WED AM News: Trade experts tout benefits of Canada’s non-resident importer program; WisBusiness: the Show with David Arnstein of Venture Investors

— International trade experts say Canada’s non-resident importer program reduces costs, improves delivery times and streamlines operations north of the border for U.S. exporters. 

Chris Borecky, senior business development manager for a Canadian customs broker called Frontier Supply Chain Solutions, spoke yesterday during a webinar hosted by the Madison International Trade Association. 

He explained Canada’s non-resident importer program allows foreign companies to do business in the country without requiring a physical presence there or becoming incorporated in the country. 

“But you gain the same benefits as a resident would, so you’re better able to compete and really present yourself as if you’re a Canadian based company and get the same benefits as a resident,” he said. “Really the end goal is to make yourself more attractive to do business with, and make it easier for your customers to buy from you.” 

Mark Rhoda-Reis, director of DATCP’s International Agribusiness Center, noted Canada is Wisconsin’s top trading partner. He said the state exported about $7.54 billion in goods to Canada last year, marking a 21 percent increase from the previous year.

Borecky added the Canadian markets are particularly attractive due to most of the country’s population living within 100 miles of the U.S. border, along with strong demographic similarities with the United States. But he highlighted some of the challenges with doing business in Canada as an exporter, such as high shipping costs, border fees and exchange rate changes. 

He said taking part in the non-resident importer program helps U.S. businesses surmount some of these obstacles and reduce overall costs associated with exporting. 

“By making yourselves more attractive to do business with, that’s the easy thing, but you gain a competitive advantage for the short and long term,” Borecky said. 

John Quirke, vice president of trade consulting for Frontier Supply Chain Solutions, noted most non-resident importers don’t have to worry about payroll in Canada. 

“That’s part of the benefit,” he said. “You don’t have to fill out income tax and pay tax and all that kind of stuff to the Canada revenue agency, you just [deal] specifically with the Canada Border Services Agency — customs, if you will.” 

See more on the NRI program: 

— In the latest episode of “ The Show,” Venture Investors Chief Financial Officer David Arnstein talks about the firm’s history, industry trends, some Wisconsin technology success stories and more. 

The show also recaps or previews a number of Wisconsin Technology Council events. Tech Council President Tom Still talks about federal reinvestment in science and technology sectors in the Tech Metrics. 

Watch the show here: 

— State officials have announced another $25 million for the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program, which helps small businesses and nonprofits cover the cost of moving to a vacant commercial space. 

According to a release from Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the program has now been allocated a total of $100 million in funding. Over 6,200 recipients spread across every Wisconsin county have been approved for $10,000 grants through the program, the release shows. 

Funding comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The release says a total of 10,000 recipients will benefit from the program with the additional funding announced yesterday. 

“We hear from community leaders everywhere that the Main Street Bounceback grants are transforming their downtowns,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Hughes said. “It’s not just the businesses that receive the grants that are benefitting, but their neighbors tell us they see an increase in foot traffic and feel a sense of excitement as their downtowns grow.”

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available, the release shows. The grant application deadline is Dec. 31. 

See the release: 

— Total assets at state-chartered banks in Wisconsin reached $67.9 billion at the end of the second quarter, marking an increase of 1.44 percent from June 2021. 

That’s from a state Department of Financial Institutions release, which notes these 132 banks had a “strong financial performance” in the first half of this year. 

It shows net loans in the second quarter were at $45.7 billion, up $1.7 billion or 3.82 percent from the previous June. Over the same period, net operating income fell to $395.3 million from $463.8 million. 

“Overall, the second-quarter financial indicators for Wisconsin’s state-chartered banks remain strong and show our banks are financially stable with a positive outlook,” DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins said in the release. 

See the report: 

— Although home sales in the metro Milwaukee area were down 13.4 percent over the year in August, the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors says it’s not concerned. 

That’s because 2021 home sales figures reached record highs, and the group’s latest report notes “it would have been very difficult to repeat or surpass.” 

Total home sales across Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties reached 2,069 last month, compared to 2,390 in August 2021. When that’s expanded to the greater southeastern Wisconsin area — with Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties added — the percentage decline remains the same at 13.4 percent. The greater region had 2,731 homes sold, compared to 3,152 last August. 

Meanwhile, the number of metro area listings in August was 24.3 percent lower than during the previous August, with 2,028 compared to 2,678. For the greater seven-county region, the decline was 23.3 percent, with 2,785 listings versus 3,629 last August. 

“Listings usually do slow later in summer, but the magnitude of the current decline is unusual,” GMAR noted. 

The group says buyers shouldn’t be worried by rising interest rates, noting rates between 5 and 6 percent are “historically normal.” 

GMAR’s report also highlights a “systemic problem” in the market: a lack of construction of new single-family houses and condominiums and overproduction of apartments. 

“That bottleneck combined with the demographic surge of Millennial and GenZ buyers and historically good interest rates have all contributed to an historically tight market,” report authors wrote. 

See the report:

— Gun deaths and injuries cost Wisconsin approximately $8.4 billion every year, with $144.3 million of that paid by taxpayers. 

That’s according to Dr. Terri deRoon-Cassini, who spoke yesterday during a webinar hosted by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. She is a professor of surgery in the division of trauma and acute care surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the director of MCW’s Comprehensive Injury Center. 

She explained taxpayer dollars go toward various costs related to gun violence, such as emergency transportation and mental health care programs, as well as investigating incidents and prosecuting those responsible. Wisconsin is ranked 41st among U.S. states for the societal cost of gun violence at $1,448 per resident each year, she noted. 

“It has a significant economic toll, and also has a toll on our hospitals,” she said. “There was an analysis done about four years ago that shows that for every gun violence survivor that’s treated at a hospital in Wisconsin, it costs about $76,000.” 

During the webinar, deRoon-Cassini gave an overview of the Comprehensive Injury Center, which has divisions focused on suicide prevention, violence prevention, data surveillance and informatics, and injury science. 

She noted the center has received federal funds to launch a statewide violence prevention grant program that began taking applications this week from groups engaging in related programming in the state. And the injury science division is applying for CDC funding over the coming year to be recognized by the federal agency as an injury prevention center, she said. 

While the center is working to encourage non-violent responses to conflict and affect related social norms, she noted such changes don’t happen overnight. 

“Both in the city of Milwaukee and across the country, we really need to be thinking about preventing violence from happening in addition to responding to violence,” she said. “That really takes a public health approach to violence prevention as well as law enforcement.” 

See more on the center here: 

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

Wisconsin Technology Council: ‘WisBiz: The Show’ features CFO David Arnstein of Venture Investors, upcoming events and Tech Metrics

Dept. of Workforce Development: DWD joins other workforce leaders to recognize partner collaborations, successes & future initiatives during workforce development month