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 updates on the state's economic initiatives, new guidance for small businesses on the Paycheck Protection Program and thoughts from healthtech leaders on COVID-19's impact.


Today, the Chamber welcomed Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes for the latest edition of Lunch(UP)date, the weekly program where you can take a break and enjoy your lunch while staying curious, connected and informed.
Secretary Hughes discussed the state’s economic efforts to this point, including securing assistance for small businesses through the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program, standing up the state’s Small Business 20/20 program, sharing resources with businesses around the state and working with businesses to transition to making hand sanitizer and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). While we remain in the relief phase, Hughes says they have an eye toward reopening and recovery with programs like WEDC’s Wisconsin Ready initiative, which will include a RESTART 72 grant program for small businesses, as well as a “multi-sector taskforce to advise on dialing (the) economy back up.”

During the conversation, Chamber President Zach Brandon emphasized the importance of coordination, clarity and the government creating predictability to enable businesses to reopen and innovate. Hughes also expressed support for items in the Chamber's Recovery Agenda, including additional financial assistance for child-care facilities and the formation of a task force dedicated to reopening and recovery, featuring key experts and stakeholders. 

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

Our next Lunch(UP)date guest (on Wednesday, May 6) will be Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) President Tim Sheehy. Register now for a conversation between the leaders of the two largest chambers in Wisconsin.


Today, the Chamber hosted the latest in our Virtual Industry Meeting series, with healthtech leaders assessing current needs for their businesses and shared projections for the three phases of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak: relief, reopening and recovery.

Today's meeting featured a discussion on supporting solutions to the COVID-19 healthcare response, including software, devices and treatment. Participants also expressed great concern for the financial health of our hospitals and healthcare providers. This echoes what we heard from UW Health CEO Dr. Alan Kaplan during last week's Lunch(UP)date when he said that, without government intervention, he expects UW Health to lose $100 million per month.

Like all Virtual Industry Meetings to date, participants posed the big questions about what reopening will look like for their industry. Leaders said they would like to see that happening with coordination and clarity and that we need to think through important issues including child care and safe public transit.
We have also convened lenders, developers. commercial property owners and insurance 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.


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, has released new guidance to help businesses calculate payroll costs for determining their potential loan amount through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You can read the document here.

The PPP is designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. Don't wait to apply – reach out to your preferred lender right away to start the conversation.

For a current list of all Wisconsin SBA lenders and their contact information, click here. Additional SBA information about the PPP can be found here.


For a full archive of previously shared resources, visit

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