FRI AM News: Pandemic spurs boom in bicycle business; WisBusiness: the Podcast with David Reeves, executive-in-residence at Marquette University

— For nearly as far back as he can remember, Jay Feely wanted to own his own bike shop. 

Which may have had something to do with being hauled around in a cart behind his parent’s bicycles as a youngster.

The 30-year-old Feely finally made that happen in April when he opened his store on the 2600 block of Monroe Street about one mile southwest of Camp Randall Stadium on the UW-Madison campus. The former racer is part of two pandemic trends — a rise in business startups and renewed interest in bicycling.

He calls Destination Bicycle a “community” shop, with many customers coming from the Dudgeon-Monroe and Vilas neighborhoods near Edgewood College and West High School. He sells Soma, Roll, Surly and All-City bicycles (the latter three Midwestern companies), gear and mechanical services.

“My parents and I rode the Sparta-Elroy bike trails and did trips all over Wisconsin,” said Feely, who left a bike mechanic job to open his own storefront. “For their wedding, my dad gave my mom a bike.”

Feely is just one of millions who have started their own businesses during the pandemic.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 5.4 million people applied for small businesses licenses last year, a 53 percent increase from pre-COVID 2019.

The numbers were almost as high in Wisconsin, according to the Department of Financial Institutions. Officials said 71,151 new businesses were created last year, up from 50,277 in 2019 for an increase of 42 percent.

Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the UW-Madison School of Business, said Feely is one part of the “Great Resignation” trend in which people are quitting jobs to start their own companies.

“It’s almost always the right time for the entrepreneur who has a good idea and sees an opportunity,” he said. “And if their plans don’t work out, there is no shortage of jobs to return to. Lots of people are hiring in lots of different areas.”

See the full story at 

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with David Reeves, an executive-in-residence at Marquette University’s College of Business and former president of California-based OpenGov. 

Reeves was announced as one of five executive appointees to the College of Business Administration in April after retiring from the company in January. With a focus on innovation and technology, Reeves will draw on his experience as a technology executive for over 20 years. A Milwaukee native, he’s lived in Chicago, Boston and most recently in Silicon Valley for the past 16 years. 

In his new role, he says he’s “passionate about how to really keep people like myself, that have left, in the area and create more of a tech ecosystem” in the Milwaukee area. 

He discusses the shortage in tech talent across the industry, pointing to positions such as software engineers, computer programmers and others as highly competitive. 

“First and foremost, I would say just getting a stronger focus of more people that have the technical skills and the programming skills and things like that is really important right now,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to be able to compete globally in the country unless we really have a focus on that area and those disciplines.” 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See a full list of podcasts: 

— The latest episode of “Talking Trade” features a conversation with David Usher, acting consul general for Canada’s Chicago Consulate. 

He talks about the consulate’s role in promoting cross-border trade and economic development in Canada as well as Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri, pointing to the “very important and robust” trade connection between Canada and Wisconsin. 

He explains Wisconsin exports about $7.5 billion in goods to Canada each year, while it imports about $5.5 billion annually. And he highlights the 189 Canadian-owned businesses in the state that employ over 22,000 Wisconsin workers. 

The discussion ranges from opportunities for Wisconsin startups in Canada and the growing role of Toronto as a “tech hub” to supply chain issues and collaborations in water technology. 

Usher touts the role of the water sector in Milwaukee, touching on the connection between the consulate and the Water Council’s Brew 2.0 incubator program. Three Canadian companies have been chosen to join the program’s latest cohort, he said. 

“This is another area where Canada and Wisconsin have shared skills, shared interests, and the cooperation is great, and we’re trying to make it even stronger,” he said. 

Watch the latest episode here: 

— Milwaukee Tool has announced plans to invest $206 million and create 1,000 new Wisconsin jobs with additional tax credit support from the state. 

A release from Gov. Tony Evers’ office says the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has authorized an additional $22.5 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits for the company. Under this latest amendment to the zone’s terms, the company will get up to $70.5 million in state tax credits if it makes a capital investment of at least $285 million and meets certain job creation targets by the end of 2027, per the release.

Milwaukee Tool had invested more than $233 million and created 2,289 new jobs between the start of the Enterprise Zone in 2016 and the end of last year, the release shows. The company says it currently employs over 3,600 workers in the state. 

In yesterday’s announcement, the Brookfield-based company said it will expand research and development facilities, infrastructure and equipment across nine locations in Wisconsin. 

“This state has been our company’s home for nearly 100 years, and we’re proud to continue our investments here,” Ty Staviski, the company’s chief financial officer, said in the release. “Our people are the key to our success. We look forward to introducing 1,000 more people to the incredible culture we’ve created at our world-class facilities.”

See more details in the release: 

— GOP state Sen. Pat Testin called Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of his bill to allow the licensing of advanced practice nurses a “slap in the face” to Wisconsin nurses.

The Stevens Point Republican — who chairs the Senate Health Committee and is running for lieutenant governor — spoke yesterday during a press conference with members of the Wisconsin Nurses Association objecting to the veto. The WNA, Wisconsin Public Health Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce were among the groups who supported the bill.

Testin said while the guv claims to value nurses’ work, “his actions don’t match his rhetoric.”

“When he vetoed this bill, it was essentially a slap in the face to all the nurses that are providing great care in this state,” Testin said.

The bill would have allowed advanced practice nurses to issue prescription orders, among other things. Following the veto, Wisconsin Board of Nursing President Dr. Peter Kallio resigned. His term was set to expire in July.

In his veto message last month, Evers wrote lawmakers failed to address issues raised by parties in the medical profession. Evers also said he objected to changing licensing standards for APRNs and “potentially omitting physicians from a patient’s care altogether” despite “significant differences in required education, training, and experience.”

Testin criticized the guv’s response, saying it was a “copy-paste version” of “talking points” from organizations that opposed the bill. Groups who opposed the measure included the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Medical Society and others. Testin said the issue had become a “turf war” and doubted opponents would change their minds about supporting it.

“But rest assured, even though this is a minor setback that the bill was vetoed, this bill is not going away,” Testin said. “It will come back in some form or fashion next session, and I am hopeful that there will be an administration that will sign this bill into law.”

Wisconsin Medical Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine yesterday said “numerous physician groups” had attempted to find a compromise with nurses during the legislative session.

“Now that their bill was vetoed, they’ve unfortunately moved on to heavy-handed political tactics, Grapentine said in a statement, adding: “We don’t need even more politics interfering with our health care system.”

See the bill:

See Grapentine’s statement:

— A professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health is researching vaccines that could be used to treat prostate cancer. 

Dr. Douglas McNeel is a professor of medicine and a genitourinary medical oncologist with UW Health in Madison. He’s also the director of solid tumor immunology research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. 

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country, and the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among men, he said in remarks provided by UW Health. It’s commonly treated with surgery or radiation therapy, he explained, which works for about two-thirds of patients. 

For the other one-third, microscopic cells remaining in the body can grow and lead to the cancer returning, he said. 

“So our concept about 20 years ago was well, what if we could create a tissue rejection response, so to basically allow the immune system to recognize anything that’s ‘prostate’ as bad and reject those cells,” he said. “Basically use vaccines to create a tissue rejection response to remove or eliminate any remaining prostate cancer cells.” 

This approach falls under the umbrella of immunotherapies, which train the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. While “only a handful” of such therapies were available just 10 years ago, about 30 percent of cancer patients currently get some form of immunotherapy as part of their treatment, a release from the university shows. 

McNeel expects that number to continue to grow, noting the current stage of research represents just “the tip of the iceberg.” 

As related research has progressed over the past several decades, scientists have honed in on “DNA vaccines” that alter genetic codes as an area of focus. McNeel said studies using animal models have sought to teach mice how to reject prostate tumors, setting the stage for early clinical trials. 

“What we found is that if you generate an immune response, the tumor is very effective at generating a counter attack, if you will, to avoid detection by these immune cells now generated,” he said. “The field is really moved forward by identifying some of these mechanisms by which tumors avoid immune detection.” 

Looking ahead, he expects the most effective cancer treatments will involve a combination of therapies, including the vaccines currently being explored. 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and</i>

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— The EPA is awarding $7.5 million in federal brownfield grants for a variety of projects around the state, the agency recently announced. 

Grant funds will go toward dozens of environmental site assessments, cleanup and reuse plans, as well as community outreach in areas including Rhinelander, Superior, Milwaukee, Menasha and West Allis. 

The largest grant, with $3.5 million in funding, is going to the city of West Allis to supplement its existing Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund. The city provides loans and grants through the fund property owners and communities for cleanup projects, the release shows. 

Meanwhile, the state Department of Natural Resources is getting a $2 million grant, and the other recipients are receiving $500,000 grants. 

See the list of recipients and funded projects here: 

— and will host a webinar on Wednesday focused on the Midwest energy landscape. 

The discussion will explore the impact of the Ukraine crisis and what it’s revealed about global energy interdependence, as well as the transition to renewable energy resources and related economic concerns. 

Panelists include: Aaron Annable, consul, manager of foreign policy and diplomatic services for the Canadian Consulate General Chicago; RENEW Wisconsin Executive Director Heather Allen; Xcel Energy Manager of Energy & Environmental Policy Kathryn Valdwz; and UW-Madison Prof. Paul Wilson, department chair and Grainger professor of nuclear engineering in the Department Engineering Physics. 

The virtual program will run from noon to 1 p.m.

Register here:


# How Madison delivers: The rise of the ghost kitchen

# Milwaukee Tool to create another 1,000 jobs in Wisconsin

# Drivers continue to feel the sting at the pump as gas prices hit a record high in Appleton



– ‘FFA Stars’ to be honored at state convention

– DATCP issues new order suspending movement of domestic birds


– At Hunzinger, Sandkuhler strives for mental health in construction industry 


– 3rd Street Market Hall could add indoor mini golf course


– ‘Man, it’s a hot one’: Madison breaks fifth temperature record of the week

– Amid record-setting May heat, lawns shoot up, city’s splash pad opens early


– First look inside highly anticipated Lupi & Iris restaurant in downtown Milwaukee


– Lordstown Motors closes $230 million deal to sell its Ohio factory to Foxconn, injecting needed cash days before deadline


– State epidemiologist: COVID-19 cases on the upswing

– Amid industry shortage, aspiring nurses expect plentiful job opportunities and brace for burnout

– Gundersen Holmen receives ‘Big Shot’ award for baby vaccine rate


– Heritage Senior Living promotes Tammy Schafer to COO


– State providing Marinette Marine with $12M in tax credits for frigate manufacture

– Marinette Marine awarded tax credits for job creation, facility investments

– Milwaukee Tool plans to invest $206M, add 1,000 jobs


– ‘We shouldn’t have to leave class to fight for our rights’: Wisconsin students walk out for abortion access

– Vos: Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban should include exceptions for rape, incest if Roe v. Wade falls

– Debate over wages brews inside Democratic Party of Wisconsin


– The Avenue owners plan $40 million investment in two nearby downtown sites


– Lake Country DockHounds prep inaugural season in new stadium complex


– See KISS stars celebrate groundbreaking of Rock & Brews restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino


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