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Volume 6, Issue 18, Sep 18, 2023
 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
The Chamber's Advocacy Principles
The Chamber's Business Issues Agenda
"Talking Point" Podcast
Contact: Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs


Last chance to register...
"Bravo to Business" Awards
   Honoring the finalists – and announcing the winners – of Small Business of the Year, Business of the Year, Emerging Business, Resilient Business, and Young Professionals Best Place to Work. 
 • Thursday, Sep 21, 5:00-9:00 p.m., The Florian Gardens
     Click here for details and to register

Eggs & Issues: Legislative Breakfast
  With the 2023-25 state budget now enacted, but with many key state issues still pending, we've invited members of the State Assembly and Senate who represent the Chippewa Valley to join us for an update and to answer questions submitted by participants. We'll get a recap and perspective on how key regional economic priorities fared in the budget, and discuss still-pending issues like childcare, potential tax cuts, etc.  
 • Friday, Sep 29, 7:00-9:00 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

Local Candidate Training Workshop
   If you've ever considered running for a local elected office, or just wondered what's involved, make plans now to attend this workshop. You'll learn which offices will be on the ballot in the Spring 2024 election and the basic details of filing and running for office. You'll also have a chance to hear what it's really like to run and to serve from a panel of current and former city council, school board, and county board members. This event is co-sponsored with the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association, the REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin, and Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley.
 • Wednesday, Oct 11, 8:30-11:30 a.m., REALTORS® Assn of NW Wisconsin
    Click here for details and to register

Chamber Business Hours:
Mon-Thu 7:30a-5p, Friday 8a-2p
Lobby Hours: Mon-Thu 9a-3p, Friday 9a-Noon

In this issue:
 • New Chamber Advocacy podcast: "Talking Point"
 • Altoona City Council approves Otter Creek Landing twin homes
 • EC Plan Commission to consider Science Building, annexations
 • UW-Eau Claire recognized in Wall Street Journal ranking
 • Kaitlyn Molis joins the Chamber as Young Professionals Director
 • September is Chamber of Commerce Month
 • State and regional news
 • National and economic stories
 • 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 "+"


New Chamber Advocacy podcast: "Talking Point"
   Take a few moments now to listen to the Chamber's newest podcast, "Talking Point," created to discuss community and state topics that have a significant impact on businesses and our economy. Episode 1, "Why we advocate," features Chamber President & CEO Dave Minor and Vice President Governmental Affairs Scott Rogers, interviewed by Creative Director Chelsea Seckora. Recorded in the WIN Technology Studio. Media sponsor Royal Credit Union.
Click to listen: Talking Point Podcast, "Why we advocate" (16:18)

Altoona City Council approves Otter Cree
k Landing twin homes
   The Altoona City Council on Thursday night unanimously approved a rezoning and general development plan for Otter Creek Landing, a 9-building twin home project proposed by Grip Development. The homes will be located on vacant land behind Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire along Hillcrest Parkway.
   Some neighbors opposed the project. Representatives of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association and the REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin spoke in support. The Chamber provided a letter of support, citing the need for additional housing in the community:
   "This infill proposal is an appropriate and responsible opportunity to meet the goals of the City of Altoona’s Comprehensive Plan and to help meet the critical housing needs of our wider community. It promotes cost-effective, compact growth targeted to first-time home buyers and young professionals who desire to become part of the Altoona community," said the Chamber's letter.
More information:
Link to rezoning agenda item with details on the project (City of Altoona)
Link to development agreement agenda item (City of Altoona)
City of Altoona Meetings Page (with link to watch the video recording of the meeting)
Chamber letter in support of the project (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

City of Eau Claire news
Plan Commission agenda: UWEC Science Building, annexations
   The City of Eau Claire Plan Commission meets Monday evening with five main agenda items, including a site plan for UWEC's Science and Health Sciences Building, one rezoning, two annexations, and a site plan for an apartment building. The Commission will also discuss draft policies for the Shawtown Neighborhood Plan. See the agenda packet linked below for details on each of the agenda items. 
Eau Claire Plan Commission
 • Monday, Sep 18, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet (85 pages)
Plan commission to vote on site plan for future UWEC science building (WQOW News 18)

City Council proclaimed August 31 International Overdose Awareness Day
(Leader-Telegram $)

Transit Center set for 2025 completion
(Leader-Telegram $)

Eau Claire Transit to move services to new transfer center in August 2024
(WEAU 13 News)

UW-Eau Claire recognized in Wall Street Journal ranking
   The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been nationally recognized for its emphasis on graduating students and the added value the university experience brings to a Blugold degree.
   UWEC is the top-rated public regional university in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the Wall Street Journal/College Pulse 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. ranking that rates the top 400 universities in the country based on student outcomes, learning environment and diversity. It was the second-highest ranked public school in Wisconsin behind only UW-Madison, and the third-highest ranked university among all public schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
   In a news release, UWEC officials note that, in the last 10 years, the university has seen the percentage of students graduating in four years steadily climb from less than 30% to about 45% today. The average time to complete a degree is 4.3 years.
More information:
UW-Eau Claire recognized in Wall Street Journal ranking (UWEC)

Wall Street Journal ranks UW-EC in top colleges (Leader-Telegram $)
UW-Eau Claire among top-rated public universities in new Wall Street Journal ranking (WQOW News 18)
UW-Eau Claire recognized in Wall Street Journal ranking (WEAU 13 News)
2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)

Molis joins the Chamber as Young Professionals Director
   Kaitlyn Molis became the newest member of the Chamber team on September 5 when she began work as Young Professionals Director.
   Kaitlyn is a familiar face to many Chamber investors because she served as an intern in 2021 and 2022, assisting with the Leadership and Youth Leadership programs. She holds Associate degrees in Marketing and Digital Marketing from Chippewa Valley Technical College. She says she is excited to expand on the opportunities the Young Professionals program has to offer, and is looking forward to connecting with familiar faces and meeting many more members in the near future.
   Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley is a personal and professional development program for individuals 40 years old and younger, a partnership of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Click the link below for more information about the Chamber's YP Program...
Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley

More local stories:

CVTC hosts first investiture and introduces new mascot
(WEAU 13 News)

New mascot unveiled at CVTC; college looking for name suggestions (WQOW News 18)

Tenant-Landlord Resource Center Opens Doors to Mitigate Affordable Housing Struggles
(Volume One)

City of Altoona removing back-in parking from River Prairie
(WQOW News 18)

CVTC dedicates Tribute Circle for first responders
(WQOW News 18)

L.E. Phillips Memorial Library Named ‘Project of the Year’ by Business Magazine
(Volume One)

HSHS: System restoration ongoing after cyberattack
(Leader-Telegram $)

7 Brew Coffee Officially Opens in E.C.
(Volume One)

Scott, Wendy Sullivan named Oktoberfest royalty
(Leader-Telegram $)

Bridge in Chippewa Falls closes to vehicle traffic after failing inspection
(Leader-Telegram $)

Chippewa County Board investigating conduct of an employee
(Leader-Telegram $)

Three new deans at UW-River Falls partner up for their first semester
(Leader-Telegram $)

Momentum West Event
DEI: A Workforce Perspective & Insight in West Central Wisconsin
 • Wednesday, Oct 4, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 noon, UW-Stout, Menomonie
    Click here for details and registration


September is Chamber of Commerce Month
   Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce have declared September to be Chamber of Commerce Month in Wisconsin.
   Wisconsin is home to more than 265 local chambers, which strengthen the economy, advocate for businesses large and small, provide resources to professionals, promote tourism and connect local communities.
   “WMC is thankful for the excellent work our local chambers do each and every day in the state,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “Wisconsin’s economy and business climate is undoubtedly strengthened by the leadership of our chambers of commerce, and we’re glad to highlight and celebrate their contributions this month.”
   Gov. Tony Evers, at the request of the Wisconsin Chambers of Commerce Executives (WCCE), proclaimed September as Chamber of Commerce Month in Wisconsin.
   “Local chambers lead the charge in community growth and are at the forefront of local business development and connection,” shared WCCE Chairman Dave Eckmann, President of the Wausau Chamber of Commerce. “Chamber of Commerce Month is a great opportunity to recognize their dedication to our state’s overall success.”
More information:
September Celebrated as Chamber of Commerce Month in Wisconsin (WMC)

Governor's Proclamation: Chamber of Commerce Month (Office of the Governor)

A busy fall session in Madison
Join us for Eggs & Issues on September 29 to get a local perspective
   This fall has brought with it a significant number of controversial issues with debates among legislative leaders and Governor Evers on childcare, tax cuts, elections, redistricting, and even the Wisconsin Supreme Court. We've invited members of the State Assembly and Senate who represent the Chippewa Valley to join us for our next Eggs & Issues breakfast for an update and to answer questions submitted by participants.
Eggs & Issues: Legislative Breakfast
 • Friday, Sep 29, 7:00-9:00 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

State and regional stories:

Assembly Republicans advance fast-tracked proposal to revamp how Wisconsin's political maps are drawn

Wisconsin Assembly Republicans pass sweeping redistricting reform, but likely veto awaits

Redistricting bill amendments are an improvement, some maps experts say

Myers joins Republicans in backing GOP redistricting bill

Assembly approves bills aiming to boost child care availability, reduce costs

Wisconsin Assembly passes nearly $3 billion state income tax cut that Evers vows to veto
(PBS Wisconsin)

Vos asks former state Supreme Court justices to advise him on impeachment

Analysis: UW-Madison legal experts doubt impeachment threat will fly
(Wisconsin State Journal +)

Republican senators vote to override Evers' 400-year school funding veto, but the Assembly has yet to act
(Journal-Sentinel $)

GOP-led Wisconsin Senate votes to fire nonpartisan official targeted by 2020 election skeptics

Wisconsin Senate votes to remove Meagan Wolfe -- But was it legal to?

Josh Kaul: Senate Republicans 'blatantly ignored' state law in vote to fire Wisconsin's top election official
(Wisconsin State Journal +)

Trempealeau Co. Board member files to challenge Baldwin

UW System enrollment stays steady, branch campuses continue to decline

University of Wisconsin System enrollment grows slightly for first time since 2014

Planned Parenthood to resume abortion care in Wisconsin
(The Cap Times)

Here's how Wisconsin leaders, politicians and others reacted to Planned Parenthood restarting abortion services
(Journal-Sentinel +)

11 Wisconsin companies named to Newsweek’s list of the World’s Most Trustworthy Companies

Lake Superior island town reaches tentative $17M deal to buy Madeline Island Ferry Line assets

Audio: Milwaukee downtown economic recovery ranks among best in Midwest


National and economic stories:

August core inflation, excluding food and energy, rose 0.3%, hotter than expected

Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney won’t seek reelection in 2024, marking end to decades long political career

The Flip Side: Collection of Right and Left viewpoints on national issues

COVID-19 Resources:
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub (Eau Claire City-County Health Department)

Mark your calendar:

Bravo to Business
 • Thursday, Sep 21

Eggs & Issues: Legislative Breakfast
 • Friday, Sep 29

Local Candidate Training Workshop
• Wednesday, Oct 11

Workforce Solutions Summit
 • Wednesday, Nov 15

Eau What A Night: The Chamber's 109th Annual Meeting
 • Wednesday, January 24, 2024

30th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
 • Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

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 G
overnmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org

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