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July 1, 2020

Dear readers: 

Even as concerns are raised about the rise in coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and across the nation, attention continues to be focused on what comes next for the economy. That is more than appropriate at a time when 12 percent of the state’s workforce is still jobless and the need for innovative solutions is more apparent than ever. Please read my latest column on a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. report that highlights solutions that cut across a broad swath of the economy, including the innovation sectors that create many jobs. Click here to read the column.

Also, please read below about two events – one upcoming and one that took place Wednesday – that are tied to Wisconsin’s economy.

“AI: An end to work as we know it” featured in July 9 Tech Council webinar

As part of the Tech Council’s continuing webinar series, “Crossing the coronavirus chasm,” we’ll hear from Nick Myers of RedFox AI 1 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Individual and corporate members of the Wisconsin Technology Council may register now to learn about artificial intelligence and its impact on industry and business in the post-pandemic world.

RedFox AI recently launched a new service, BlueFox Box, which is an on-demand grocery delivery service enabled by voice assistant technologies. Founded in 2017, RedFox AI helps give brands a voice by leveraging the power of AI and voice assistant platforms such as Alexa and Google Assistant. Based in Madison, RedFox AI has clients in companies across Wisconsin, the nation and beyond. Myers has delivered TedX talks on the power of AI and voice marketing.

“Myers will provide a high-energy glimpse at how voice technologies are changing commerce, and how companies across a broad spectrum can take advantage in times that challenge many traditional businesses,” said Tom Still. There are limited “seats” in the Zoom meeting, which will include a question-and-answer segment. Members of the Tech Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks, may email Julie Johnson at to reserve a spot. 

Two specialists from the Wisconsin office of the U.S. Small Business Administration met virtually with members of the Wisconsin Technology Council Wednesday to review the latest data and guidelines for federal programs aimed at assisting small businesses. Those include the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, as well as updated 504, 7a and “microloan” programs operated by the SBA. Detailed information regarding the PPP “forgiveness” process was provided. Click here to review the slides. Tech Council members can watch the recorded presentation by contacting Julie Johnson at

During the discussion, it was noted that Wisconsin small businesses have fared well in receiving PPP and EIDL loans, especially compared to the state’s share (just under 2%) of the U.S. population. For example, more than 84,000 small businesses and organizations in Wisconsin have been approved for more than $9.8 billion in PPP loans. Click here to view the presentation slides.




Myers, Nick


Make sure to check out our newsroom below for fast-changing information about Wisconsin's reopening process.
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 enjoyable Independence Day weekend!
Beginning next week, we’ll publish weekly on Wednesdays.

Tom Still, president


Guest column: It’s time for us to build America 5.0

I was pleased to see that Princeton University’s Board of Trustees recently voted to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from their School of Public and International Affairs.

I cannot tell you how disheartening it has been all of my life to walk by statues and buildings that celebrate the names of individuals who intentionally held my people back, who enslaved or slaughtered us, or who supported those who did, and feel like I have to pretend to want to celebrate their names and achievements. I was taught from kindergarten through college, by teacher after teacher, to respect and revere men (and women) who enslaved, murdered, raped, pillaged and burdened my ancestors and their offspring with a legacy of oppression, pain and loss that many of us still live with today. This includes my African and Native roots.
Click here to read the Caire’s full column.


Wisconsin State Journal: Dane County tightens restrictions on bars, restaurants, indoor gatherings
USA Today: In our divided red and blue nation, coronavirus data is a uniting purple
The Guardian: U.S. buys up world stock of key COVID-19 drug remdesivir
Channel3000: Legislative leaders signal Wisconsin will maintain county response as coronavirus cases climb WEDC proposes broadband upgrades, training incentives in report on COVID's impact
The Wall Street Journal: FDA to require proof virus vaccine is effective before approving its use
WKOW: [Video] Dane County considers mandatory masks in public buildings
CBS58: Milwaukee businesses call on city to mandate masks in stores, restaurants
FoxNews: Fauci warns US could see 100,000 coronavirus cases a day if surge continues Republican leaders now urging masks as cases climb in South, West
Reuters: Where COVID-19 is spreading fastest as U.S. cases rise 46% in past week
NBC: 'We are getting clobbered': Six months into COVID-19, doctors fear what comes next
Channel3000: 30% of Wisconsin counties are experiencing high COVID-19 activity, new data show
The New Yorker: The coronavirus pandemic’s wider health-care crisis
CNBC: Senate extends small business coronavirus relief program
USA Today: We're one-third of the way to a widely available coronavirus vaccine, experts say
MSNBC: European Union formally bars U.S. travelers due to coronavirus threat
FoxNews: Texas hospital COVID-19 leader: 'This surge has moved to more of an under 50 population'
Forbes: Here’s why the WHO thinks ‘the worst is yet to come’ from coronavirus
Channel3000: DNR to allow camping starting July 13 for groups of up to 50 people
STAT: In the COVID-19 death of a hospital food worker, a microcosm of the pandemic
CBS58: Beijing approves experimental COVID-19 vaccine for use in Chinese military

Forbes: A national mask mandate could save the U.S. economy $1 trillion, Goldman Sachs says
WisBusiness: Milwaukee leaders say mentorship, inclusivity, location will grow diversity in workforce
Milwaukee Business Journal: Hundreds of Wisconsin businesses turn to PPP in its final days
Gov. Evers announces $1.5 million in grants for Wisconsin's coastal communities
WisBusiness: WEDC’s report to lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers assesses the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19
CNBC: CDC expresses ‘substantial disappointment’ with American Airlines for resuming full flights amid coronavirus
Forbes: Best Buy, Ford join over 150 companies in massive Facebook boycott Madison businesses use B Corp certification to prove positive social, environmental impacts
The Wall Street Journal: EU to remain closed to U.S. travelers as borders open up
LinkedIn: Reskilling the workforce on the road to economic recovery
WisBusiness: Three Wisconsin energy companies to improve rural electric infrastructure
Urban Milwaukee: 45% in state have put off medical care, says U.S. Census Bureau
Milwaukee Business Journal: Milwaukee advances $4.15 million to help “Community Within the Corridor” development
TechRepublic: Operations remain at or above 80% of pre-crisis levels for 72% of CFOs
Entrepreneur: How retail companies are adapting to improve profitability ⁠⁠
Milwaukee Business Journal: Providing skills training to those unemployed by pandemic can lift Wisconsin economy
Wisconsin State Journal: State insurance regulator bans health coverage discrimination against transgender people
Urban Milwaukee: Milwaukee 6th most diverse city in U.S., according to new report
State Scoop: Coalition urges Senate to provide immediate pandemic relief to state and local governments
BizWomen: With more people eating at home, Conagra reports Q4 sales jump

TechRepublic: Google's new healthcare API better enables data interoperability, critical to fighting COVID-19 This new high-tech glove translates sign language into speech in real time
Startup Genome: The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020
Release: SBIR Advance opens 16th round of funding for high-tech small businesses
TechRepublic: Nonprofit launches new programs to increase diversity in cybersecurity industry
WisconsinINNO: This Madison startup is helping old-school corporations innovate

InBusiness: Over $454 million raised by early-stage companies in 2019
Medium: Why entrepreneurs struggle raising their first round of venture capital
BizWomen: Startup Scene: Chicago-based Mom Project secures $25 million round to expand
WisconsinINNO: Can a $50 million fund for diverse founders change the face of Milwaukee tech?
Pensions&Investments: European investors preparing for inflation rise


The Cap Times: Report: Gap between student, teacher demographics widening across Wisconsin
NPR: U.S. pediatricians call for in-person school this fall
The New York Times: Billions in college aid hiding in plain sight
Wisconsin State Journal: MMSD superintendent candidate Jenkins says he would be a leader for Madison's Black students
The Cap Times: SOAR, UW's orientation for incoming students, moves online
NBC: Student debt crisis creates a 'vicious cycle' of inequality in Black, Latino neighborhoods, report finds
The Cap Times: Madison School Board approves preliminary budget amid COVID-19 uncertainty

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

WisconsinEye presents Campaign 2020 Candidate Interviews on Tuesday, June 30

Fox Valley Technical College presents Explore Starting a Business on Wednesday, July 8

WMEP’s Growth Driven: Innovation and Market Potential for VFD/VSDs in Wisconsin on Wednesday, July 15

 200x200 Virtual events

·       Gov. Evers’ office regularly updates a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the departments of Financial Institutions, Revenue and Workforce Development. Some specific sites:

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this FAQ document.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses.

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

·       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

·       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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