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Volume 5, Issue 15, Aug 29, 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. 

In this issue: 

 • Chamber applauds Regents for UWEC Science Building budget proposal

 • EC City Council approves Country Jam development agreement

 • Eggs & Issues: Leaders discuss economic imperative of DEI

 • Chamber "Bravo to Business" finalists named - Sep 14 awards event

 • Election updates

 • State and regional stories

 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 "+"


Chamber applauds UW Board of Regents for including UWEC Science Building in its 2023-25 capital budget request

UW-Stout Heritage Hall remodeling also proposed

   The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce has expressed thanks for the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents' recent vote to include completion funding for UW-Eau Claire's Science and Health Sciences Building in its capital budget request for 2023-25. 

   "We are living through a challenging economy right now, and we understand the Legislature and governor will have difficult decisions to make in the next state budget. But, as the Regents have seen, projects like UW-Eau Claire’s are generational investments," said Chamber President & CEO David Minor in an "It Seems to Me" op-ed column in last Friday's Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

   "Long after construction has finished and Phillips Hall has been demolished, this facility will still be drawing new students and faculty to western Wisconsin," said Minor, emphasizing the importance not only of replacing UWEC's aging Phillips Science Hall, but the importance of the project to the future regional workforce.

   The Regents' request includes $235.5 million to complete the planning and construction of a new Science and Health Sciences Building on lower campus and monies to demolish Phillips Science Hall after the new building 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. 

UW-Stout Heritage Hall remodeling also in budget request

   The Regents' budget request also includes $120.6 million for the long-sought renovation of UW-Stout's Heritage Hall.

  “Heritage Hall is Stout’s No. 1 capital priority, and I’m pleased that the Board of Regents demonstrated their support for this essential project,” said UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank. “The renovation will turn an outdated building into a state-of-the art facility that prepares students for success in high-demand careers such as hospitality, child care, mental health and wellness, and education," she said.

   Next steps for both projects are hoped for inclusion in the Governor's budget proposal early next year, followed by approval by the Legislature as part of the final 2023-25 state budget.

More information:

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

UW System Asks State to Fund Two Valley Projects (Volume One)

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


EC City Council approves Country Jam development agreement

Oxford Ave construction closure modified

   At its Legislative Session last Tuesday, the Eau Claire City Council approved the purchase and development agreement with Country Jam for its new event center and festival grounds on 136 acres along Highway T on the City's northwest side (pages 56-111 of the Tuesday Agenda packet linked below); an update of the official map for the County T corridor (pages 45-49); a resolution finalizing the City's plan for a referendum on the November 8 ballot (pages 112-113); an amendment to the City's Parking Ordinance related to downtown parking changes and new license plate recognition enforcement software (pages 114-116); and a decision, postponed from the previous meeting, related to temporary closure of parts of Oxford Ave in the Cannery District during the construction of Phase II of "The Current" apartment building (pages 50-55). The latter represented a revised closure schedule following discussions with nearby businesses. 

More information:   

Eau Claire City Council

 • Monday, Aug 22, Public Hearing (Agenda Packet, 8 pages)

 • Tuesday, Aug 23, Legislative Session (Agenda Packet, 119 pages)

Link to videos of city meetings (City of Eau Claire)

City Council Online Comment Form (City of Eau Claire)
Contact information: City Council members (City of Eau Claire)

Eau Claire brewery, developer compromise on road closure (Leader-Telegram $)

Eau Claire proposing $3M deal with new Country Jam development (Leader-Telegram $)

Time running out for parking meters as Eau Claire awaits new technologies (Leader-Telegram $)


Eggs & Issues: Leaders discuss economic imperative of DEI

   The recent August 19 edition of the Chamber's monthly Eggs & Issues policy breakfast focused on The Economic Imperative of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Panelists included Wes Escondo: CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin who serves as chair of the Chamber’s DEI Taskforce; Dr. Maysee Herr, CEO of the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce; Valerie Fedie, the Market Leader for Western Wisconsin and Duluth for Wipfli and on their DEI Council; and Dr. Lynette Livingston, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at CVTC. 

  “This is not an HR take, this is something that has to be entwined with everything we do," said Fedie, who pointed out its importance in attracting and retaining talent in today's economy. Click here to read more...


Chamber annual business awards finalists named

"Bravo to Business" awards event on Sep 14

   Finalists have been named for the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce's annual business awards program, "Bravo to Business," which honors businesses that are setting the standards for excellence and innovation with their business practices and community involvement. The categories and finalists include:

   Small Business of the Year - 1-50 employees: Atmosphere Commercial Interiors, Cowboy Jack's, and ReforMedicine, S.C.

   Business of the Year – 50+ employees: EO Johnson Business Technologies, Huebsch Services, and Royal Credit Union.

   Emerging Business of the Year: Valley Sports Academy and Visionary Eyecare.

   Young Professionals Best Place to Work: Bauman Associates, Royal Credit Union, and Security Financial Bank.

More information:

Bravo to Business

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

Click here for details and to register

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


More local stories:


Eau Claire Area School District experiences staffing growth, despite widespread shortages (WEAU 13 News)


County receives positive audit results and high bond rating (Leader-Telegram $)


Two Big Downtown Apartment Projects Near Completion (Volume One)


New commercial lots go on sale in Chippewa Falls (Leader-Telegram $)


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)


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


Poll shows tight Wisconsin races for Governor, US Senate

   A new Trafalgar Poll shows very tight races for Wisconsin Governor and US Senate, with incumbent Democratic Governor Tony Evers at 48 percent and Republican challenger Tim Michels at 47.5 percent, and for the US Senate, with Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes at 49.4 percent and incumbent Republican Ron Johnson at 47.1 percent. The poll was conducted August 22-25. 

More information:  

Trafalgar Wisconsin Poll (Trafalgar Group)


More election, state, and regional stories:


Augusta schools sets 2 questions for fall ballot (Leader-Telegram $)


$1.4M referendum proposes raising taxes to fund more emergency service positions in Eau Claire (WQOW News 18)


70 public schools seeking record $1.9B in spending authority through referendums (WPR)


Behind in the polls, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson steps up criticism of Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (Green Bay Press-Gazette +)


Vos withdraws subpoenas, ending Gableman election inquiry (AP)


Gov. Evers, DWD Announce Youth Apprenticeship Offerings, 14 New Occupational Pathways for Students (Office of the Governor)


Cash keeps rolling in; Wisconsin tax collections 8.6% higher than estimated (Wisconsin State Journal +)


WI Dept. of Revenue: Wisconsinites receiving fed. student loan forgiveness to pay state income taxes on relief (WTMJ)


'Everything is different here': Afghans living in Wisconsin reflect on 1 year since fleeing their homes (WPR)


Video: Be Bold Wisconsin Tomorrow Action Accelerator: Workforce Recruitment, Attraction and Retention Summit (Wisconsin Eye)


Pete Buttigieg rides Metro Transit to highlight future Minneapolis-St. Paul BRT line (TwinCities.com Pioneer Press +)


National and economic stories:


Powell warns of ‘some pain’ ahead as the Fed fights to bring down inflation (CNBC)


Inflation eases as consumer prices rise 6.3% in July (Politico)


Gasoline price drop restrains U.S. consumer spending; monthly inflation brakes sharply (Reuters)


Biden cancels up to $20K in student loans for Pell Grant recipients, $10K for millions of others (Axios)


Secret Service Seizes $286 Million in Stolen Covid-19 Relief Funds (Wall Street Journal $)


EPA to designate PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ as hazardous substances (AP)


Trump Mar–a-Lago affidavit reveals ‘handwritten notes,’ highly classified material led to warrant request (Politico)


COVID-19 Updates 

Biden administration to begin offering updated booster shots in September (Axios)

Moderna files patent infringement lawsuits against Pfizer and BioNTech over mRNA Covid-19 vaccines (CNN)


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:


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


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


Next up on the public calendar


Wisconsin Political Calendar (WisPolitics.com)


General Election - Tuesday, November 8


Congressional & Legislative Maps

Wisconsin Congressional Maps (Dave's Redistricting)

Wisconsin Legislative District Maps (Wisconsin Legislature)


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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