THU AM News: U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Trade is part of economic recovery; Health official asks locals to continue mask orders

— A U.S. Chamber of Commerce representative says trade will affect the economic recovery as the world comes out of the global pandemic.

“This is going to be the year of economic recovery. But I wholeheartedly believe that trade has to be a component of that, in addition to what we do with the COVID relief packages for small business, things of that nature,” said Kris Denzel, the senior director of international policy at the national chamber.

Denzel spoke to Wisconsin traders yesterday during an MMAC World Trade Association virtual event. He said Biden’s approach will not include trade barriers, but opening up new markets.

Denzel said the Biden administration is focusing its efforts on mending trade relationships and building multilateral relationships with U.S. allies. But signals from D.C. indicate new trade deals or a change in tariffs won’t happen within the first year.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said this week the U.S. won’t be lifting import tariffs with China anytime soon. Denzel said the China tariffs will remain in place during the administration’s trade and policy review process.

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— Wisconsin’s top health official is asking locals to continue mask orders after the state Supreme Court overturned the latest public health emergency supporting a mandate.

The court ruled 4-3 yesterday along philosophical lines that Gov. Tony Evers exceeded his authority in issuing multiple public health emergencies over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic without getting legislative approval.

While the ruling struck down the statewide mask order, it doesn’t impact directives from local health officials.

“We will continue to follow the science in our statewide response, and we’re asking you to do the same by doing everything in your power to support the adoption or continuation of mask orders in your jurisdiction,” DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said in a  statement after the ruling.

But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, declared: “People and businesses are free to make decisions based on what’s best for them and don’t need state government telling them how to live their lives.”

The ruling comes just before Evers’ latest mask mandate was set to expire Monday, the same day all Wisconsinites age 16 and over will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It also comes as the state has warned about signs of a new surge in cases. Wisconsin reported 563 COVID-19 cases coming into today and 10 deaths from the virus. The seven-day average for daily confirmed cases is 470, down from 501 Tuesday.

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— A Twin Cities-based resale company announced expansion of its territory in southeastern Wisconsin. 

Windmark Brand, which owns Once Upon A Child, Plato’s Closet, Play It Again Sports and Style Encore franchise locations, has expanded to Sheboygan markets. 

“While the past year has been challenging for many retail brands, Windmark’s resale retail franchise brands saw growth and with our expansion of franchise opportunities in Sheboygan, Wisc., we expect that growth to continue,” Windmark Brand Franchising President Renae Gaudette said.

The company said current and new franchisees who have an interest in opening stores in the Sheboygan area should apply online.

— Grocery chain Hy-Vee, which owns stores in the Madison area, donated a semi-truck load full of 12,000 boxes of cereal this week to a foodbank in southern Wisconsin.

Hy-Vee donated the boxes of Green Bay Packers star running back Aaron Jones’ Touchdown Squares cereal to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. The cereal is expected to help feed more than 125,000 people experiencing hunger in the region. 

“Donations like this are key to our ability to feed those facing hunger in our community,” said Michelle Orge, president and CEO of Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. “Hy-Vee has been a tremendous partner with Second Harvest over the years. This is just one more example of their commitment to making our community a better place to live for everyone!”

— Plymouth-based Sartori Cheese has partnered with Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby to make a $47,000 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Wisconsin chapter. 

Sartori donates $1,000 for each of Crosby’s regular-season goals and $1,500 for each post-season completed field goal. Crosby completed a perfect 2020 season converting all regular and postseason kicks, which resulted in $22,000 in donations. This is the 10th consecutive season Sartori partnered with the star kicker.

“We are so proud to work with Mason and Make-A-Wish Wisconsin,” Sartori Chairman Jim Sartori said. “We hope these efforts bring comfort, hope and joy to children facing critical illnesses and their families.”

Sartori has donated an additional $25,000 to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin in honor of the company’s employees’ work during the pandemic. Over the past ten seasons, the company’s partnership with Crosby has raised a total of $300,000 for Make-A-Wish.


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– Dane Co. extends “Farm to Foodbank” program, adds more funding

– Wisconsin Dairy Marketing Group Nationally Recognized For ‘Cheeselandia’ Social Media Campaign


– Johnson Bank branch at MarketPlace to permanently close


– Forward BIOLABS brings the perks of co-working to the lab


– DOT Highway Construction Plans for 2021

– Tribute Portfolio hotel planned at The Corners of Brookfield


– Wisconsin Dells School District set for $4.8 million operating referendum

– Voter’s guide: Kerr, Underly differ on choice schools, diversifying workforce as state superintendent race hits home stretch


– Enbridge spill is problem for Fort neighbors, environment


– Technology, COVID reshape joint finance hearings

– Wisconsin and Voya Investment Management Reduce Fees on Tomorrow’s Scholar 529 Program


– Apple supplier Foxconn warns that component shortages will last until 2022 


– Wisconsin Hospital Association discusses what they have learned and been through in the last year

– Report: Wisconsin Ranks High Among Public Health Emergency Preparedness–wisconsin-ranks-high-among-public-health-emergency-preparedness


– Supreme Court strikes down Governor’s mask order and health declarations


– Milwaukee Tool is planning to expand its operations to downtown Milwaukee. That could bring up to 2,000 jobs to the city.


– Republicans keep grip on Legislature despite Democratic spending spree

– ‘Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over:’ Gov. Evers responds to Supreme Court decision

– Elections chief: No complaints about Green Bay consultant


– Two plans would develop over 700 apartments near Wauwatosa’s village and Mayfair mall. The Plan Commission reviews them in April.

– Milwaukee unsuccessful in $35 million federal grant application for near west side


– When will Milwaukee-area companies reopen offices? Hint: summer


– Jefferson County Agri-Business Club receives Farm Tech grant


– Ag, transportation work together to strengthen state

– Plans For Second Passenger Rail Line From Chicago To Twin Cities Chugging Along


– Kristin Schrank: Wolf hunt will harm Wisconsin’s environment


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