FRI AM News: “WisBusiness: the Podcast” with Hilary Stohs-Krause, board member for Forward Festival; WMC survey highlights supply chain issues, cybersecurity

— The latest episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Hilary Stohs-Krause, co-owner and senior developer at Ten Forward Consulting in Madison and a board member for Forward Festival. 

The 12th annual technology and entrepreneurship festival began yesterday and runs through Aug. 19, with dozens of events throughout the Madison area. 

Stohs-Krause discusses what’s new with the event, as well as her involvement in the area’s tech community. 

“The events are really dictated by the community. So pieces of Forward Fest happen all over the Madison area — downtown, east side, west side, suburbs, within tech buildings, within community spaces, parks,” she said. “Everything goes as long as what you’re doing matches the mission and value of Forward Fest.” 

She explains the festival’s “broad and inclusive” approach to presenting technology and startup discussions, aimed at fostering cross-discipline connections and collaboration. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See more podcasts: 

And see the full list of Forward Fest events: 

— A recent survey from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce found nearly 90 percent of responding businesses experienced delays or other issues with their supply chains. 

Of the businesses that experienced disruptions, 90 percent said the cost of supplies had increased over the past 12 months. Some employers changed suppliers, produced more products themselves or canceled product lines due to supply chain issues. 

The survey also highlights concerns among business leaders related to cybersecurity, as more than half of respondents said they experienced some form of cyber-attacks in the past year. These included phishing emails, malware and other threats to digital security. 

In response to these threats, 70 percent of respondents said they’re increasing employee education efforts related to cybersecurity. And 68 percent have updated their IT protocols, while 50 percent said they’ve conducted cybersecurity audits. 

The survey was conducted by WMC over the first three weeks of June and tapped 266 employers from around the state. 

See more survey results: 

— A report from Congress’ Joint Economic Committee found the pandemic child tax credit injected more than $328 million into Wisconsin’s economy in July.

The families of over 1 million Wisconsin children received a total of more than $262 million and an average of $443 per qualifying child through the program after it was expanded through the American Rescue Plan Act, according to U.S. Treasury data. The JEC report said an estimated 1.25 multiplier on that total represents the financial impact generated as people used their funds.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore said the report “proves that giving families a tax cut is a win-win.”

“These dollars are helping families in a big way, putting money in their pockets to pay bills, childcare, and buy essentials like back-to-school clothes and supplies,” the Milwaukee Dem said in a statement. “And our economy is receiving a major boost from these investments in our families.”

The next round of monthly child tax credit payments are scheduled to be released by Friday.

Read the press release:

— Health officials and Gov. Tony Evers are stressing the seriousness of the delta variant as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise in the state. 

“Folks, this delta variant is no joke. It is highly infectious and is spreading more quickly than any other strain of virus,” Evers said yesterday during a call with reporters. “We are no longer in the fight against COVID-19. This is now a fight against the delta variant and all the potential variants that could follow.” 

He urged state residents to get vaccinated, noting it’s the best way to get protected against the delta variant. The State Laboratory of Hygiene has identified 693 cases of the delta variant in Wisconsin. 

Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk explained how the delta variant spreads more quickly than other strains of the virus. With the original strain, an infected person is likely to infect two other people who each go on to infect two more people, for a total of six additional cases from one initial infection. 

“With the delta variant, an infected person is likely to infect five people, who are likely to infect 25 people for a total of 30 cases from one infection,” she said. “You can easily see how this variant will spread like wildfire.” 

The state’s seven-day average for new cases was 1,104 yesterday, which is double the number from two weeks ago and 11 times higher than one month ago, Willems Van Dijk said. 

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reports 567 people in the state are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 161 people are in the ICU. Both of those numbers have increased significantly in recent weeks. 

“We find ourselves in a situation that we hoped was in the past,” Willems Van Dijk said. “We risk our hospital systems being overwhelmed again, just as they were last November.” 

As of yesterday, 86.8 percent of the state’s hospital beds and 89.5 percent of ICU beds were in use. 

“Our state and our people are resilient, but it’s going to take all of us working together to get this done,” Evers said. “Let’s roll up our sleeves, let’s get vaccinated, and let’s come out of this stronger on the other side.” 

The DHS site shows 53 percent of the state’s total population have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 49.9 percent are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On the national level, 59.1 percent of the U.S. population have gotten at least one dose, and 50.3 percent are fully vaccinated. 

See the latest case numbers here: 

See the WHA dashboard here: 

— The UW School of Medicine and Public Health has been selected for the kidCOVE clinical trial, which will study the effectiveness of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in children. 

“This vaccine is identical to the one given to adults today, but this trial will help us determine the correct dosage for kids,” said Dr. William Hartman, co-principal investigator for the study at UW Health. 

Up to 100 different sites across the United States and Canada will be involved in the study. American Family Children’s Hospital will be the study site in Madison. 

Enrollment in the study will begin today for children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years. Enrollment is “very limited,” according to a release, and determined by both age and medical eligibility. 

Participants in the study will be grouped into three age ranges: 6 months to under 2 years old; 2 years old to under 6 years old; and 6 years old to under 12 years old. Up to 4,000 children will be enrolled in each age group across all the study sites. 

The clinical trial will last 14 months and participants will have at least four follow-up appointments. Children taking part will get either the Moderna vaccine or a placebo, but won’t know which they received. 

See more on the study: 

— Outreach Community Health Centers has announced it will build a $15 million facility connected to its existing clinic in Milwaukee. 

The addition will be used to provide behavioral health and primary care services for the city’s “uninsured, underinsured and homeless populations,” according to a release. Construction is expected to begin spring 2022, and it’s planned to be open in summer 2023. 

Programs currently operating out of a separate building in Milwaukee will be housed at the new facility once it’s up and running. 

“Consolidating into one location will position our organization to effectively respond to the critical needs of our community, while delivering the highest quality care,” said Constance Palmer, president and CEO for Outreach Community Health Centers. 

See more project details: 


# From home gyms to bonus rooms, Parade of Homes to showcase new builds with pandemic-inspired features

# Pandemic inflation trends put Wisconsin businesses, consumers under pressure

# US Venture Open returns to northeast Wisconsin golf courses, raises $4.1 million to help nonprofits



– Top seller at State Fair Market Auction brings $47,500 (again)


– Gov. Evers Announces State Building Commission Approves More than $92 Million in Projects Across Wisconsin

– Wisconsin Center expansion groundbreaking may start early; site prep underway


– Gov. Tony Evers hands $50 million to child care providers and education-based nonprofits


– Natural Resources Board sets wolf season quota at 300


– From taxes, to roads to schools. How does the Wisconsin state budget affect daily life?


– Vaccinating during pregnancy has become even more urgent as ICU beds fill up

– UW Health to study COVID-19 vaccine in younger children


– Tyson Foods is closing down its facility in Jefferson


– Census numbers kick off Wisconsin redistricting battle

–  Report: Sen. Ron Johnson pushed for tax break benefiting megadonors


– Young entrepreneur who founded Exit 7C startup fleeced mentors and investors out of millions, feds say


– Marquette men’s basketball sticks with 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee including Shaka Smart show

– Former Badgers star and Colts running back Jonathan Taylor gives financial advice to Urban Underground youths


– Irish Fest going cashless, won’t implement Covid-19 vaccine protocol for entry


– At least 60,000 people are still without power after Wisconsin’s severe storms; Thursday will be another hot day, forecasters say


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

WEDC: Fun, food and financial benefits ease workforce challenges

WMC: Supply chain disruption, cyber threats challenge Wisconsin businesses