MON AM News: Dem National Convention a bust for Brew City bars, eateries; Study finds Dem-leaning companies more likely to score high ESG ratings

— The 2020 Democratic National Convention was once expected to bring an economic boom to bars and restaurants all around the Milwaukee area. 

But with the convention dramatically scaled back and convention organizers asking participants to pledge to avoid area bars and restaurants, even establishments immediately surrounding the current and former convention venues say they expect virtually no impact on business.

The pledge, which organizers put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, has drawn the ire of the Wisconsin Tavern League.

“We are going out of business at a record clip because of this damn pandemic, and we are doing everything humanly possible to provide, safely, for our customers,” said Tavern League lobbyist Scott Stenger. “The last thing we need is some out-of-towner telling them not to go out to restaurants and bars.”

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association in a statement said it is going above and beyond CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services guidelines by working with local health officials to create a set of guidelines to ensure safe reopening. The association said the DNC should encourage patrons to visit local restaurants and bars that have created safe environments. 

“While we applaud the Democratic National Committee for choosing Milwaukee as its convention destination, we were extremely disappointed to learn that the DNC is encouraging attendees to avoid restaurants and bars while visiting, especially considering that restaurants were huge champions in the effort to get the convention to come to Milwaukee,” said Kristine Hillmer, president & CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. 

Read the full story in the Friday Report: 

— Democratic-leaning companies are more likely to have higher environmental, social and governance ratings overall than Republican-leaning companies, according to a study done by Madison-based Goods Unite Us.  

Goods Unite Us, a provider of corporate political donation information and CSRHub, a rating firm, teamed up to analyze how 1,074 public and private companies’ politics correlate with its ratings. 

Democratic-leaning companies are more likely to have higher ratings in three of the four categories: environment, employee and community. The results are not statistically significant for governance, the fourth category. 

The Democratic or Republican lean of companies was determined based on the total donations to each party made by the company and its management and executives since 2013. 

The report states that another potential conclusion is that companies run by Democratic-leaning management and executive teams are more likely to have better employee, community and environmental practices than companies run by Republican-leaning management and executive teams. 

Goods Unite Us and CSRHub plan to jointly release additional reports focusing on how a company’s political lean correlates with other components that make up each category, such as human rights, climate change and philanthropy. It will also explore how companies score in ESG based on support for specific politicians. 

See the report: 

Listen to a podcast with Goods Unite Us Co-founder and CEO Amy Wuest:

— The Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s annual equalized values report shows a 6 percent increase in property values over last year. 

The DOR reports that as of Jan. 1, statewide equaled property values totaled $613 billion, a $32.2 billion increase over 2019. The growth occurred in all property classifications. Market value increases attributed $22.9 billion to the increase while $9.6 billion was due to new construction. 

Counties that saw the largest increase at 9 percent were Racine and St. Croix.

For a breakdown of each property classification and value, see the DOR’s release: 

— Three startup-focused organizations developed an online directory of resources and a calendar of entrepreneur events in order to consolidate a wealth of information available to the Madison region’s emerging and existing small businesses. 

The Madison Region Economic Partnership, StartingBlock Madison and UW-Madison’s Innovate Network led the implementation of “Start in Wisconsin for the Madison Region” to the already existing directory “Start In Wisconsin.”

Aaron Hagar, vice president of the WEDC’s division of entrepreneurship and innovation, said that while the initiative was conceived prior to COVID-19, entrepreneurship is a “key ingredient” to emerging out of the pandemic. 

“The need to offer new ways to connect and communicate is even more important now that we are limited in our face-to-face interactions and events,” Hagar said.

Resources are searchable by zip code, type of business assistance and other categories. 

Nora Roughen-Schmidt, StartingBlock Madison’s new executive director, said the platform also offers opportunities for small businesses, startups and gig economy entrepreneurs to showcase their services. The directory also helps supporting organizations connect to each other.

“Several years ago, we began to envision a tool that would connect community and campus entrepreneurs to the many great entrepreneurial resources in our region,” said Andy Richards, director of the Discovery to Product program at UW-Madison.

“This resource is simple, convenient and up to date, fostering important connections across the entrepreneurial ecosystem of our Region,” said MadREP President Paul Jadin. “Start In Madison Region will support our already attractive innovation and entrepreneurship environment.”

To view the directory, visit and choose the Madison region or visit

— Wisconsin added 685 new COVID-19 cases yesterday after receiving a total of 6,099 tests, bringing the daily percentage of positive tests per total tests to reach its largest peak since the first of May at 11.2 percent.

The seven-day average for percent positive tests has been between 7.7 and 7.8 percent since Friday, also the highest it’s been since early May. 

The cumulative positive tests per total tests is over 5.8 percent and rising, according to DHS’ figures. That continues to be above the 5 percent threshold for which health officials are aiming.

The seven-day average of daily confirmed cases is 741. 

The new cases bring the cumulative case count to 65,741. Meanwhile, 1.6 percent of patients have died and 8.1 percent have been hospitalized.

Over 1.1 million Wisconsinites have been tested. The state has collected even more specimens as some people have been tested multiple times. DHS’ data is based on people tested and excludes multiple tests. 

The state has a capacity for 27,898 tests per day, an increase of 4,000 over the weekend, and has ramped up specimen collection as the capacity has increased. The state collected the most specimens on July 29 at 24,135, but recorded 14,980 people tested.  

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates:

— DHS also recorded 14 new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, bringing the toll to 1,039.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (466), Racine (81), Waukesha (65), Kenosha (60), Brown (55), Dane (39), Rock (26), Walworth (25), Washington (23), Winnebago (19), Ozaukee (18), Grant (16), Waupaca (16), Outagamie (14), Marathon (12), Clark (8), Fond du Lac (8), Sheboygan (8), St. Croix (6), Dodge (5), Jefferson (5), Marinette (5), Eau Claire (4), Forest (4), Pierce (4) and Richland (4). 

Barron, Door and Sauk counties report three deaths each. Adams, Buffalo, Calumet, Columbia, Kewaunee, Monroe, Polk, Taylor, Trempealeau and Wood counties report two deaths each.

Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Green, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marquette, Oconto, Rusk and Waushara counties report one death each.


# The cancellation of the Wisconsin football season will cost the local economy nearly $100 million 

# Coronavirus Pandemic Compounds La Crosse Housing Crisis

# Wisconsin ethanol plant converts to USP alcohol production 



– 44 Percent Of Seneca Foods Employees In Barron County Test Positive For COVID-19 

– Bank Survey: WI Farmland Values Beginning to Rebound 

– Mini-Grants Help With Ag Literacy 

– Yes – Checkoff Dollars Are Working 


– State and local budget pain looms over economy’s future 


– Families priced out of ‘learning pods’ seek alternatives 


– West Nile Virus Found In Ruffed Grouse 


– Foxconn Has Given UW-Madison Only 1 Percent Of $100 Million Pledge 


– Zorba Paster: Probiotics Might Help Mental Health 

– COVID questions: HVAC spread; indoor swimming; national debt 


– Q&A with future American Family CEO Bill Westrate 


– State Appeals Panel Rules Ashland County Taxpayers Aren’t Entitled To A Refund In Tax Dispute 


– U.S. Trustee, creditors committee objecting to Briggs & Stratton’s plans 

– Stock House Brewing Co. finds success with patio dining: Beer Biz MKE 


– Robocall Scam Alert 


– Green Bay CPAC Event Highlights Political Importance Of Northeast Wisconsin 


– Nearly 1 million-square-foot spec industrial building proposed near Amazon facilities in Kenosha 

– Dog food demand drives new jobs, major headquarters expansion for Stella & Chewy’s 


– Departing CEO says Punch Bowl Social likely requires reorganization, or even bankruptcy, to move forward 


– WIAA Approves High School Sports Season Overhauls 


– New Renaissance Hotel opens in Wauwatosa 

– Downtown Milwaukee hotel market felt continued impact of COVID-19 in July 

– First look at virtual DNC setup inside the Wisconsin Center 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

– AFL-CIO: Issues solidarity letter to the workers of the Milwaukee Art Museum 

– UW-Madison Labor Council: Workers to protest for a moral restart