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May 11, 2020

Dear readers, 

Wisconsin Revenue Secretary Peter Barca and members of his team took part in a webinar Monday with 30 members of the Tech Council’s board of directors, during which he discussed state tax collection deadlines as well as current and proposed state initiatives aimed at helping businesses as they cross the coronavirus chasm. Barca, a former member of Congress, state legislator and U.S. Small Business Administration official, thanked the organizations represented by the board for pitching in their time, expertise and resources over the past two months.

One timely tip: Don’t wait until July 15 to file tax returns, as cyber-thieves have been known to attempt preying on tax filers who wait until the final week. File a few weeks earlier, Barca said, then wait until July 15 to pay if there is an amount due.

Also Monday, Gov. Tony Evers turned the dial a bit on the process of reopening the state economy. His latest executive order (see our news section below) had a welcome “Main Street” flavor. Many small shops had balked at seeing big-box retailers continue to operate while they had been forced to shut down since March 25. The new order allows all standalone or strip-mall retail stores to offer in-person shopping, but with a limit of five customers in the store at a time. The new order, which goes into effect immediately, also allows drive-in movie theaters to open.

Popcorn, anyone?

Please read more about the June 4 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, which will be held as a virtual event with lots of interaction. Stay tuned for more announcements this week.  



Stay tuned for announcements about virtual Tech Council webinars on COVID-19 issues of interest to our members and others.

Do you have news or best practices to contribute to a future edition of Tech Council Current?

Have a safe and happy weekend, 

Tom Still, president


Siri, did you hear your boss will be speaking at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference?

We recently announced that Brian Pinkerton, Apple’s chief architect for Siri and a graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences, will speak June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference on a virtual platform that will offer plenty of interaction with attendees. Click here to read the press release!

We’ll announce more conference highlights soon, including engaging ways for attendees to network among themselves and presenters. Nothing beats live, but this will come close! Among the features of the conference over time have been the Governor’s Business Plan Contest (see more below) and a presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or YES!, contest. A full release on the young people advancing in that competition is below, as well. You can register here at very affordable rates. Please stay tuned for more about speakers, panel discussions and special networking activities.  

 Pinkerton, Brian
 EC20 for TCC 050520

The BPC class of 2020: Finalist profiles

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest began in late January and will culminate June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Some contest finalists were profiled by senior and graduate students in a UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication capstone class. Visit our “Student Stories” and our BPC website to see more stories about these young companies. Today’s feature story is about Agent Plus Solutions.”

AGent Plus Solutions LLC is a finalist in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest
By Allie Breunig

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that germs can thrive almost anywhere and spread in the blink of an eye. Today, most people are wiping down the same countertop with a disinfectant that kills the germs currently on the surface but leaving behind a breeding ground for new germs.

In 2011, a Wisconsin couple was looking for a cleaning product that could protect their home from germs, even after the cleaning supplies were returned to their cupboards. After scouring the soap and cleaning compound industry, they decided to create their own. Click here to read the full story.



The Creative Company is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 12 with the Tech Council

How to Communicate with Clarity during Covid-19 will feature Laura Gallagher and Madison Lee from The Creative Company and Tom Still from the Tech Council. How are tech companies communicating well through COVID-19? We'll find out from Tom!!  We'll also share the 7 steps to communicating with clarity in any crisis.   
Click here to register for this informative event.

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Our Business Plan Contestants could use your support!

We announced a crop of 28 finalists in the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest this week, and we’re looking forward to the competition entering the next phase. If you’re able to contribute services to the prize kitty – legal, accounting, consulting, office space, media and design, cash or something else a young company might want – please contact us. Email your ideas to: and she’ll get back to you. Thanks for helping this exciting group of entrepreneurs advance their companies during a challenging time.


Wisconsin School of Business faculty discuss workplace and career issues created by the pandemic with WSJ reporter on a webinar called Not Business as Usual: How the Workforce is Faring During Disruption on Tuesday, May 12

WARF Entrepreneurons: Social entrepreneurs finding resilience during the COVID-19 crisis webinar is on Tuesday, May 12.

Same Storm, Different BoatsLearn how small businesses in Madison are navigating the crisis is on Thursday, May 14

ROTOMA: A better way to calculate social media ROI is scheduled for Thursday, May 14

The German Marshall Fund’s Preparing for the Long Haul: GMF Coronavirus update from the United States is on Thursday, May 14

ActionCOACH presents: This IS Your Wake Up Call – How to Come Back Stronger from Covid-19 on Friday, May 15

Wisconsin Online Global Programs and Grants Business Development present a webinar to help grow your sales, brand and business in a COVID-19 age on Tuesday, May 19.

upcoming virtual events

·       WEDC Small Business 2020 Program: Assistance will be available to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) List of All 23 CDFIs in Wisconsin to provide grants to their existing loan clients to help mitigate business-related cash flow issues in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs will make program grants (up to $20,000) available to for-profit businesses meeting the following criteria: Current loan recipient in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI (or its collaborating CDFIs); 20 or fewer PT/FT employees; Greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues; and, preference should be given to service and retail businesses
·      Gov. Evers’ office has launched a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this helpful Frequently Asked Questions document.

·       WEDC has compiled a comprehensive overview of their resources along with state and federal resources to assist Wisconsin citizens aimed at maintaining the viability of the companies upon which our economy depends.

·       Report any scams or price gouging to Wisconsin Department of Justice: If you suspect fraud or a scam, Attorney General Kaul suggests filing a complaint online at

·       Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, Pending congressional and presidential approval, the SBA may offer another round of low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus

·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

·       Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wisconsin

·       The FDIC has provided guidance to banking institutions and consumers affected by COVID-19 and encouraged financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and customers in affected communities.

·       The Department of Labor has issued guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

·       NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers are providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support.

·        “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentis a new project to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

·       The Department of the Defense has established the Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) for COVID-19 to assess and rapidly respond to challenges presented by this pandemic. They are collecting information from both government and non-government personnel who are interested in getting involved. All resources and solutions are welcome from industry, academia, venture capital firms, individual contributors and more. Request information here.

·       Wisconsin Hospital Association releases a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update

·       View an interactive map of public wi-fi “hot spots” in Wisconsin

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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 CoVID-19 news graphic

Gov. Evers Announces another turn of the dial for Wisconsin businesses
Wisconsin State Journal: The Class of COVID-19: Rescinded offers, dashed dreams for Wisconsin college students
The New York Times: White House races to contain virus in its ranks: ‘It is scary to go to work’
Wisconsin State Journal: Free community testing for COVID-19 begins at Alliant Energy Center
WISN: 2 public coronavirus testing sites open Monday in Milwaukee Gundersen researchers have sequenced viral genomes from 54 tri-state cases of COVID-19
The New York Times: How bad is unemployment? ‘Literally off the charts’
Wisconsin State Journal: Nearly 60% of Wisconsin school districts seeking instructional hours waiver due to COVID-19
The Cap Times: Worker safety must come first in any reopening
Milwaukee Business Journal: PPP loans have slowed to a trickle. The SBA thinks it knows why
Wisconsin State Journal: As meat processing slows, grocery stores battle hoarding tendencies amid COVID-19 pandemic Coordinating or going rogue on COVID-19: How is your state responding?
The Journal Times: Telehealth comes of age, and is likely here to stay
The Journal Times: Study: Racine COVID-19 growth 10th fastest in nation
The Cap Times: Wisconsin retail stores allowed to reopen under new order
Milwaukee Business Journal: No more all-you-can eat buffets and mini-bars; How hotels will operate post COVID-19
WISN: Sewage samples could help scientists find coronavirus outbreaks before they begin


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

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