The Network Effect
The Chamber has a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Responses are posted at

Submit questions about the CARES Act, Gov. Evers' "Badger Bounce Back" plan, availability of assistance for your business and more by visiting and entering the event code #ASK4BIZ (or simply click here to go directly to the page). Questions can also be submitted via email at

Good evening --

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and our organizational efforts to inform and ensure an effective community response.

Today's highlights include recaps of our most recent Lunch(UP)date and Virtual Industry Meeting, as well as new reopening measures and guidelines being issued by the state.


Today, Gov. Tony Evers announced a new emergency order allowing standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while maintaining required social distancing practices. The order also allows for the operation of drive-in theaters with some restrictions.

In addition, all businesses must review and consider integrating and adopting applicable Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) guidelines for the operations currently permitted under the "Safer at Home" order. WEDC last week released general guidance for safe business practices, as well as industry-specific advice for restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, professional offices, builders and more.

You can find WEDC's reopening resources here.


As part of our latest Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber featured a conversation between Chamber President Zach Brandon and Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) President Tim Sheehy about the unique challenges, similarities and expectations for reopening and the specific needs of businesses to accelerate Wisconsin’s recovery.

The leaders of the state’s two largest chambers, whose regions combined account for more than half the state’s GDP, agreed on the need for public-private collaboration and for business leaders to have a seat at the table as we move toward reopening and recovery. The Chamber has advocated for state and local task forces featuring key experts and stakeholders as part of our COVID-19 Recovery Agenda.

Both leaders discussed the efficacy of the Governor’s “Safer at Home” order from a public health perspective while sharing their thoughts on what reopening will look like. Zach argued that the economy is an engine made up of many interconnected mechanicals that we must start and operate in a specific order, not simply a switch to be flipped, dial to be turned or gas pedal to be pressed. Sheehy shared MMAC’s reasons for pushing for an earlier reopening, as well as the need to level the playing field for small businesses under the current order.

See the full recording of Lunch(UP)date here.


Last week, the Chamber hosted the latest in our Virtual Industry Meeting (VIM) series, with two separate meetings with manufacturers assessing current needs for their businesses and sharing projections for the three phases of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak: relief, reopening and recovery.

As one would expect, there are significant differences between manufacturers designated as essential compared to those that are not. Essential employers implemented new policies to protect employee health, including things like staggered shifts, employee distancing requirements and enhanced office cleaning procedures. For some, particularly those designated essential, reopening is about getting their customers open.

There are some supply chain challenges, particularly internationally, but also opportunities for more locally sourced activity. Several participants received assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and some are calling for investment in infrastructure to be part of the next federal stimulus package. As with all our VIMs, the top need is more clarity around the path forward and what businesses can expect for reopening guidelines.
The Chamber has also convened lenders, developers, commercial property owners, and insurance and healthtech leaders as part of our Virtual Industry Meeting series to help inform our advocacy. Please continue to share with us any policy ideas and recommendations.


For a full archive of previously shared resources, visit

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