In response to concerning rises in positive COVID-19 cases in the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Health Department is announcing revisions to its Moving Milwaukee Forward Plan. These changes include some new restrictions on activities and operations that you should be aware of. Highlights of these changes are included below.
It should be noted that these revisions were made by the Health Department only after extensive consultation with MMAC and other impacted parties. We are very grateful to Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson, Deputy Commissioner Claire Evers and their entire team for their commitment to working collaboratively to find the least disruptive steps possible to respond to the recent spikes in the virus locally.
Schools that have more than 3% of their on-site population test positive for COVID over a 14-day period will be reviewed by the health department for possible shift to virtual instruction or modification of their operating plan (this process is largely analogous to how outbreaks are handled at places of business).
Also, the department announced last Friday that it will be taking a more aggressive enforcement approach to establishments in violation of their safety plans or of the city’s orders.
Read the full text of the order.
Click here to download the presentation from the Oct. 20 MMAC Business Strategies During the Pandemic webinar with Tim Sheehy, Dr. Raymond and Milwaukee Region higher education leaders.
MMAC remains encouraged by Foxconn’s investment to date in an advanced manufacturing facility and high-performance computing center. At more than one million square feet, this development is home to the high-tech, high-talent jobs and innovation that are welcome additions to Wisconsin’s economy.
The state and the region have already benefited from significant investment and job creation, and Foxconn has benefited from the infrastructure investment to support its future growth. We will continue to work to support Foxconn’s growth, and encourage the development of an agreement between Foxconn and Wisconsin that is mutually beneficial. As noted by WEDC, “there is a path open for incentivizing additional development on a win/win basis.” MMAC supports this outcome.
STATEMENT FROM THE MMAC
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce acknowledges the urgent need to mitigate the surge in COVID-19 infections across our state. The measures introduced today by Governor Evers are well-intentioned, but are a blunt instrument that knocks down too many business establishments in metro Milwaukee that have gone to great lengths to develop comprehensive operational safety plans and have had them approved by the Milwaukee Public Health Department. These locations are among the safest places for individuals to work and play in the state. To impose new limitations on them fails to recognize the due diligence these establishments have put into keeping their employees and customers safe. And while we are always on guard against a surge, the Milwaukee Region’s infection and hospitalization rates remain relatively stable.
At the same time, we thank Governor Evers for his actions to get CARES Act funding to small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
In echoing Governor Evers’ message earlier this week, MMAC communicated to thousands of area employers to “continue to reinforce with your employees that behavior outside the workplace can and does affect their health, the well-being of their family and friends – and, ultimately, the ability of our health care system and our economy to function properly. WEAR A MASK, MAINTAIN PROPER SOCIAL DISTANCE AND WASH YOUR HANDS.”
Slides from the Oct. 6 MMAC webinar.
Download the presentation from our Sept. 22 Business Strategies webinar.
Click here to download the presentation for MMAC's Sept. 8 Business Strategies During the Pandemic webinar.
Celebrating Milwaukee Region companies’ responses to COVID-19 pandemic
MILWAUKEE -- The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is recognizing 65 Milwaukee Region organizations and individuals as Focus on the Future Award honorees for their work to meet challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honorees will be celebrated in a virtual event on Sept. 18, from noon to 1 p.m., and in a special edition of BizTimes Media. Registration for the event is available online.
“Our business community has faced unprecedented challenges in 2020,” said Stephanie Hall, MMAC Vice President of Membership and Small Business. “Through it all, these 65 companies, organizations and individuals have shown us examples of the Milwaukee Region at its best, and give us hope for the future. Through the Focus on the Future Awards, MMAC wants to recognize those who have risen to their best during the most difficult of times.”
The Focus on the Future awards are presented by First Midwest Bank, and sponsored by Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.; Sitzberger & Company SC; and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in collaboration with Aurora Health Care. BizTimes Media is the MMAC’s media partner for the awards.
UniFirst Corporation partners with MMAC, VISIT Milwaukee to donate 10,000 masks to Milwaukee Region businesses
MILWAUKEE -- UniFirst Corporation on Friday donated 10,000 protective face masks to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and VISIT Milwaukee, who will donate these supplies to local businesses.
MMAC and VISIT Milwaukee teamed up earlier this summer to donate free protective masks to Milwaukee residents. Now, with this donation by UniFirst, they’ll extend their support to the business community.
As state shutdowns are lifted and the economy begins to reopen, many small business owners are struggling to source the personal protective equipment needed to meet government guidelines, keep employees and customers safe, and increase consumer confidence. This donation by UniFirst is part of a company-wide initiative to support business revitalization in UniFirst markets around the country.
“For MMAC members, wearing masks should not a political decision. It should be an economic decision,” said Steve Baas, MMAC Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs. “The sooner we can slow the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get our economy open for business at full speed again. We are grateful to UniFirst for their generous contribution of masks to help our members businesses keep their workers and workplaces safe.”
Safe reopening plans provide parents, students with educational options
MILWAUKEE – The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) supports new safe school opening guidelines that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced today.
“This is a great step forward for parents and children in the city,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “The Mayor and the Health Department have worked tirelessly to develop guidelines that allow city schools to open and operate safely in a variety of formats this fall. The city’s guidelines strike the appropriate balance between the health and safety needs of students, teachers and families with the educational, psychological and developmental needs of a generation of young people in our city.”
The guidelines announced by the Mayor today provide protocols to allow schools to reopen this fall in virtual, hybrid or in-person learning formats. The re-opening plan sets out criteria for safe operation of in-person instruction and articulates how schools must respond if they experience an outbreak of COVID-19. Schools who wish to conduct in-person instruction will have to submit an operational plan for approval by the City Department of Health that accommodates the safe school guidelines announced today.
“One of Milwaukee’s unique strengths is the way it has empowered parents to choose the best educational setting for their children,” Sheehy said. “The safe school guidelines unveiled by the Mayor today apply that strength in the context of the current COVID crisis by giving parents the ability to choose from a variety of school settings the one that they believe most effectively balances the physical and educational needs of their child.”
Company is latest to invest in Kenosha County
MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers today joined the owner and president of Advent Tool & Manufacturing, Inc., as well as local government and economic development officials, to announce that Advent is relocating its headquarters and production operation from Antioch (IL) to the new Salem Industrial Park, located in the Village of Salem Lakes.
“This is great news for the Village of Salem Lakes, and the entire southeast region of our state, and will bring new opportunities to our communities,” said Gov. Evers. “I want to thank Advent, WEDC, the Milwaukee 7, and all the local officials who helped make this a possibility. The partnerships and relationships these folks have been able to build, truly exemplify why Wisconsin is such a great place to live and work.”
MMAC Community Support Foundation launches grant program to assist businesses damaged during protests
Rebuild and Revitalize Program seeded with $500,000 from T&M Partners and Kelben Foundation
MILWAUKEE -- The unjust act that took George Floyd’s life, which was emblematic of the racial inequities that exist in our community, has inspired a movement across the country and around the world. We support passionate and peaceful protests here in Milwaukee.
Unfortunately, several businesses have been damaged in areas such as Martin Luther King Drive, Harambee, Sherman Park and the Near South Side neighborhoods. To help these businesses already distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, MMAC is launching a grant program through its Community Support Foundation. This grant program has been seeded with an initial $500,000 from T&M Partners and the Kelben Foundation.
“The peaceful demonstrators called out to many citizens as they passed by, ‘walk with us.’ We hear them,” said MMAC Chair Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “We also want to help rebuild the businesses that were damaged and help improve the prospects for African American business prosperity. Thank you to T&M Partners and the Kelben Foundation for taking the lead on this important initiative. We hope this helps seed other contributions.”
MMAC’s mission is “to support a globally competitive region, that fosters high-value employment, to create a vibrant quality of life for all.” The tragic death of George Floyd shakes the core of who we are as a nation and encapsulates why at the MMAC we are committed to creating a vibrant quality of life for all.
Our prosperity as a business community is dependent on our prosperity as citizens. Here in our region, we know that the disparities for people of color are some of the deepest in the nation, including unemployment, poverty rates, housing ownership and educational attainment.
MMAC is committed through its program of work to outcomes that deliver equity in education, training and employment. Our Region of Choice initiative is needed now more than ever before. Launched in September of 2019, 100 companies, representing 140,000 employees, pledged to increase overall African American and Hispanic employment and management employment through hiring and advancement goals for these groups. Our role is to unite employers to establish best practices and lead with action.
While hiring and advancement goals alone will not eradicate racial disparities overnight, achievement of these goals is foundational to any path to removing racial disparities that exist in our workplaces and our communities.
The MMAC stands with those who are peacefully demonstrating and engaging to promote systematic change and will continue to walk with those who seek to create a vibrant quality of life for all.
Chairman and CEO, ManpowerGroup
MMAC Board Chair
Information on the Region of Choice pledge >>>
Milwaukee Region’s business, health and science communities collaborate to launch restart toolkit for companies
Medical College of Wisconsin, MMAC and M7 provide guidance to help businesses prepare and protect employees, customers and facilities during COVID-19 pandemic.
MILWAUKEE – To help Milwaukee Region businesses reopen and operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and the Milwaukee 7 Economic Development Partnership (M7) have collaborated to launch an online toolkit with information, guidance and resources.
The toolkit, which can be accessed online, is designed to help businesses identify risks and implement health and safety procedures that will protect their employees and customers. Through the toolkit, companies are encouraged to enact procedures and protocols that minimize the introduction, exposure and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Calls for phased-in restart of economy to begin before May 26
Last Friday, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution calling for a phased-in “smart restart” of our economy before May 26, beginning as early as the week of May 11.
MMAC’s support of Gov. Evers’ initial “Safer at Home” order through April 24 was strongly informed by concerns raised by health care leaders over the speed of the disease’s spread and the possibility of our health care systems being overwhelmed with critically ill patients. That initial Safer at Home period has had the desired effect of “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 spread to the point where we can safely begin reopening the economy, with measures in place to protect employees and customers, without putting our health system capacity at risk.
U.S. Bank awards $50,000 grant to The Business Council, Inc. U.S. Bank awards $50,000 grant to The Business Council, Inc.
U.S. Bank has expedited its annual $1 million Market Impact Fund grant program to provide funding for 30 local nonprofits that are working to respond to the most pressing needs in their communities. The fund includes $50,000 to The Business Council, Inc. in Milwaukee to provide individual grants to small businesses who are members of the Ethnic and Diverse Business Coalition (EDBC).
The EDBC includes 13 of the multicultural and diverse chambers in Wisconsin including Hmong, African-American, LGBT, Veterans and Latino Chambers. The Business Council, Inc. will operate the fund and works in collaboration with the EDBC.
“The support from U.S. Bank’s Market Impact Fund is a huge win for ethnic and diverse businesses in the State of Wisconsin,” Marjorie Rucker, Chair of the Ethnic and Diverse Business Coalition and Executive Director of The Business Council, Inc. “Formulating partnerships to provide support to small ethnic and diverse businesses during this time shows the true leadership of our banking partners like U.S. Bank.”
Governor to join MMAC Business Strategies during the Pandemic webinar, 11 am Tuesday, April 21
As MMAC President Tim Sheehy wrote in a note to members last week, “We continue to believe that this data shows that we need to be flexible in determining a Smart Restart of our economy, and that improving trends will allow us to reel in the May 26th extension of ‘Safer at Home.’ In addition, we believe the challenging economic conditions are a growing factor in this consideration.”
MMAC’s plan for a Smart Restart to our economy, and preparing your company to compete in the next normal
by MMAC President Tim Sheehy
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, MMAC has served its members by learning the facts, assessing their impact, and leading in your best interests.This discipline will apply to supporting you through the economic stages of recovery and into the next normal.
As part of those efforts, we are sending you a fact-based “Smart Restart” plan to move our economy forward. The MMAC’s Board of Directors approved this draft today, and we want your feedback. We are sharing this with our elected officials. View the full plan >>
Punchline: Key health and safety indicators provided by the Medical College of Wisconsin are showing noticeable improvements. The daily growth rate (the rate at which the number of cases change, day over day) has come down over 3 weeks from 35% to under 8%. The doubling time (days it takes for the number of cases to double) has increased from 2.5 days to over 9 days. New cases are trending downward.
Apple Spice Catering, MMAC Community Support Foundation partner to provide meals to front-line workers
Apple Spice Milwaukee Catering Company has partnered with the MMAC Community Support Foundation to raise money in an effort to provide a delicious meal for as many front-line workers as possible. Join Apple Spice and additional supporters Ted & Mary Kellner, Pete & Holly Helf and Paul & Lisa Sweeney by donating to this cause through the MMAC Community Support Foundation.
With all of the money raised, we will provide as many meals as possible for those fighting for us night and day to defeat this terrible disease. As you know, they have been working countless hours, often times unable to be with their loved ones. Help us to show our support and thankfulness.
Checks should be made out to MMAC CSF—c/o FFLW.
756 N Milwaukee Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Alternative payment methods can be arranged through Marjorie Yoshida at email@example.com.
All of your donations are fully tax deductible. Thank you in advance for your generous support.
Be safe and well!
Apple Spice Milwaukee