monona Terrace


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Impact of Tourism

 • Thursday, October 20, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


General Election

• Tuesday, November 8, Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   The Chamber's Guide to the Election


Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Wednesday, November 16, Pablo Center


Eggs & Issues: Election Analysis with Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

 • Thursday, November 17, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast

 • Friday, Dec 16, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


"Eau What A Night:" The Chamber's 108th Annual Meeting

 • Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Pablo Center


29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally

 • Wednesday, February 22, 2023, Madison


Business Salutes Eau Claire Annual Golf Outing

• Monday, August 7, 2023


Public Meetings Calendar

Click the link above for the our regularly updated schedule of public meetings.


Thanks for reading this issue of Business Advocate. If you have comments or questions, contact Scott Rogers, Vice President Governmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org 

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