In this issue . . .
Coronavirus Resources New Podcast Member News New Members Ribbon cuttings
A more balanced approach is needed
By David Eckmann, President/CEO he mission of the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce is to strengthen our member businesses and enhance our community by building business success. We are an organization that is committed to build and sustain an economically competitive community through free enterprise, competition, capitalism and by promoting our rich American way of life.
Today, as our region faces the menace of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the collective voice of business and commerce has never been more important especially in Wausau, Wisconsin. With federal and state directives to ‘shelter in place’ or remain ‘Safer at Home,’ in order to ‘flatten the curve’ or reduce community spread, nonessential businesses have been directed to close their doors. This has been economically devastating to hundreds of businesses and thousands of families in central Wisconsin, not to mention the entire country. While the policies have been placed to ensure public health, there will certainly be long term, multi-generational, adverse economic impacts. In an effort to protect the general population, there are governmental institutions throughout the country which have gone further to place restrictions on individual liberties we have faithfully accepted, despite the tremendous associated burden. Moving forward, there must be consideration for the health and well being of a community in balance with the economic wellbeing of the individual and families. Without the semblance of a strong economic foundation, that being vibrant and thriving business sectors,
families and communities will suffer greatly. We are already seeing this take place throughout the country. A balance must be struck – a well thought approach to provide safety and to allow commerce to take place, gradually. Earlier this month, Governor Evers extended the Safer at Home directive until May 26th, adding five weeks of non-essential business closures – another five weeks of incredible challenges on families, businesses and communities. Additionally, the Governor’s Badger Bounce Back (BBB) Program outlines an elongated, months-long ‘gating’ process to open the Wisconsin economy. The BBB takes a statewide comprehensive approach to re-opening the economy rather than considering a regional or countyby-county approach, like that of the Back to Business program developed by state business and health care leaders. Milwaukee and Madison do not compare to our county. Marathon County has a population of 135,000 people. To date, Marathon County has had 17 cases of Covid-19. 523 people have been tested. 506 of those tests were found negative. Regretfully, one person has died from the virus. While no one should have to deal with the virus, the reality is that as a region, we are well positioned to successfully combat it. Governor Evers, we respectfully ask that you take a more balanced approach to opening the Wisconsin economy. Our Wisconsin economy is diverse from north to south and our citizens, in a Bucky fashion, will commit to the call for mitigation measures while getting the Wisconsin economic engine moving forward. You must place your trust in us. At the heart of an economically viable community are strong and thriving business sectors. Together, in a balanced approach, we must re-ignite the local and state economy.
Virtual Tip Jar created to support local servers In an effort to support the restaurants in the region during the ‘Safer at Home’ period, the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce organized a Restaurant Week earlier this month. The week gave residents the opportunity to rally around local small businesses and participate in an online contest, while enjoying amazing meals. To further support bartenders, wait staff and service workers in the Greater Wausau Region, Compass Properties LLC has created a Virtual Tip Jar. It allows friends, neighbors and customers to support servers with a tip to their Venmo or Paypal accounts. More than 150 local servers from dozens of local restaurants have already signed up for the program. If you have friends, family or employees in the food service industry who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus, please encourage them to visit the Virtual Tip Jar to sign up. “Restaurants do more than serve food.” said Dave Eckmann, President and CEO of the Chamber. “They are large employers in our community which support many families. They offer variety of food choices to our community and in times like now, they bring great joy, building family morale in times of crisis.” Restaurants with take-out or delivery specials are featured on the Hot Deals on Hot Meals page on WausauChamber.com. Owners and managers can share details on their specials with marketing manager Brian Otten at 715-848-5947. The Chamber has also assembled a list of those businesses which offer take-out or delivery. Please contact each business in advance to place an order and confirm delivery or take-out details. The Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau assisted the Chamber in assembling the guide. Restaurant Week is sponsored by Compass Properties LLC and supported by MCDEVCO Inc, the Wausau River District Inc and the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau. To view the Chamber’s collected resources related to the coronavirus, visit WausauChamber.com.
Coming up: May 1: Virtual Nothing But Networking May 4: Wisconsin Seventh Congressional District Debate May 15: Virtual Nothing But Networking May 29: Virtual Nothing But Networking September 1: Small Business of the Year Awards September 3: Business EXPO 2020 September 3: EXPO Business PM September 4: Small Business of the Year Recognition Ceremony For more information or to register for these programs and events, visit wausauchamber.com.
Help us welcome our newest members: Support the regional economy - do business with these members who joined in February: Bone & Joint Physical Therapy - Weston Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation K-tech building Maintenance A Vonachen Family Company Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co Inc Kolbe ServicePro Inc Provident Insurance Group - Wausau
Onsite employee screening now available As an employer, you are already taking steps needed to keep your employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you continue to refine your business practices, Business Health Solutions offers you peace of mind with our new employee screening service.
We want to offer you the same protection we provide to our health care workers. Occupational Health technicians will come directly to your site to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms and temperatures before they enter the building. This reassures you and your employees that their workplace environment is safe. As we continue to practice safer-at-home, we want to help businesses and employees return to work safely. This service is offered where, when and how you need it. Contact Business Health Solutions at 1-800-498-5514 to setup onsite screening today.
2020 Small Business of the Year Award Finalists Named The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for the 2020 Small Business of the Year Awards. Twelve businesses and organizations have been named as finalists. The Small Business of the Year Award recognizes business growth, community involvement, and innovative efforts in the Wausau Region. The recipients of this year’s award will be named at the 2020 Small Business of the Year Awards event to be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 1 at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild. The event is a part of the rescheduled 2020 Small Business Week, which will offer a vital rallying point for businesses and the region as a whole. The finalists in each of three categories are: Business-to-Business category: Fully Promoted – Wausau and LB Medwaste Services Inc Business-to-Consumer category: Buska Retirement Solutions Inc, Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, Health in Motion, Tommy Dock Products LLC, Wausau Country Club Inc and Wausau Smiles Dental LLC Charitable Non-Profit category: Achieve Center Inc, K-tech Charities Inc, McLit: Marathon County Literacy Council Inc and The Open Door of Marathon County Inc The three recipients of the Small Business of the Year Awards in 2019 were Luoma Design Solutions Inc in the Business-toBusiness category, Ruppel Chiropractic LLC in the Businessto-Consumer category and Wausau River District Inc in the Charitable Non-Profit category. The 2020 Small Business Week events originally scheduled for mid-April have been rescheduled for a time in which the entire region can celebrate the region’s vibrant business community. This week of events will also offer an important opportunity for the community to reconnect following a period of ‘social distancing’ and to propel our local businesses forward. The 2020 Small Business Week will continue on Thursday, September 3 at the Business EXPO 2020 at the Central Wisconsin Convention + Expo Center in Rothschild from 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. The Business EXPO, the largest Chamber trade show in the state, will feature hundreds of exhibitors. The EXPO will be immediately followed by the EXPO Business PM from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild. The week will wrap-up with a Small Business of the Year Recognition Ceremony which will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 4 at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild. Each of the 2020 Small Business of the Year recipients will describe their paths to success during this program. The 2020 Small Business Week is presented by Marshfield Clinic Health System and sponsored by Sam’s Club at the platinum level, Aspirus and Aspirus Arise at the gold level, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Ruder Ware LLSC and Wipfli LLP at the silver level, The Dirks Group?, Fully Promoted, Ho-Chunk Gaming - Wittenberg, Wisconsin Public Service Corp and Yach’s Body & Custom at the bronze level. Media sponsors for the event include Midwest Communications?, The Business News and WAOW Newsline 9?. The live production sponsor is JEM Productions. For more information on the 2020 Small Business of the Year Awards, including a list of past recipients, visit WausauChamber. com.
Ambassador Profile: Chamber Ambassadors will be profiled each month in Chamber Connection. NAME: Jill Meschke BUSINESS NAME: North Central
Minnesota; I have lived around Minneapolis most of my adult life but I lived in San Antonio for two years
WORK/EDUCATION BACKGROUND: Healthcare
Finance for 12 years; MBA from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
BEST RECENT READ: Anything
by Khaled Hosseini or David Thorne (guilty pleasure reading)
DREAM JOB WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP:
FAVORITE SNACK: Pickles HIDDEN TALENT: I’m working on
a green thumb, so far so good.
MOST FAMOUS PERSON THAT YOU HAVE MET: Craig
The Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers who engage new and current members, reviewing benefits, highlighting programs and events and ensuring member needs are met. If you would like a visit from an Ambassador
or would like to learn more about the group, please contact Judy Pitek at 715-848-5966.
New podcast episodes available:
SUBSCRIBE: Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Podcasts or watch on YouTube
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Take better care of your relationship by looking into our no-cost sexual health services. The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness requires that you take extra good care of the health of you and your loved ones. If you qualify, you’ll get access to services that can improve the quality of your daily life. Here are just some of our many covered services:
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Go online to www.FPOS.org for a list of our locations or call 800-246-5743
Tag photos of local events and activities with #elevatenaturally
GreaterWausau.org, a new talent attraction and retention website, is filled with features designed for those who are both new to the area or considering a move to our region. The website is organized around the following topics: • Explore: This portion of the site highlights the region’s miles of hiking, cycling and running trails; skiing, kayaking and fishing opportunities; and outdoor activities which can be enjoyed in all four seasons. • Experience: Information on dining, shopping, the performing and fine arts and regional events can be found here. • Live: Compare housing options and learn what makes each of more than a dozen communities in the region unique. • Work: Search for jobs, internships and apprenticeships available in the region, with an emphasis on positions in those industry sectors identified for growth in the Economic Development Strategic Plan. t E … Na IF L R U E YO ELEVAT • Learn: Explore a variety of public and private school options across the region, along with preschool, daycare and higher education opportunities. • Get Connected: Browse volunteer opportunities, houses of worship and non-profits in this section of the site. A toolkit has been developed for employers. The toolkit includes a guide for usage, digital elements and more. Visit GreaterWausau.org/Toolkit to download. Contact Brian Otten at 715-848-5947 or email@example.com for more details.
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Member News Visit WausauChamber.com for news items, like the ones below, from members.
We Want to Hear from You! Please submit your stories and photos via your Member Information Center login or to Brian Otten at firstname.lastname@example.org. Use of the submitted content will be at the discretion of the Chamber and may be shortened to fit the appropriate platform. Only stories from members in good standing with the Chamber will be used.
WMC announces plan to get Back to Business Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber, manufacturers’ association and safety council – unveiled its Back to Business plan on Friday, the same day Gov. Tony Evers’ initial Safer at Home order expired. The Back to Business plan is designed to strategically open Wisconsin businesses based on a number of risk factors and offers employers a clear vision for when and how they can begin to operate, once again. It was developed with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including those in business, government and the medical community. Additionally, it draws on best practices and recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “We need to protect lives, but we also need to protect livelihoods,” said Kurt Bauer, WMC President & CEO. “A global health crisis has created an economic crisis, and it is time to fight back on both fronts. WMC’s Back to Business plan will provide a path for the state to reopen its economy, while still taking steps to protect the health of Wisconsinites.” Working with a number of partners, WMC developed a prototype that can be quickly adopted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The platform uses an algorithm to determine the risk for an individual business based on a number of factors: • Infection Rate in County of Operation
• Population Density of County of Operation • Interactive Concentration (Based on NAICS Code Business Sector) • Health Care Capacity/Utilization in County of Operation Companies would be given a risk factor of minimal, moderate or substantial based on an in-depth analysis of more than 300 NAICS codes and various data points from public health sources. The higher the risk, the more precautions businesses would be required to take to avoid further spread of COVID-19. Precautions can include, but are not limited to social distancing among employees and customers, operating at reduced capacity, increasing use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and stepping up cleaning procedures. The platform relies on readily available government health data. So, as public health conditions change, it will automatically dial-up or dial-down businesses’ safety requirements – a nimble approach not found in other plans. “This is not flipping a switch, it is turning a dial,” added Bauer. “We cannot just reopen the economy overnight, which is why this plan takes a tactical approach on a business to business and region to region basis. What is right for Milwaukee County might not be right for Vernon County or St. Croix County.” This plan calls for Wisconsin to get Back to Business on Monday, May 4 under the guidelines proposed.
2 0 2 0 -2 0 2 1 R E L O C AT I O N G U I D E
Ad Positions Available!
A Central Location:
Our annual printed relocation guide is an important part of an ongoing effort to attract both people and businesses to our region. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to shape the impression prospective and new residents have of your business by advertising in our next edition, publishing in June 2020. The printed version of this relocation guide will be available at high-traffic locations around the region like banks, realty offices, hotels and more. The online version will be found on the Chamber’s website and will include links to all advertisers’ websites.
The Wausau Regio n is a metropolitan area of more than 79,00 0 residents and is locate d in Marathon Coun ty, Wisconsin’s largest county at more than 1,500 square miles.
DISTANCE FROM WAUSAU: DULUTH ............... .238 MILES (4 h 11 min) EAU CLAIRE ..........99 MILES (1 h 38 min) GREEN BAY ...........97 MILES (1 h 38 min) MADISON ............14 3 MILES (2 h 16 min) MILWAUKEE.......188 MILES (2 h 54 min) MINNEAPOLIS..185 MILES (2 h 56 min) MINOCQUA................... .69 MILES (1 h 10
GREEN BAY 50 MILES
Wausau Whitewater Park Photo by Kelly Puntney
CENTRAL TIME www.wausauchamber.co
To reserve an advertisement in our next edition, visit wausauchamber.com or contact marketing manager Brian Otten at 715-848-5947 or email@example.com.
Rates: Full Page - $600 Bleed - 8.5” x 11” No Bleed - 7.5” x 10”
Half Page - $400 Quarter Page - $300 Horizontal - 7.5” x 4.75” 3.5” x 4.75” Vertical - 3.5” x 10”
Business Card - $150 3.5” x 2.25”
Each month, Wisconsin Central Time NEWS brings you insightful articles, updates, and events about the issues being discussed and the goals being achieved by Marathon County government. Check out the latest articles from Wisconsin Central Time NEWS â€” now in a mobile-friendly format â€” to see how county officials and employees are working to make Marathon County a great place to work, play, live, and do business. View or subscribe at WisconsinCentralTimeNEWS.com.
We're here to keep our communities connected during this time of need.
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The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce's monthly e-newsletter.