MON AM News: Shuttered venues still waiting for federal relief; DHS OKs taking off the mask in some cases

— After more than a year without revenue, some shuttered entertainment venues could see federal relief dollars this week.

But others are still looking at a six-week wait or longer.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was signed into law Dec. 27. The SBA opened up the application portal more than three months later on April 8, but it crashed on its opening day. Within 4.5 hours, the SBA took it down without accepting applications. 

Wisconsin venues were finally able to apply for federal aid just two weeks ago. 

“And now we continue to wait,” said Gary Witt, executive director of the Pabst Theater Group. “All this while we continue to wait related to news about opening processes in our state as we watch states and cities around us announce planned and strategized opening dates.”

The checks for the most needy venues — those that have lost 90 percent or more of their revenue over 2019 — are supposed to come within the next 14 days.

“At this point the delay is devastating, as the small businesses that Congress intended to save are going under as they wait for the emergency relief,” Witt said. “More businesses are going to have to call it quits because they cannot hold out any longer, all the while $16 billion is waiting to save them.”

Read the full story at 

— Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services supports the CDC recommendations that fully vaccinated people can go without masks in some cases.

On Thursday, the CDC released updated guidance that fully vaccinated people can resume activities they did before the pandemic, including participating in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

“The science is clear: if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic,” said DHS Secretary Karen Timberlake in a release. “For vaccinated people, this means returning to the Wisconsin way of life we all enjoy.”

The new guidance does recommend everyone to mask up when required by local jurisdictions or businesses, and in crowded areas, such as in health care settings, K-12 schools, correctional and detention facilities, homeless shelters and public transportation.

See the CDC guidance: 

— COVID-19 data from DHS show Wisconsinites under 18 have been leading all other age groups for raw weekly case counts for the last 12 weeks.

Early data from DHS show that those under 18 brought in more confirmed cases — 3,070 — than any other age group for the past month. This was followed by residents aged 25-34, who had 2,057 confirmed cases in the last four weeks. 

Wisconsin started seeing an upward curve in daily case averages in early March when the average was at a 2021 low of around 360 cases per day. By mid-April, that had more than doubled but has since gone down to 448 cases per day on average as of Sunday.

The 25-34 age group leads for the most COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. That group has led since mid-October. 

Last week was the 14th consecutive week the 65 and older group had the least amount of new cases of any other age group. But individuals under the age of 18 account for the least amount of cumulative confirmed cases of all other age groups.

<i>For more of the most relevant news on the coronavirus outbreak, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin and links to top stories, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and

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— More than 4 percent of Wisconsin residents ages 12-15 have started their vaccine series. The Pfizer vaccine was cleared for this age group less than a week ago.

And over 28 percent of the 16-17 age group has started their series, also with the Pfizer vaccine. 

Meanwhile, more than 39 percent Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19; over 45 percent have at least started their series.

Wisconsin has put more than 4.8 million COVID-19 shots in people’s arms. 

Seventy-eight percent of Wisconsin’s 65 and older population are fully protected against COVID-19; 82.8 percent have started the series.

Listen to the latest Midday podcast for more vaccine updates: 

— The Madison International Trade Association is hosting two webinars in June — one focused on Brexit and another on foreign trade regulations.

“Brexit Bonus” on June 3 focuses on Brexit from a local perspective highlighting the impacts on Wisconsin companies. This event is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. From the Commonwealth & Development Office at the British Consulate in Chicago, Senior Trade Policy Advisory Melissa Wooten and First Secretary Freya Macknight will discuss the U.K.-U.S. free trade agreement and trading relationship.


The “Ins and Outs of Exporter Responsibilities and Liabilities under the Foreign Trade Regulations” is June 8 from 1-2 p.m. 

Hydro-Thermal Corp. International Sales Representative Henrietta Bogyay, ME Dey Corp. Export Manager Brian Shea and Milwaukee U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service Director Koreen Grube will navigate the key requirements of the Foreign Trade Regulations.


See a recent story on Brexit: 

— has a new trade policy page to help you track events, news and developments that affect trade and the economy in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

See it here:

— Green Bay-based Schneider has released its first annual corporate responsibility report with an emphasis on energy-efficiency. 

Schneider’s goals include being carbon neutral in all company-owned facilities and reducing carbon emissions by 60 percent per mile by 2035. The trucking company also aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7.5 percent per mile by 2025. 

In the report, Schneider notes that the sustainable future of trucking is electric. 

“We are testing electrified powertrains, developing strategic electric vehicle adoption plans and building relationships with key stakeholders and industry partners,” the company said of its efforts to reduce emissions from its fleet directly. 

See the report: 

— For more developments in green energy, environmental issues and related policy proposals, visit WisBiz Green in the right-hand column at

To get a weekly feed of WisBiz Green highlights, sign up here:

— The MKE Tech Hub coalition has released a data dashboard giving insight on the tech ecosystem in Milwaukee. 

“This dashboard creates visibility and transparency into our current state and measures progress against our goals,” said CEO Kathy Henrich. “We also want to provide context as combined data points help us understand root causes and holistic value propositions that enable us to take the next best action.” 

See the dashboard: 

— State ginseng growers have until June 15 to vote to elect three new members to the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. 

The nominees are Joe Heil of Edgar, David Schumacher of Marathon and Meilyn Xiong of Wausau. 

Eligible growers can vote for the nominated growers or write in other eligible producers. Elected producers will serve three-year terms beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2024.

The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin is composed of seven at-large producers that are responsible for securing and distributing funding for research, education and promotion of Wisconsin-grown ginseng.

— RSVP for the Thursday virtual event: “Summer Tourism Outlook: How will Wisconsin take advantage of a post-pandemic visitor surge?”

Join Thursday for a virtual lunch hour event featuring three tourism leaders — Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers, Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association President and CEO Bill Elliott and Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions President Tom Diehl. The trio will discuss the state of the tourism industry in Wisconsin and how the political, health and economic climates may influence what Wisconsin’s robust tourism industry will look like this summer.

The program is set to run via webinar from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 20.

The event will begin with a moderated panel discussion and then shift to questions from the audience.

We will send you a link to access the webinar on the morning of the event.

Register here:

This event is sponsored by Madison Gas and Electric Company, University Research Park, Wisconsin Technology Council and The Phelps Hamus Group.


# Dane County No. 1 in COVID-19 vaccination among large U.S. counties

# Tariff decision means jobs and upgrades for Stoughton Trailers

# Workforce shortage challenges reemerge as Wisconsin businesses dig out of the pandemic



– Wisconsin Farmland Values Trending Higher From Last Year 

– DATCP to Survey for Gypsy Moth in 47 Counties 


– U.S. Bank maps out return to office plans 


– Wisconsin Nears 40 Percent Fully Vaccinated Population As DHS Data Lags 


– Survey suggests downtown Milwaukee workers are coming back faster than in other cities 


– National Anthem Mandate For Sports Passes Assembly 


– Mandel Group’s ‘M10’ building redevelopment in Wauwatosa an expansion opportunity for its retail tenants 


– City of Milwaukee to lift capacity restrictions for businesses 


– Why Steinhafels Furniture transitioned to employee ownership 

– Pick ‘n Save parent Kroger to still require masks in its stores 


– Brewers games will return to full fan capacity next month 


– Scooter operators Bird, Lime and Spin selected for Milwaukee’s next pilot program 

– United Airlines adding hard seltzer, wine and beer sales to longer flights 


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

– UW-Extension, DATCP: Create new monthly resilient farms and families newsletter

– Fox Cities Chamber: Bazaar After Dark, License to Cruise and Appleton’s Octoberfest return to Fox Cities social calendar

– Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Ginseng board of Wisconsin election period now open

– Prosperity Partners, Prospera Credit Union: Free retirement income planning seminar