TUE AM News: Grant applications open for small business owners, farmers struggling due to pandemic; Corn, soybean planting ahead of last year

— Two grant program applications are open in order to aid business owners struggling over changes brought on by the pandemic and farmers suffering economic damages as a result of COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 small businesses statewide as part of the ‘We’re All In’ small business grant program, the largest assistance program for small businesses in the WEDC’s history. 

“Many small businesses are struggling to adapt to the changes brought by the pandemic,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said. “The We’re All In small business grants are intended to provide the ‘starter fluid’ to get these economic engines running again.” 

The online application will be open until June 23 at 11:59 p.m. WEDC anticipates releasing the first round of payments by the end of June.

The program, funded primarily by the CARES Act, is designed to encourage small businesses to adopt best practices to keep employees and customers safe, while assisting them with the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include: business interruption, health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent or mortgages and inventory.

Applications are also available for the Wisconsin Farm Support Program that will provide $50 million of relief to farmers that suffered economic damages in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full story at WisBusiness.com: https://www.wisbusiness.com/?p=1452835 

— The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program is open for lender registration.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which is administering the program, says lenders can register and begin making Main Street program loans immediately. Lenders will work directly with businesses to determine eligibility and loan approval.

Businesses must apply for the program loans through a participating lender. The Main Street Lending Program is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but are now facing cash flow interruptions. To support a broad range of businesses, the loans vary from $250,000 to $300 million.

Eligible businesses must have 15,000 or fewer employees or have revenues of $5 billion or less.

The Main Street Lending Program plans to purchase 95 percent of each eligible loan. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, by purchasing 95 percent of the loans, the Federal Reserve will share in the risk that would otherwise need to be absorbed solely by lenders, and will create additional balance sheet capacity for lenders to extend more loans.

See the release: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/federal-reserve-bank-of-boston-federal-reserves-main-street-lending-program-opens-for-lender-registration/ 

— The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change says it will host virtual listening sessions for public input in the upcoming weeks in order to come up with policy recommendations ahead of the 2021-2023 biennial budget.

The listening sessions will include brief presentations about a variety of issues related to the climate crisis and then provide opportunities for members of the public to share any comments and recommendations they may have. Written commentary may be submitted via the task force’s website.

Listening session dates:

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020, noon to 2 p.m. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change is made up of leaders from various industries and communities, but we cannot do this work alone,” Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said. “Input from the public will be vital to developing recommendations that both reflect the will of the people and are informed by our diverse and knowledgeable communities.”

See the release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2020/gov-evers-governors-task-force-on-climate-change-calls-for-public-input/ 

— The Millennial Debt Foundation’s new business-led commission focused on long-term deficit reduction is having its inaugural virtual meeting today. 

The Millennial Debt Commission is made up of 16 millennial business leaders from across the nation, including Rachel Neill, CEO of Carex Consulting out of Madison. The commission will examine the national debt and its long-term consequences through the perspective of its private sector experience.

The nine honorary congressional advisors to the commission include: U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, and Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. 

“For too long, our country has avoided having the difficult discussions needed to address our ever-growing national debt,” Gallagher said. “This commission recognizes that the generations of tomorrow will pay for the irresponsible spending decisions of today, and I have no doubt this group of millennial leaders will utilize their unique backgrounds to help address the fiscal challenges our country faces.”

See the release: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/millennial-debt-foundation-announces-business-led-commission-focused-on-long-term-deficit-reduction/ 

 — Three members are joining the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Board of Trustees. 

WARF says three leading executives in the fields of drug development, computer engineering and corporate innovation have joined the board: Mary Haak-Frendscho, James Thompson and Rebecca House will replace Carol Skornicka, Joan Spero and John Morgridge.

“We are honored to have Mary, James and Becky join the WARF Board of Trustees,” said WARF CEO Erik Iverson. “These three accomplished alumni bring a wealth of expertise – from biotechnology to corporate culture and R&D – that will complement and build upon WARF’s strengths in these and other vital fields.” 

Mary Haak-Frendscho, CEO of Spotlight Therapeutics, a venture-funded, early stage biotech company focused on targeted in vivo gene editing, is looking forward to adding her expertise in life sciences innovation to the board. 

James Thompson serves as the executive vice president of engineering and chief technology officer for Qualcomm Technologies Inc. 

Rebecca House is the senior vice president, chief legal officer and secretary for Rockwell Automation Inc. 

See more in the release below.

— As of yesterday, corn and soybean planting are in the upper ninety percentile for completion, and well ahead of last year. 

Potato planting is 97 percent complete, but five days behind last year and eight days behind the average. 

Despite Wisconsin experiencing its first tropical depression, the week ending June 14 had almost five suitable days for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. After the rain, the rest of the week was cool and sunny, but wet soils kept farmers out of some low-lying fields.

Oats emerging was at 94 percent, winter wheat was 60 percent headed, and all the crops were rated 82 percent or above in good to excellent condition statewide.

But haying and spraying were the major field activities for last week. The first cutting of alfalfa was reported as 75 percent complete, eight days ahead of last year, but one day behind the average. All hay conditions were reported 71 percent in good to excellent condition statewide and pasture condition was rated 79 percent in good to excellent condition, both up from the week before.

— Fifteen Birth to 3 Programs are set to receive $1.2 million in grants from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The Birth to 3 Program is an early intervention program run by counties to support young children who have developmental delays or disabilities. The funds, to be awarded on July 1, are to pilot new efforts to improve outcomes for participating children. 

The grants will allow county programs to explore better ways to address the unique needs of children with developmental disabilities, such as increasing coordination between partners helping children, providing new training for staff and families and using new tools to earlier identify a child’s issues.  

“This collaboration between our state and local programs is expected to produce findings that can be used to shape the future design of early intervention programs across Wisconsin,” said Medicaid Director Jim Jones. 

According to DHS, awardees will report back to the department on measures developed specifically for their projects. DHS will use the results to see what innovations Wisconsin might want to use statewide.

“Positive social and emotional development in infants and toddlers is the foundation for good mental health and well-being throughout life,” Jones said. “The heightened attention in these pilots on infants and toddlers that have experienced abuse and neglect focuses our efforts on our state’s most vulnerable children.” 

The 15 places receiving between $24,000 and $299,000 in grants include: Barron, Chippewa/Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Jackson, Jefferson/Dodge, Kenosha, LaCrosse/Vernon, Milwaukee, Monroe/Columbia/Juneau/Marquette/Adams, Pierce, Polk/St. Croix Chippewa Indians, Sauk, Waukesha, Waupaca and Wood.

See the release: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/dhs-awards-1-2m-to-local-programs-to-support-innovation-in-addressing-the-social-and-emotional-needs-of-children/ 

— The state’s COVID-19 death count is at 694 after Adams and Waukesha counties each had one more death since the previous count.

The number of recovered patients is at an estimated 73 percent, while 3 percent of patients have died. Twenty-four percent are still in a 30-day waiting period of symptom onset or diagnosis.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (350), Racine (54), Brown (38), Kenosha (36), Waukesha (35), Dane (30), Rock (21), Walworth (17), Ozaukee (13), Grant (12), Washington (11), Winnebago (9), Outagamie (8), Fond du Lac (6), Clark (4), Dodge (4), Jefferson (4), Richland (4) and Sheboygan (4).

Door, Marinette, Sauk and Waupaca counties report three deaths each. Adams, Buffalo, Calumet and Forest counties report two deaths each.

Bayfield, Burnett, Columbia, Green, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Polk and Wood counties report one death each.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: https://www.wispolitics.com/wisconsin-coronavirus-resources/

— Plus, new COVID-19 cases number 174 — the lowest new daily case count since May 31.

That brings the cumulative case count to 22,932.

The seven-day average of new cases has been declining since June 8. However, the positive tests as a percentage of total tests rose slightly to 2.8 percent from 2.6 percent yesterday.

The state reported 6,255 total tests today, far short of the state’s daily lab capacity of 16,668 tests.

To date, the state has administered over 426,000 tests, with the Wisconsin National Guard responsible for administering almost 128,000 of those.

The National Guard has ongoing coronavirus testing sites statewide, supporting the state’s initiative to increase COVID-19 testing. A total of 25 specimen collection teams made up of nearly 600 citizen soldiers and airmen are involved in the mobile testing sites.

Community-based testing sites are located at Alliant Energy Center in Dane County, United Migrant Opportunity Services and Custer Stadium in Milwaukee County, Horlick High School in Racine County, .

The Guard is conducting site-based testing at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Columbia County, Dodge County Correctional Institution, Kenosha Correctional Center in Kenosha County, and senior living facilities in Oostburg and Sheboygan Falls in Sheboygan County.

See the Guard’s release on its role in the state’s response to coronavirus: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/wisconsin-national-guard-conducts-mobile-testing-at-sites-around-the-state/ 

— COVID-19 hospital patients statewide continue to decline, now numbering 284, the lowest since April 4.

About three quarters of those patients — 201 — are in southeastern Wisconsin, which is also seeing its lowest number since April 2.

According to data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the state’s COVID-19 ICU patients are at 100 and COVID-19 inpatients with pending tests number 196, both less than the week before.

Of the state’s confirmed cases, 13 percent have been hospitalized and 3 percent have received intensive care, according to DHS.

The department also reports that 30 or fewer patients are in each of the six other public health regions of the state.

WHA data show that statewide, Wisconsin seems to have a stable and adequate supply of beds and ventilators. Hospitals have a total of 1,267 ventilators and 309 ventilated patients.

ICU beds immediately available in the state number 411 out of 1,482 total in Wisconsin; intermediate care beds — 188 out of 1,193; surgical beds — 1,478 out of 7,210; and isolation beds — beds in negative pressure rooms meant for isolating patients — 1,024 out of 1,920.

— But hospitals continue to lack personal protective equipment for health care workers.

The WHA data show that 30 hospitals have a seven-day or less supply of face shields, 40 have a limited supply of goggles, 32 have limited N95 masks, 35 have a limited supply of gowns and 29 hospitals have limited paper medical masks.

Health care workers account for about 10 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases — 2,224.


# Milwaukee Common Council exploring 10% cut in police budget in response to protests 


# Wisconsin joins lawsuit to block new Title IX rule 


# Harley-Davidson knocked off S&P 500 


#  Potential COVID-19 vaccine Produced at Catalent’s Madison facility 




– Abigail Martin Reflects Back on Her Year as ‘Alice’ http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=639&yr=2020 

– New Leader Of State Ag Agency https://www.wpr.org/new-leader-state-ag-agency 

– Ground beef sold at Walmart stores recalled https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/food/2020/06/14/walmart-ground-beef-recall-marketside-butcher-thomas-farms/3187070001/ 

– Equity Closes Marion Location Permanently https://www.midwestfarmreport.com/2020/06/15/equity-closes-marion-location-permanently/ 

– Rising Milk Sales Bust “Death of Dairy” Myth https://www.midwestfarmreport.com/2020/06/15/rising-milk-sales-bust-death-of-dairy-myth/ 


– Farm and Industry Short Course moves online for one year https://news.cals.wisc.edu/2020/06/15/farm-and-industry-short-course-moves-online-for-one-year/ 


– Local, cell data: EC County doing worse on social distancing https://www.leadertelegram.com/covid-19/local-cell-data-ec-county-doing-worse-on-social-distancing/article_8b4116ac-8a85-5dbb-bef9-bdb6266b4ac9.html 

– No, COVID-19 particle is not too small for N95 masks to filter https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/jun/15/facebook-posts/claim-n95-masks-cant-stop-covid-19-particles-due-s/ 

– La Crosse County confirms 7 new cases, several downtown bars listed as at-risk businesses https://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/la-crosse-county-confirms-7-new-cases-several-downtown-bars-listed-as-at-risk-businesses/article_4834219c-bb0b-5477-8868-f5f967223398.html

– UW-Milwaukee sewage research could better predict coronavirus outbreaks https://biztimes.com/uw-milwaukee-sewage-research-could-better-predict-coronavirus-outbreaks/ 


– Wisconsin LGTBQ Groups Celebrate US Supreme Court Decision Banning Workplace Discrimination https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-lgtbq-groups-celebrate-us-supreme-court-decision-banning-workplace-discrimination 

– Evers staffer who secretly recorded call may have committed felony, according to attorney https://lacrossetribune.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/evers-staffer-who-secretly-recorded-call-may-have-committed-felony-according-to-attorney/article_88ac4413-2e7f-5afc-8afe-0fa6340838e8.html


– Protests against police put $454 million in military gear under spotlight



– Metro Milwaukee home sales dipped significantly in May https://biztimes.com/metro-milwaukee-home-sales-dipped-significantly-in-may/ 


– Dane County Cracks Door Wider On Coronavirus Restrictions https://www.wpr.org/dane-county-cracks-door-wider-coronavirus-restrictions

– Attorney General Josh Kaul Discusses Protests https://www.wpr.org/attorney-general-josh-kaul-discusses-protests 

– Task force to address police transparency in Eau Claire https://www.leadertelegram.com/entertainment/local-entertainment/task-force-to-address-police-transparency-in-eau-claire/article_797af850-562f-5071-aad9-1aece9e975f7.html 


– Ho-Chunk to reopen BRF casino June 29 https://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/ho-chunk-to-reopen-brf-casino-june-29/article_40181487-be5d-55a0-8d31-3f068f0666f4.html 

– Fond du Lac County Fair Ready To Go https://www.midwestfarmreport.com/2020/06/15/fond-du-lac-county-fair-ready-to-go/ 


– Green Bay survey: Travelers ready to return, but they want a clean airport https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/2020/06/15/green-bay-survey-travelers-ready-return-but-want-clean-airport/5341467002/ 


– Report: Wisconsin utilities on track for 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2026 https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/report-wisconsin-utilities-on-track-for-40-reduction-in-carbon-emissions-by-2026/article_32a9f781-9b76-5a56-a82e-db3baec2c6f4.html


– InsideWis: Signs of life in the investment community as angels, VCs pivot https://wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/insidewis-signs-of-life-in-the-investment-community-as-angels-vcs-pivot/ 


<i>See these and other press releases: 

http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82 </i>

– WARF: Board welcomes three new trustees https://www.wisbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/200615-WARF.pdf 

– WEDC: Applications open until June 23 for $75M ‘We’re All In’ Small Business Grants https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/wedc-applications-open-until-june-23-for-75m-were-all-in-small-business-grants/