From WisBusiness.com …
— Some 43 percent of those surveyed in a new WISC-TV poll believe the economy will worsen this year, while about the same (42 percent) think it will remain the same and 14 percent say it will improve.
The Channel 3 survey, which polled 600 likely voters, was conducted by Research 2000. It has a margin of error of 4 percent.
According to the survey, men are less pessimistic about the economy. Only 38 percent said it would worsen, while 40 percent said it would stay the same and 21 percent said it would improve.
By contrast, 48 percent of women said they believe the economy will worsen, while 44 percent said it would remain the same and 7 percent said it would get better.
— More than a few Wisconsinites are getting a little tired of winter, wishing it were May and the flowers were out.
Not Vicky Baumann, operations manager of the Granite Peak Ski Area in Rib Mount State Park.
“The way we look at it, this winter has been exceptionally good and our numbers are up well over last year,” said Baumann, whose resort has 500 snowguns to make snow when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.
But Mother Nature is more than doing her part, with many places in the Badger State breaking snowfall records – to the dismay of some and delight of others.
— Domtar has officially notified the state that it plans to close its Port Edwards pulp and paper making mill in June and lay off 500 workers. The company originally made the announcement in December and the state Workforce Development Department has been working to assist the affected employees and their families since then.
The Canada-based company said bumping rights exist for roughly 90 employees who are represented by two unions, USW Local 50 and OPEIU, Local 95. Domtar said the closing will be permanent and that the decision to shut it down is the result of a declining market. A spokesman said the company will shift production to more efficient plants.
— Milwaukee ranks as one of the least-prepared metropolitan markets in the country for the Feb. 18, 2009, conversion of television from analog to digital signals, according to a new survey by the Nielsen Company.
Nielsen released the results of its digital readiness survey at its annual client meeting on audience management in Las Vegas.
Milwaukee ranks 51st among the 56 markets surveyed. According to the report, less than 20 percent of the homes surveyed in the Milwaukee market would be able to receive digital signals if the change was enacted today.
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Air Wisconsin Reports January Traffic
Badger Meter Declares Dividend And Elects New Officers
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Plexus Announces Vp Of Global Human Resources
Research Team Examines The Challenges Of Coexistence Between Humans, Wolves
State “Young Entrepreneurs Of The Year” Announced
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Poll: Democrats, Republicans at odds over statewide smoking ban: A new poll asked likely voters whether they would support a statewide smoking ban for all bars, restaurants, and workplaces in Wisconsin, and support for the idea was split along party lines. Among Democrats polled, 69 percent said they were in favor of the ban, with 19 percent against and 12 percent undecided. Among Republicans polled, 36 percent were in favor of the ban, 56 percent were against, and 8 percent said they were undecided. About 56 percent of voters declaring themselves as independents were in favor of the ban while 33 percent were against and 11 percent said they were undecided.
Dairy subsidy could be issue for candidates: Wisconsin has received a half billion dollars — more than twice as much as any other state — from a federal subsidy meant to help out dairy farmers struggling with low milk prices. Should farmers keep that safety net? Both Democratic presidential candidates think so. In a tough 2004 re-election fight, Republican President Bush said he, too, would support renewing the program in spite of its cost to taxpayers. But this year ‘s GOP frontrunner, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, says he can ‘t do that.
No fizzle in this area housing boom; Milwaukee north side neighborhoods buck national trend:
As the national housing market provides a seemingly endless flow of bad news, some local home builders are focusing on an unlikely hot spot: a central city neighborhood on Milwaukee’s north side. … “We’re very optimistic, despite the obvious turmoil in the housing market,” said Sally Peltz, Legacy Redevelopment president. “If you build the right product in the right place, the market will find it.” Buyers for central-city housing developments tend to be African-American families seeking affordable, newly built homes near downtown. Some are city employees who are required to live in Milwaukee. Other buyers could live elsewhere but are choosing these neighborhoods because they’re close to downtown jobs and attractions and are part of a surge of new residential development.
Milwaukee could get some Olympic gold; City could host athletes, but some frustrated by lack of marketing effort: Milwaukee may become a training ground for Olympic athletes if Chicago is the winning bidder for the 2016 Olympic Summer games. While the Milwaukee area has done little to market itself as a prime location for athletes, trainers and their fans, an official with the nonprofit organization working to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago considers Milwaukee a logical location for teams to train four to eight weeks prior to the Olympics. This would allow the athletes to become acclimated to weather in the Midwest, but far enough removed from the Olympic buzz in Chicago, said Patrick Sandusky, a spokesman for Chicago 2016, the group organizing Chicago’s Olympic bid.
ABC Supply names successor to Hendricks: ABC Supply Co. Inc. has appointed president David Luck to the additional post of chief executive officer, succeeding Ken Hendricks. Hendricks, ABC Supply’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, died after suffering a massive head injury as a result of a fall at a construction site at his home. He was 66 years old. Luck joined ABC Supply as president and chief operating officer in July 1998.
White is golden for ski shops, snow services: … While the winter of “aught-eight” has left some with the blues, it has also proven a tremendous boost for anything snow-related. From hardware stores and plowing services to ski shops and snowmobile clubs, you can find plenty of smiles amid the grumbling. The biggest challenge, business owners say, is just keeping up with demand.
‘Good deal’ might not be real: The Milwaukee area has seen a spate of furniture store closings in recent years as mom-and-pop furniture retailers across the country have been wounded by competition from low-priced Chinese imports. Most of the sales here, like others nationwide, have been conducted by liquidation firms that bring in merchandise for the sale. “It’s probably 80% of the time,” said Britt Beemer, who leads America’s Research Group in Charleston, S.C., and does consulting work for furniture retailers. “They do about a year’s worth of business in three months.” … Retailers who use liquidators typically don’t want to talk about the arrangements. One who spoke on background referred to the liquidation business as “the dark side.”
WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS
– GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com
– TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council
– JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group
– STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times
– TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant
TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– [WARF, Intel] Patent tug-of-war waged in Congress
ECONOMY (back to top)
– Candidates all over map on tax policy
– Tech colleges gain as economy suffers
MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Bucyrus gears up to meet demand
– Demand, acquisition boost Bucyrus earnings
– Sheboygan: Fire does $100,000 damage to paint firm
LABOR (back to top)
– Port Edwards: Severance pay considered
SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Free Wi-Fi: Businesses find it’s smart to keep customers connected
– Eau Claire: Local product aims to improve manual dexterity
INVESTING (back to top)
– Wells fund sees value in retail stocks
– File return to get rebate, IRS says
– Kit and caboodle for saving keeps it simple
– Analysts see bear market
REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Renters caught in middle of mortgage mess
– Expert: Home crisis initiatives won’t help
AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Nationally Known Wisconsin Cheese Marketer Buys Tennessee “Cannabis Cave” To Create Agri-Tourism Opportunities
TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– AirTran sees mergers as a way to gain gates
RETAIL (back to top)
– Whole Foods Market says, “B.Y.O.B.”
– Wilsons to close many mall stores
– State is full of Old-Fashioned girls and guys
– Maker finds customers hungry for natural dog treats
TOURISM (back to top)
– Wausau: Tourism group gets advice
– Tourism secretary ‘wowed’ by Beloit
– Tourism to get lift from China
UTILITIES (back to top)
– Kewaunee [nuclear plant] security contractor replaced
– Wood County to consider water plan change
HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Proposed reforms must also address rising health care costs, leaders say
– Candidates get specific on health care
FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– A very good year for Northwestern Mutual, CEO
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