Focus on Calumet
A bi-weekly update on economic development opportunities in Calumet County
and the region for businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities.

Monday, May 4, 2020
New North Video Celebrates the Difference Makers
New North Inc. has released a 2½ minute video, “Together, the Region is Getting Through Challenging Times,” highlighting the ways people and organizations throughout the region are meeting the obstacles brought on by COVID-19. Calumet County, Travel Calumet, and Dan Hagenow Video Creation, LLC (which has produced Calumet County’s videos) were part of the team that assisted New North in developing this powerful video.
If the video doesn't start, paste the following link into Chrome or Safari:
BrandZ Report reveals the World's 75 Most Valuable Retail Brands
Amazon, Walmart, and Costco are among the big name retailers atop the third annual BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands Ranking released by  WPP  and   Kantar .

The report reveals that the value of the world's top 75 retail brands increased 12% to $1.5 trillion in the past year. The report, launched in conjunction with the   World Retail Congress , provides an indication of the brands that are most likely to prevail in a post-coronavirus market and uses valuations data incorporating stock price performance from April 2020 to reflect the impact of COVID-19, according to the authors. It also drives home the retail sector's pivotal role in the global economy as brands respond to shifts in consumer behavior while facing business-critical changes to supply and demand and a restricted ability to trade.
BrandZ  combines analysis of retailers' financial performance with the opinions of millions of consumers surveyed in more than 51 markets around the world. Historical BrandZ data confirms that brands with the strongest brand equity recovered nine times faster following the financial crisis of 2008.

"The coronavirus crisis underscores the essential role that retail plays in both our daily lives and the overall global economy; we are seeing some heroic examples of retail companies stepping up to meet consumer need and keep the world turning,” said David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ. “While this is a fast-moving and ongoing story, the report allows us to show the businesses that, having invested in becoming a strong brand, are potentially better able to withstand the current shock. Twenty-two years of BrandZ data analysis consistently confirms that strong brands help their businesses to survive turbulent times."
FREE Small Business Survival Coaching Available Throughout Calumet County
This is a challenging time for many small business owners and Calumet County wants to help. That's why a new partnership has been started with the Rural Ideas Network to offer all small businesses free access to " Small Business Survival Coaching" until June 30, 2020.

The Rural Ideas Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that specializes in helping rural entrepreneurs and communities spark growth. Their experienced business coaching team will help develop an Outbreak Survival Plan through a series of virtual one-on-one sessions. This service is specifically designed to help create relevant solutions to the current crisis. Working with a coach, participants will:

1. Complete a cash flow analysis
2. Learn about any available disaster relief funding
3. Consider alternative income opportunities (online, etc.)
4. Review tools and strategies for remote working (if it’s an option)
5. Evaluate down-time improvement opportunities

This service doesn’t replace the SBDC counseling services offered by Ray York. It is an enhancement to that service because the Rural Ideas Network has a larger staff capacity and is able to spend more time with each business. It may be especially useful for businesses that are trying to determine disaster relief funding, assess their continued viability, or just need an external set of eyes and ears to help make critical business decisions.
Business counseling is also available through the Small Business Development Center. Ray York is eager to serve entrepreneurs and start-ups that are considering going in to business, and it isn’t too late for businesses feeling the effects of COVID-19 to contact the SBDC. Use the online contact form, or reach Ray by phone (920-946-9379) or email.

Ray and his SBDC colleagues affiliated with UW Green Bay have been extremely busy supporting businesses so far in 2020. They have served 857 clients so far in 2020; their goal for all of 2020 was 351. The Green Bay Center is #1 in the state by serving 591 distinct businesses since March 15. Madison is #2 at 163 businesses. Watch this video of SBDC Green Bay Center Director Tara Carr describing their services.
Get Started with Paycheck Protection
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive PPP loans if 75% (or more) of the loan is used for payroll-related costs and the remaining amount is used for eligible expenses.

For more information, visit
COVID-19 Healthcare and Cleaning Resources for Businesses
Local essential businesses that continue operations during the COVID-19 outbreak are required to follow certain specifications for sanitation, hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection at their place of employment.  The following links provide the most up-to-date resources to help local employers meet those requirements. They can also be found on the Community Economic Development Business Support COVID-19 website

DHS COVID-19 Webpage for Employers includes a link for Sanitation, Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection
Re-Opening the Economy
There are currently several plans for getting Wisconsin’s economy fully reopened. While it is not clear what path will be used in Wisconsin to achieve the reopening, it is important that discussions on this topic are taking place.

The Badger Bounce Back Plan is the State of Wisconsin’s official response to COVID-19 to keep all Wisconsinites safer at home to prevent spreading the disease, and reopen the economy when health-based milestones are reached. It is based on thresholds for testing, contact tracing, health care worker infection rates, personal protective equipment, and others that public health experts in Wisconsin and within the federal government have determined are necessary to safely reopen.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has proposed its own plan to reopen the economy. The Back to Business Plan is designed to reopen Wisconsin businesses based on a number of risk factors and offers employers a clear vision for when and how they can begin to operate. It uses a combination of factors including business NAICS code, county population density, healthcare capacity, and local infection rates.
Local Community Updates
Calumet County Economic Development Plan to be Released Soon
Calumet County has been working since September with eight of its local communities to develop an Economic Development Plan. Cedar Corporation was hired by the project team to complete the report, using the county’s CDBG CLOSE funds. The final plan is expected to be available in mid-May.

There are two primary components in the Plan. As reported last month in this newsletter, one of the project's focus areas has been on eliminating slum and blight, and the report will summarize the local projects in Brillion, Chilton, Hilbert, New Holstein, and Sherwood that will share in some of the CLOSE funds to support local redevelopment projects.

The second component of the Economic Development Plan was to complete an analysis of workforce and senior housing in the county. Eight communities – three cities and five villages – participated with the county in this project. (Appleton was not eligible to participate because the city receives its own CDBG grant funds and was therefore prohibited from inclusion in the county’s plan.) The project included a review of population trends and single and multi-family housing stock in the county, with the result being a summary of gaps and opportunities for various types of housing development throughout the county.
Chamber Provides Stimulus
Tri County News , April 23, 2020
Many businesses continue to wait for their Payroll Protection loans while many individuals wait for their coronavirus stimulus checks from the federal government.

On a much smaller scale, the New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce put some stimulus funds into the hands of their members last week. The Chamber sent $75 in Chamber Bucks to each of its members. Since Chamber Bucks must be used at participating member businesses, the act will invest almost $6,000 into the local economy.

Members can use the gift for whatever purpose they wish, whether it be purchasing groceries, buying lunch for employees at a local restaurant or tavern, rewarding a valuable employee, or purchasing items or donating the certificate to a local organization in need.

The idea came from Chamber Vice President Phil Kubichka and received full support from the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The gift was in the mail to all members within days of the idea being brought up last week. “This might be a drop in the bucket compared to the financial challenges some of our members are facing because of the coronavirus shutdown but, if nothing else, we hope it helps put a smile on some faces,” Chamber President Mark Sherry said. “This represents a significant percentage of our Chamber’s cash reserves, but unprecedented times require significant actions.

“We continue to hear great stories about how our members are adapting during these difficult times so that they are still there when we come out of this,” Sherry added. “We know it takes extra effort on everyone’s part, but we encourage people to continue to support our members in any way they can and, on behalf of the Chamber, we sincerely thank the public for the way they have remembered our local businesses during this time.”
Chilton TID OK’d to Help MB Grow
By Dave Kohls, Tri County News , April 23, 2020
The April 7 Chilton Common Council meeting held at the Chilton Public Library and accessible by social media produced several major highlights – the approval of Tax Incremental District 8.

A presentation discussing Resolution 1812 was made by Phil Cosson of Ehlers Inc. regarding TID #8. This district is a proposed industrial district comprising approximately 28.37 acres located on the city’s south side, just south of M-B Lane. The district will be created to pay for the costs of water improvements, sewer improvements, street and storm water improvement, development incentives, and administrative costs.

In addition to the incremental property value that will be created, the city expects the project will result in a 73,000 square foot expansion of the existing M-B facility. The project is divided into two phases. Phase I will consist of professional services and development incentives totaling $170,000 to be completed in 2020. Phase II will consist of street vacation, storm sewer improvements, water system improvements, sewer improvements, along with street, curb, and gutter improvements on M-B Lane totaling $992,000 to be completed in 2021.

The project is expected to create $5 million in incremental value by 2021. This expansion will result in an additional 26 new jobs for M-B, as well as several corporate level positions. Resolution 1812, creating Tax Incremental District No. 8, its Project Plan, and establishing its boundaries was approved.
Kim and Nancy McKeen, Chilton Citizens of the Year
Jamie Wieting (left), president of the Chilton Chamber of Commerce, presents the Citizen of the Year plaque to the 2019 recipients Kim and Nancy McKeen. A formal presentation and banquet will be scheduled once the Safer at Home order is lifted. The event will be held at the Chilton Eagles Club in Chilton. More information will be forthcoming. Wieting said, “Please join us in congratulating Kim and Nancy on their most deserving award. Chilton is proud you are part of our community.” ( Tri-County News , April 16, 2020)
United Healthcare Teams up with Kaukauna Business to Deliver Meals to those in Need
A healthcare company and catering business teamed up to make a difference in Northeast Wisconsin.

United Healthcare and Heirloom Kitchen Catering   of Kaukauna are delivering meals in Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties. Volunteers are giving meals to about 100 residents who were identified as needing additional support.
Hilbert Moving Forward on Bel Brands Site Renewal
By Ed Byrne, The Brillion News , April 30, 2020
In its April meeting – held at the community center with physical distancing in effect – the Hilbert Village Board moved forward with plans to do environmental cleanup on the Bel Brands warehouse at Cedar and Eighth Streets, The long-term plan is for the village to own the property, just across the street from Civic Park, and put it on the market for new development. The village board handled five items directly related to the property.

The first was good news from Mary Kohrell, the Calumet County Community Economic Development Director. She said that the county is giving Hilbert $214,630 in unused county Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) funds. Then, the village board approved four documents:
  • A resolution to follow the Wisconsin Residential Anti-Displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan, to make sure a CBDG project doesn’t leave anyone affected by the project homeless.
  • A resolution banning the use of excessive force in handling not-violent civil rights demonstrations.
  • A resolution promising to commit $85,370 in village funds, to be married to the county’s $214,630 CDBG grant for the village to acquire the Bel Brands property, demolish the building, and restore the site to make it ready for new development.
  • A resolution authorizing the village president to apply for the CDBG funds.

All of these actions were approved on 7-0 votes.
Local Business Updates
Ariens working through COVID-19 challenges
Staffing, safety, and supply chain all on table
By Ed Byrne, The Brillion News , April 23, 2020
At noon last Friday, April 17, there was a lot of jumping going on at the two Ariens Company manufacturing plants in Brillion. The jump-around was another sign that the company hasn’t lost its spirit in the wake of the COVID-19 viral pandemic.

Ariens Company President and CEO Dan Ariens appeared in an internet broadcast on Friday morning. The webinar, titled “The Balance Between Lives and Livelihood,” was hosted by Missy Hughes, the head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

“We are operating and it has been a struggle,” Ariens said. “It’s nothing like anyone who’s had to experience complete closure ... We are 61 percent attendance with our employees.” The other 39 percent of the Ariens workforce opted to stay home after the state imposed Safer At Home restrictions. For some, it was to take care of children after schools and child care centers closed; for others, it was taking care of elderly family members; for others, it was because the employee felt at risk in the face of the virus.

Ariens responded by putting together a leave program for employees, with three options: Employees could use their personal time off days; or take unpaid leave; or use a new “loaned hours” program. The loan hours program was developed by an Ariens subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Of the 39 percent of Ariens employees staying at home, the largest percentage took the “loaned hours” option. “They can take up to four weeks of paid leave – they stay on our insurance and benefits,” Ariens said. “They bank those hours, but they continue to stay home and then, when they come back, they pay back five hours per week ... That’s worked pretty well. We’ll see how it goes as we move forward.”
35% of Wisconsin Businesses Surveyed Felt they Could Not be Viable after Three Months of Current Circumstances
Thirty-five percent of Wisconsin businesses responding to a recent statewide survey reported they will be forced to close if current conditions persist for more than three months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey was conducted by New North Inc. and the eight other regional organizations in the state, along with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, to assess COVID-19 business recovery ability, plus state and federal aid effort. It yielded nearly 2,550 responses from companies in 63 of the state’s 72 counties, covering the period April 1-10.
Results also showed 8,795 jobs were lost in the earliest days of Wisconsin’s safer-at-home order, along with losses of $126 million in income, $95 million in inventory, $26.6 million in lost wages and productivity income, and $404 million in other impacts.
New North Executive Director Barb LaMue stated, “While we know the survey results are a sampling of Wisconsin-based companies, the data suggests that prompt action must be taken to assist companies with financial support and the restart of in-person customer access as soon as medically possible. The information is helpful to develop recovery action plans, first for the most vulnerable, and to work with our state and local partners throughout this process.”
“The conditions reported here represent companies’ efforts to adapt to changing conditions,” said Jeffrey Sachse, director of UWO’s Center for Customized Research and Services (CCRS). “These impacts are certain to rise when we revisit these companies in a month, two months, and six months’ time. The assistance that these companies require and the effects felt throughout the state’s economy are both unprecedented and continuous.”
WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said the report “reinforces a lot of what I’m hearing when I talk with businesses and business leaders around the state."
The survey is the first in a series that will track the economic impact of COVID-19. Responding companies will be surveyed again during the first months of May, June, July and for the foreseeable future, with results released during the third week of each month. Companies are invited to continue to respond to the initial survey and to be added to the survey group.
In addition, CCRS has released an interactive dashboard detailing survey responses, along with advice and insights from University faculty.
New Map for BIW Redevelopment Unveiled
By David Nordby, The Brillion News , April 30, 2020
Brillion Works LLC, the group established by Ariens Co to purchase the former Brillion Iron Works foundry with the city, now has a conceptual map in place for its redevelopment plan for part of the site.

The group’s plans for the first phase of redevelopment is both transformative and imaginative. Phase one includes the overhaul of four original Brillion Iron Works buildings, the restoration of Spring Creek with an 11-acre park and a new mixed-use building.

A new road, Parkway Drive, will run from south from Highway 10 through the redeveloped area, and has been approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The first phase is a segment bordered by Pine Street (extended) to the north, North Francis Street to the west and the new Parkway Drive to the east.

While everything on the map is pending, additional development plans for the site include the expansion of the city’s trail system and Horn Park, public greenspaces,
restaurants, office spaces, an amphitheater, hotels and apartments or other residential living, and a STEM area that area schools could use. “We’re trying to [create] a new gateway here from the east into the city,” Mark Olsen, vice president with AriensCo, said. The project will mix old, new and nature across one massive space.
New Dollar General
Construction on the new Dollar General building started last week. The new
location will be right next to the McDonald’s building on Highway 10 in Brillion.
(David Nordby photos/BN)
Hardware Plus Serving Customers During Pandemic
By David Nordby, The Brillion News , April 30, 2020
BRILLION – Hardware Plus has, been a hotspot during the coronavirus pandemic. Customers, ranging from familiar faces to first timers, are relying on the store to supply their various projects they are working on during the social distancing period.

When Governor Tony Evers announced social restrictions last month, the store was initially deemed nonessential. That was quickly changed. “Hardware stores are more than just hardware stores sometimes in small towns. You look at us with seed potatoes and garden seeds all the way to plumbing and electrical to small engine repair,” Mike Buboltz, who owns the store with his wife, Joy, said.

Mike says that people working from home, laid off or furloughed quickly needed projects to work on. Painting is at the top of that list. “Painting has just been soaring
through the roof for us with this pandemic … We mix almost 20 gallons of paint a day,” Mike said. Mike says that fresh paint can make the house feel fresh.
Roehrigs are new Marsh Inn Owners
By David Nordby, The Brillion News , April 23, 2020
While bars and restaurants have been closed to patrons other than takeout, a change took place at the Marsh Inn in Collins. Todd Roehrig of Brillion is the new owner and operator, purchasing the business from Dave and Tami Liebzeit. The Liebzeit’s last day was on March 31.

Roehrig, who has worked in sales, has had the service industry a part of his life since the mid-1990s. It is now his full-time job. “It was always something I enjoyed doing. I always called it my fun job, so I would work weekends and weddings and everything like that,” Roehrig said. Purchasing a bar has been in his mind for some time. “Just enjoy the atmosphere. Made a lot of friends, made a lot of relationships bartending and just being involved,” Roehrig said. The Marsh Inn was listed for sale last year when Roehrig noticed it. He says he went for the purchase, with the support of his family (wife, Stacie, and children, Whitney, Hannah and Isaac). All family members are expected to help Todd in some capacity with the establishment.
Job Openings
  • The City of Chilton (pop. 3,916) is seeking an energetic, collaborative, and strategic-oriented professional to be its next City Administrator / Clerk / Treasurer. Initial application review will begin May 27. See the city’s website for more details.

  • The Job Center of Wisconsin keeps an updated list of jobs for job seekers. It is searchable by type of position and community.
Upcoming Events
COVID-19 Webinar: Preparing Your Business for Recovery
With initial rounds of federal stimulus programs in high demand and oversubscribed, the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) wants to ensure businesses have the most recent information on existing financial tools – many of which have also been enhanced to meet the long-term cash flow needs of businesses during the COVID-19 economic recovery. 
Tune in to our next COVID-19 webinar to gain a better understanding on how to prepare a financial plan for your business and how these existing financial programs may help fill your long-term cash flow needs. The webinar is designed to provide case studies to better illustrate to business owners how they can benefit from these programs.   
The webinar, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, at 1:00 pm, will feature lenders and service providers from across Wisconsin. In addition, information will be provided on how to access these critical business assistance programs at the local level. 
WHAT: COVID-19 Webinar – Preparing Your Business for Recovery
WHEN: Tuesday, May 5 at 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Lucy Waldhuetter, Waukesha County Center for Growth|SBDC
Wendy Baumann, WWBIC
Todd Kearney, Incredible Bank
George Lewis, Incredible Bank
Jason Monnett, WBD, Inc.
Mary Gage, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

1:00 PM – Introduction: Brian Doudna – WEDA Executive Director
1:05 PM – Preparing for Your Recovery and Lenders – SBDC
1:15 PM – SBA Micro Loan Program and eligibility – WWBIC
1:25 PM – SBA 7 (a) and Express Loans – Incredible Bank
1:35 PM – SBA 504 and 504 Refi – WBD, Inc.
1:45 PM – Existing WEDC Financial Programs – WEDC
1:55 PM – Wrap up
2:00 PM - Adjourn

We look forward to your participation on Tuesday, May 5, at 1:00 PM.
WEDC Upcoming Events
Promotions Call: Planning for Post-COVID Events

Wednesday, May 6
12:00-1:00 pm
Main Street 101

Thursday, May 7
12:00-1:00 pm
Wisconsin Rural Summit (Rural Partners Event)

June 17 and 18
Lessons Learned from WI CEOs
COVID-19 CEO Leadership Series
Friday, May 8 | 11:00 am

The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges to all types of Wisconsin businesses whose operations are impacted by disruptions to their supply chains, demand for their products, and worker unavailability. As members of the Wisconsin business community, we want to help you address your company challenges by engaging, collaborating, and communicating with you and our thousands of valued businesses across Wisconsin.

Join our CEO Leadership Series webinars to hear from state business and health leaders on the latest medical updates, insights into how companies are adapting their operations to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how these best practice examples might apply to your business.
Get the Right Financing for Your Business
Join a group of fellow entrepreneurs, small business owners, a former accountant and former financial institution president in this workshop series about getting a loan/investment you need in order to launch your startup or grow your small business.
You'll learn why writing a professional proposal for financing instead of sharing an "idea," leads to the outcome you want. This workshop series is for startup and growth companies in all life stages and within all industries.
You will learn about:
  • The lender concept, use of a risk rating & what makes a good rating vs a poor one
  • How daily business decisions create the cash flow of business
  • Ways to create better short-term and long-term cash flow
  • Successful techniques to negotiate with lenders and how to choose the right lender for you and your business
  • The value and benefits of projections supported with written assumptions

Three session class starts Monday, May 18, 2020 
Fee: $299.00
Virtual, Instructor-Led:   Details I   Register
Intro to the Selling Platform
Explore the fundamental information needed to sell products on Amazon and help build your business. Discover the common business models sellers use, learn the differences between the models and explore which one will work best for you.

You will learn about:
  1. Amazon product sourcing vs. launching a new product
  2. Amazon MFN and FBA Programs
  3. Upsides and downsides to selling on Amazon
  4. Critical concepts to selling on Amazon
  5. Third party tools to simplify selling on Amazon
  6. Strategies to move your business off the platform 

Monday and Tuesday, May 11-12, 2020
Estimated fee: $89.00
Virtual, Instructor Led: Learn more | Register
E-seed Express: Entrepreneurship Training
Participants develop a business plan through completion of weekly activities and business planning templates. Experts from the small business and entrepreneurial community provide insight into legal, management, marketing, technology, accounting and financing aspects of operating a successful small business.

You will learn about:
  1. Small business ownership - is it right for you? 
  2. Identifying and analyzing your industry, competition, and market 
  3. Legal issues facing business owners 
  4. Bookkeeping and accounting systems 
  5. Networking with other peers, small business owners, entrepreneurs & business leaders 

Starts Monday, June 8, 2020 
Fee: $299.00
Virtual, Instructor-Led: Learn more | Register
Explore Starting a Business
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Details   Register
Work for Yourself at 50+
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
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