Gov. Evers Announces Badger Bounceback Budget Investments to Support Small Business, Kickstart Innovation
Governor proposes $200 million to assist small businesses in recovering from COVID-19 pandemic
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced his 2021-23 budget will include aggressive economic development plans that invest more than $200 million in assisting small businesses, more than $29 million for workforce development initiatives, and a new $100 million venture capital program to jumpstart innovation as all part of his Badger Bounceback agenda to help the state's economy rebound, rebuild, and recover.
“Over the past year, our small businesses have seen the effects of this pandemic firsthand. I am proud of our small businesses and of the critical investments we made with our We're All In grant program, but we know we have more work to do in making sure we can recover from this pandemic,” said Gov. Evers. “These investments will ensure our main street businesses, our workers, and our state bounce back and better than before by helping folks recover from this pandemic while investing in new innovation and startups.”
Helping Wisconsin Businesses Bounce Back
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin was able to respond quickly to the needs of businesses through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) We’re All In grant program, providing nearly 55,000 small businesses a total of approximately $240 million to help weather the pandemic. Building off of this success, the governor’s Badger Bounceback agenda creates a biennial appropriation to provide the WEDC with $200 million to assist Wisconsin’s small businesses recover from the global pandemic, including assistance for job retention and rehiring.
Additionally, the governor is proposing increasing WEDC’s annual block grant by $10 million in each year of the biennium to bring the total investment to $51.5 million per year, providing WEDC with additional resources across its range of programs to assist businesses, communities, and organizations. In order to ensure that the state’s economic investments are felt statewide and in an equitable manner, the Gov. Evers’ proposal includes:
The governor recognizes Wisconsin’s economy is only as strong as its workforce. That’s why Gov. Evers is proposing to:
In addition to short-term recovery initiatives, the governor recommends numerous proposals to enhance Wisconsin's long-term economic growth prospects in the years ahead. Now, more than ever, is the time for Wisconsin to recommit to innovation and economic growth to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever. The largest of these proposals is the creation of a $100 million venture capital fund under the direction of the WEDC to jumpstart innovation and startup growth in Wisconsin.
The program will be a fund of funds investment program, and no investment made by the fund of funds in a recipient venture capital fund may exceed $25 million. Venture capital funds receiving investment from the fund of funds program must commit to investing that amount in Wisconsin and that these investments must attain at least a one-to-one match with private sources, such that the program as a whole attains a required match rate of two private dollars for every state dollar invested. The program will require that at least 20 percent of the total funds under management be invested in minority-owned or women-owned firms or in businesses that are located in underserved areas. WEDC will establish an oversight board with various enumerated responsibilities related to the establishment and management of the program. Both investments made by this new fund, as well as investments made by the Badger Fund of Funds, will be able to be reinvested in perpetuity.
WNB Financial Announces Promotions of Community Presidents
WNB Financial is pleased to announce the promotion of three employees to the role of Community President:
Introducing the Chippewa Valley Parks Prescription Program
Altoona – Prevea Health, in partnership with the City of Altoona Parks and Recreation Department, is excited to announce a new program called Chippewa Valley Parks Prescription Program, or CV Parks Rx.
CV Parks Rx is a healthy lifestyle initiative that encourages children and families to get outside and get active in order to help prevent and/or reduce childhood obesity.
Currently approximately 30 percent of Wisconsin adolescents are considered obese, according to the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.
Dr. Allison Schneider, a pediatrician at the Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building said being active every day is important for the physical and mental health of kids and their families.
“Especially now when there are fewer activities happening because of the pandemic and we tend to be indoors more because of cold weather, it’s the perfect time to start moving,” she said. “I am also excited because this program encourages family togetherness while also promoting the wonderful trails, parks and other resources our community has to offer.”
Debra Goldbach, Altoona Parks and Recreation Manager, said by linking together the health care system and outdoor spaces, the goal of this partnership is to improve the health and wellbeing of the community and create healthier lifestyles for Altoona area families.
“We look forward to continuing the promotion of physical activity and healthy lifestyles among all age groups, but especially the youth of our community,” said Goldbach.
Pediatric and Family Medicine providers at the Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building, 3119 Woodman Dr., can get families started with the CV Parks Rx program, or to participate, you can track your activity by downloading a tracking log here. After completing an activity log, kids or parents can turn it in at the Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building or the Altoona Parks and Recreation Department office, 1419 Front Porch Place, for a chance to win prizes.
CV Parks Rx is an expansion of a parks prescription program that began in Green Bay, Wisconsin called GB Parks Rx. The program is made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Beverage Association and in community partnership with Wello, a community-based nonprofit whose mission is to co-create community conditions that are just and fair to drive high levels of health and well-being for all.
For more information, visit www.prevea.com/cvparksrx or email CVParksRx@prevea.com.
About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across Northern, Eastern and Western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.
ReforMedicine Providers Earn Advanced Degrees
Dana Butterbrodt and Renee Carlson, ReforMedicine Nurse Practitioners, successfully completed their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees in December 2020. This advanced degree is focused on leadership within the field and represents significant effort on the part of these two individuals. Renee and Dana join Christina Funk, DNP, as holders of the degree, and together represent the full cadre of Nurse Practitioners at ReforMedicine. In addition, alongside her DNP, Dana Butterbrodt earned her Master of Business Administration.
ReforMedicine is fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated group of practitioners caring for our patients. Learn more about ReforMedicine at www.ReforMedicine.com or call 715-514-2827.
Local Agency Wins Creative Awards for 3rd Year in a Row!
Eau Claire - Owners Chris Herzog and Sarah Stokes are proud to announce their agency, STOKES|HERZOG
Marketing and Consulting, has won two coveted local awards for Best Branding and Design Service and Best
Video Production Service in the recent Volume One Readers Choice Poll.
“We’re so excited and grateful for the awards. Our team works very hard all year long for all of our clients and
this recognition really shines a light on all of their extraordinary efforts”, said co-owner Chris Herzog.
STOKES|HERZOG was founded in 2014 by former WEAU-TV television news anchors Sarah Stokes and Chris
Herzog. The company represents organizations in all industry sectors across North America and Southeast
Asia and assists with their marketing, advertising, consulting, human resources recruiting, and public relations
“It’s very humbling to win these awards. We work hard year after year to help our clients shine and these awards
really belong to all of our dedicated employees, without whom we wouldn’t have this great company which
believes in doing great work and giving back to the community,” co-owner Sarah Stokes said.
The STOKES|HERZOG family of companies comprises the marketing and consulting agency,
STOKES|HERZOG Realty which is a Wisconsin based commercial real estate brokerage and The Juicy Good
Life, an internet based training and coaching company designed for women.
For more information on STOKES|HERZOG, visit www.stokesherzog.com, www.stokesherzogrealty.com or
Security Financial Bank Announces New Portfolio Manager
EAU CLAIRE – Paul Rudersdorf, president and CEO of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Jacob Bauer has accepted a new position at the bank. Bauer will serve as a commercial portfolio manager in SFB’s Bloomer office.
In this position, Bauer will assist in structuring deposit and loan products to meet the unique needs of clients. He will facilitate the preparation of credit underwriting and analysis of loans and will ensure that all data and information is received in accordance with policy and compliance.
“Jacob will be an asset in this new role as he’ll be able to use his strong credit skills to help serve our commercial clients,” Rudersdorf said.
Bauer, who has five years of banking experience, joined SFB last year as a credit analyst before accepting this new position. A Durand native, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in finance.
“I enjoy learning about businesses and helping people achieve their dreams of owning a business,” Bauer said.
Bauer can be reached at the SFB Bloomer office at 715-930-7880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Security Financial Bank
Established in 1934, Security Financial Bank is a locally-owned community bank with offices in Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith and River Falls. SFB strives to provide products and services that exceed its customers’ needs and provides guidance that enable them to succeed. For more information on SFB, please visit www.sfbank.com or call
SFB Wins an SBA Volume Lender Award for Wisconsin
EAU CLAIRE – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Wisconsin office recently recognized Security Financial Bank (SFB) with the Wisconsin SBA Volume Lender Award for FY2020. SFB had the most approved 7(a) loans for a financial institution with an asset size between $500 million and $1 billion in the state.
“At SFB, we take great pride in helping our business clients. When appropriate, we utilize SBA loans to provide responsible financing that helps these businesses grow,” said SFB President & CEO Paul Rudersdorf.
In total, the SBA Wisconsin office is recognizing 16 lenders in 15 volume and specialty categories for FY2020 ending Sept. 30, 2020. Community-based lenders continued their strong support of SBA programs as the top lenders in seven asset categories under $5 billion.
“During this exceptional year, Wisconsin’s lenders supported small businesses as they start, grow, and expand as well as recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eric Ness, SBA’s Wisconsin district director. “These top lenders provided more than 43% of SBA-backed traditional loan program dollars in Wisconsin last year. We congratulate them on their support for Wisconsin’s small businesses and their dedication to using SBA-backed lending.”
To read the full release from the SBA and see all the awardees, visit https://www.sba.gov/node/1683281?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
About Security Financial Bank
Established in 1934, Security Financial Bank is a locally-owned community bank with offices in Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith and River Falls. SFB strives to provide products and services that exceed its customers’ needs and provides guidance that enable them to succeed. For more information on SFB, please visit www.sfbank.com or call 888-254-0615.
Wisconsin Wolf Management On Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The West Side”
Eau Claire, Wis. - After a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge ordered the state’s wolf hunt must begin this month, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board this week unanimously approved a harvest quota of 200 wolves. The hurriedly arranged hunt and all of the legal, political and biological ramifications will be the topic of “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19 on The Ideas Network stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
The action was set in motion following the Trump administration’s decision in November 2020 to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list, and that delisting went into effect last month, triggering a state statute that requires the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to set up a wolf hunting season. The DNR originally planned to wait until November to plan for the season.
WPR environmental reporter Danielle Kaeding will share the latest in the quickly evolving story. Then host Dean Kallenbach will moderate a conversation with Luke Hilgemann, president of Hunter Nation, the organization that successfully sued the DNR’s decision to not immediately resume the hunt after the delisting of the wolves; Adrian Wydeven, a retired DNR wildlife biologist, now working with the group Wisconsin Green Fire of Rhinelander, which opposes opening the hunt this month; and Peter David, wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in Odanah.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and live streamed at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615, or email the show at email@example.com. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
About Wisconsin Public Radio
For over 100 years, Wisconsin Public Radio has served the people of Wisconsin with quality news, music, talk and entertainment. On air, online and in the community - we work for Wisconsin. WPR is a service of the Educational Communications Board and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Listen, learn more and donate at www.wpr.org.
Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. Announces Winner of Downtown Enhancement Grant
Eau Claire, Wis.: Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI) has awarded Just Local Food Cooperative with a $2,000 Downtown Enhancement Grant to assist in their planned addition of an outdoor walk-in freezer for their store at 1117 S. Farwell Street.
With limited space, and a growing clientele, Just Local Food has been facing the challenge of finding enough space for their back-stock storage. The addition of the freezer will help the cooperative sell more meat, seafood, and frozen grocery items and allow expansion to new vendors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to the food industry as a whole, but local food has remained reliable and resilient throughout, our farmers and producers made many emergency deliveries in the first months as we ran out of products,” said Becca Schoenborn, from Just Local’s Marketing Team. “Adding a walk-in freezer for our back-stock frozen foods will allow us to order more from our current vendors and add even more local vendors to our mix. Having funds to put toward this project means that we can continue working toward expanding our store and becoming the local food hub of Downtown Eau Claire, and we are grateful for that.”
Downtown Enhancement Grants have been distributed twice-annually to existing businesses that lie within the downtown boundaries (see https://www.downtowneauclaire.org/documents/DECI-Boundary_2020.pdf). This grant to Just Local Foods brings DECI Enhancement Grant totals to $14,000 since the program began in 2018.
27th Annual Chili Cookoff Raises $5,221.85 for Ready Set School
Through sales and donations, a total of $5,221.85 was raised for Ready Set School at the 27th Annual Chili Cookoff, sponsored by WNB Financial on Friday, February 12.
CVTC: Invitation to Attend the Spring Integrated Business Advisory Committee Meeting
Integrated Business Advisory Committee meeting:
The meeting link and agenda will follow closer to the meeting date.
Meeting Response Options: When selecting your availability, please choose to send a response:
Other CVTC Announcements/Resources:
CVTC Referendum Information: https://www.cvtc.edu/building-our-future-together
Check out Workforce Solutions & Continuing Education offerings and services at: https://www.cvtc.edu/continuing-education
WorkReady Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/workeauclaire/
We value your input and appreciate the time you devote to CVTC and our program!
UW-Eau Claire News
Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton receives MLK Social Justice Leadership Award
For nearly three decades, Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton has been known as an advocate, activist, community-builder and leader as she’s worked to bridge gaps in knowledge, raise levels of awareness and understanding, and broaden participation in critical conversations around race and social justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and in the Chippewa Valley.
Earlier this month, Ducksworth-Lawton, a professor of history, was honored for her leadership and advocacy during the fourth annual UW-Eau Claire Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
Ducksworth-Lawton is the recipient of the 2021 Martin Luther King Social Justice Leadership Award, given by the division of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Student Affairs. The award recognizes a campus community member who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to advocate for underserved and underrepresented groups and who leads, organizes and engages the community in the difficult work of EDI through their voice, vision and actions.
Dr. Rose-Marie Avin, a professor of Latin American and Latinx studies and director of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program at UW-Eau Claire, who received the leadership award in 2019, presented the award to Ducksworth-Lawton Feb. 10 during the university’s virtual Martin Luther King Junior Celebration.
Chancellor Schmidt, university leaders conduct first campus live briefing of 2021
Two weeks into the spring 2021 academic semester, Chancellor Jim Schmidt held a live briefing for the campus community to discuss academics, enrollment, and the state budget outlook. Faculty, staff, and students were encouraged to submit questions in advance and throughout the briefing. Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Grace Crickette, Interim Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Billy Felz, and Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Carney joined the chancellor to provide key updates.
Here are the key points from this week’s briefing:
Chancellor's Blog: Governor's bold budget proposal offers vital support
Gov. Tony Evers virtually delivered his biennial budget message Tuesday night, starting the state of Wisconsin’s 2021-23 budget debate. I’m pleased to report the governor’s budget proposal makes ambitious investments in the UW System and, while we have a long way to go before the next budget is signed into law, many of the initiatives are well-positioned to receive bipartisan support.
My sincere thanks to Gov. Evers for laying out this vision for UW System investment that aligns our mission with the state’s most pressing needs. His executive budget proposes investment in high-impact strategies to support students from underrepresented populations, retention of stellar faculty and staff and maximizing the UW System’s statewide benefit. It’s clear that the governor shares our view of the university as an engine for economic growth and community resilience that provides an incredible return on the state’s investment.
Over the next two-year budget, Gov. Evers is proposing a $191 million increase to the UW System’s state appropriation — this would be the largest increase in state funding in the past two decades. In addition, the governor supported a 2% system-wide pay raise in each year of the biennium, with effective dates of January 2022 and January 2023.
UW-Eau Claire ranks among top U.S. producers of Fulbright students
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is again among the top master’s universities in the nation for the number of students who receive Fulbright grants through the U.S. Department of State’s international educational exchange program.
UW-Eau Claire is on the 2020-21 Fulbright top producer list for the fourth consecutive year, tying for sixth among all public and private universities that offer master’s degrees. This year, five Blugolds were awarded the prestigious grants.
“I’m proud that once again an impressive number of UW-Eau Claire students and graduates were selected to be part of this prestigious program,” says Chancellor James Schmidt. “The Fulbright program is another opportunity for Blugolds to model what it means to be engaged global citizens as they build connections and understanding between people in the U.S. and those in other parts of the world.”
UW-Eau Claire has had 29 students receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards in the past 10 years — more than double the number of any other master’s-level public university in Wisconsin or Minnesota.
Fifteen Blugolds have received Fulbright grants over the past three years.
Cheryl Lochner-Wright, senior study abroad coordinator for UW-Eau Claire’s Center for International Education and campus Fulbright program advisor, says it’s always a thrill to see Blugolds on the Fulbright list. Lochner-Wright says it’s an opportunity to celebrate all the applicants and award recipients, and the campus Fulbright committee members, faculty and staff who support the applicants with letters of recommendation.
“This year is a little bittersweet, since some of our 2020-21 grantees’ awards were shortened due to the pandemic and others have been deferred to next year,” Lochner-Wright says. “But that doesn’t detract from their achievement in being offered the award.”
The Fulbright Program’s top-producing universities were announced Feb. 15 and published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UW-Eau Claire improves its military-friendly ranking
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire improved its ranking as a military-friendly institution in an annual survey of nearly 1,700 postsecondary schools in the nation.
UW-Eau Claire is among four Wisconsin public universities that received silver medal rankings in the 2021 rankings released Feb. 17 by military media company VIQTORY. The silver-medal designation is given to institutions that are ranked within 20% of the overall top 10 schools. No Wisconsin public universities ranked higher than UW-Eau Claire.
In 2020, UW-Eau Claire received a bronze-medal ranking, given to schools ranked within 30% of the overall top 10.
The ranking reflects UW-Eau Claire’s commitment to meeting the needs of students who served their country in the military, says Miranda Cross-Schindler, the university’s military and veterans services manager. It’s an honor, she says, for the university to again be recognized as a military-friendly institution.
“We place great value on the sacrifices these students made while serving our country,” Cross-Schindler says. “We do all we can to make sure that their transition to college is as smooth as possible and that they have the support systems in place to have a rewarding and memorable academic career at UW-Eau Claire.”
UW-Eau Claire has nearly 500 military-connected students on campus.
Cross-Schindler noted that UW-Eau Claire has a dedicated office to help military veterans navigate the higher-education process to ensure they receive all the educational benefits they’ve earned.
Students who are military veterans or actively serving the military also can use the campus Veterans Center to study, socialize and build camaraderie with students who have had similar experiences, Cross-Schindler says.
Schools in the military-friendly survey were queried about their academic policies and compliance; student support and retention; culture and commitment; admissions; graduation and career outcomes; and financial aid and loan repayment.
Joint statement from chancellors at UW-Stout, UW-River Falls and UW-Eau Claire about plans for fall
UW-Stout: Amy Luethmers, firstname.lastname@example.org or (715) 232-1278
UW-River Falls: Dina Fassino, email@example.com or (715) 425-4306
UW-Eau Claire: Mike Knuth, firstname.lastname@example.org, (715) 836-4736
Nothing is more important to our three universities in western Wisconsin than ensuring our students have the opportunity to succeed and thrive. We know that we all do that best through a more traditional college experience, where students, faculty and staff interact and engage in person. That is why we are joining with UW System President Tommy Thompson today, Feb. 18, in pledging that each of our institutions will plan for a traditional full college experience for the fall semester with in-person classes and rich co-curricular and extra-curricular offerings.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.