Business News for June 24, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:
  • Governor Evers Announces > $140 Million for Wisconsin's Tourism and Entertainment Industries
  • Would Your Business Be Prepared for a Cyber Attack?
  • WEDC discussion includes how vaccination and relief funding affect taxes
  • Pressure Chamber Pitch Competition - applications open
  • Harness the Power of Social Media Without Spending Money
  • Need to Hire a Web Design Company?
  • A Podcast for Food Businesses

Returning to In-Person Work & Hybrid Work Models
  • We Weigh in on Hybrid Offices
  • 5 Myths about Flexible Work Policies

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Biz Smart Sprint
  • Communication & Delegation
  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
  • Wordpress v. Wix: Which is Right for Your Business?
  • Free Forward Fest event: BookMarkIT
Business News, Updates, and Best Practices
Gov. Evers Announces More Than $140 Million
for Wisconsin's Tourism and Entertainment Industries
Governor Tony Evers today announced more than $140 million in grants to businesses and organizations that play an integral role in Wisconsin's tourism and entertainment industries. The new grant programs will be invested in industries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, including live event venues, movie theaters, summer camps, minor league sports, and the lodging industry. Additional investments will be made in reopening Wisconsin historical sites and marketing support for Wisconsin's tourism industry.
These investments are being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration and the Department of Revenue. 
No timeline or details were announced at this time. Individuals and businesses interested in receiving more information about the grants, including application, should sign up to receive alerts using the button below.

Thank you to UW-Eau Claire's SBDC for this update
Would Your Business Be Prepared for a Cyber Attack?
Find out with the Cybersecurity Center for Business
Cyber attacks happen every 39 seconds; are you prepared?

The Cybersecurity Center for Business at UW-Whitewater is taking reservations for training on the Acuity Cyber Defense Range. This experience helps to lead organizations of any size through a live-fire cyber attack.

The CCB will create, deploy, and maintain a cybersecurity range to provide businesses the opportunity to experience real world hacking scenarios.
Thousands of people from businesses in the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison metrocomplex will see a cyber attack first-hand. A variety of tiered services will be provided to accommodate large companies, small businesses, and University of Wisconsin - Whitewater students.

More info from UW-Whitewater
Wisconsin Employer Vaccine Forum & Vaccine Guide
WEDC discussion includes how vaccination and relief funding affect taxes
In Episode 3 of the Wisconsin Employer Vaccine Forum, you’ll learn how vaccination and pandemic-relief grants and funding affect tax filings and operating costs. In this recorded discussion, panelists discuss:
  • Which loans and grants require repayment or must be claimed on taxes
  • How shifts in operating costs can affect budgeting and bring businesses back faster
  • What ways tax law is changing as we move past the pandemic
Additionally, download WEDC's Vaccine Guidelines for Employers to learn about best practices for being a vaccine information source for your employees, and connect with resources.
Pressure Chamber Pitch Competition
Applications open until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, July 19
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for its eighth annual Pressure Chamber startup initiative. The event will return to an in-person format on Aug. 18 during Forward Festival, a technology and entrepreneurship festival.

A select number of companies will be chosen to pitch to a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives, and a live audience during Forward Fest. The winning company will also get a reserved spot in the chamber’s exclusive Greater Madison startup meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms this fall.

Eligible companies must:  
  • Be a member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce or support local entrepreneurial partner organizations
  • Be located in Dane County or plan to locate to Dane County by Aug. 18, 2021
  • Have raised at least $25,000, excluding personal investment by company founders

Harness the Power of Social Media Without Spending Money
According to an article from Hootsuite, “There are now 4.2 billion active social media users — almost twice as many as there were just five years ago. Those users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social channels every single day.”

With so many people spending so much time online, how do you catch their interest and stand out?

Need to Hire a Web Design Company?
make the most of your dollars with these tips from Bizzy Bizzy
If you're building a website for your startup or small business, it can be beneficial to contract with a website design company. However, that does not let you off the hook - your web design teammates are partners in the process!

In this blog post, published by local web design company Bizzy Bizzy, learn the steps to take when hiring and preparing to meet with web designers. The blog post also includes a Web Designer Hiring Scoresheet will help you ensure you are effectively comparing different companies.

Want to be better prepared? There are still a few spots open for our upcoming webinar on Building a Better Web Presence: Business Websites 101. This session would be great to attend before meeting with web design companies so that you can begin to plan out your site's website layout and content - and make the most of everyone's time!
A Podcast for Food Businesses
Did you know that our sister organization, the Food Finance Institute, has created a podcast especially for food businesses?

The Edible-Alpha® podcast is your source for actionable insights about making money in food. Hosted by Tera Johnson, the podcast connects with a wide range of stakeholders about what it really takes to grow a successful food business.

Returning to In-Person Work & Hybrid Work Models
We Weigh in on Hybrid Offices
Director Michelle Somes-Booher quoted in WLJ article
Wondering what "return to work" might look like in a hybrid environment? What are factors to consider when determining how this model could impact your clients and team?

In this June 2021 Wisconsin Law Journal article, our Director, Michelle Somes-Booher, shares considerations for if and how a hybrid model might work for your staff. One of our generous SBDC sponsors - Neider & Boucher, S.C. - is also featured.

While the article is geared toward small law firms, the concepts could be applied to any smaller business considering long-term hybrid work! 

5 Myths about Flexible Work Policies
and how to overcome them in your organization
As businesses continue to return to in-person operations, managers are navigating what policies will exist for their employees

For years, leadership across industries has struggled with flexible work policies, claiming "that just wouldn't work in our organization." In this article from the Harvard Business Review, read 5

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance has boiled company myths down to the fear of losing the 5 C’s:
  1. Loss of control
  2. Loss of culture
  3. Loss of collaboration
  4. Loss of contribution
  5. Loss of connection

Upcoming SBDC Virtual Learning Opportunities
Biz Smart Sprint
Starts July 15
Biz Smart Sprint is your introduction into the world of entrepreneurship. In this live, virtual 6-week course, you will learn the building blocks you need to become a successful entrepreneur. Each week, you’ll discover the key components you need to start a business, including the Business Model Canvas business planning tool, understanding your customers and market, developing a marketing strategy, legal and operational considerations, and financial basics.
Leading with Emotional Intelligence
July 20, 2021
More than ever during the pandemic, being an emotionally intelligent leader has been a key factor in your organization's overall success.

Emotional Intelligence is all about people skills – how well you know yourself and your emotions and how well you read and interact with others and their emotions. Learn about how the brain, the body and emotions affect each other, and then how to better manage your own emotions and the emotions of others so you can have clearer, more accurate communications that create cooperation and collaboration in the workplace.
Communication & Delegation
Starts July 26, 2021
In this course, you will have the opportunity to take the DiSC assessment, which will help you better understand your own leadership style and gain insight into the priorities and abilities of other members of your team. By knowing how your team members process and prioritize information, you can better tap into their motivation, explain topics meaningfully, and delegate tasks in a way that enables both parties to be more confident and successful in the distribution of work.
Wordpress v. Wix: Which is Right for Your Business?
July 8, 2021
This webinar shares the pros and cons of each system and tells small business and solopreneurs how to choose the platform to best fit their needs.

Ten categories are discussed and compared. Comes with downloadable notes and an online survey to help you pick the right system.
Join us at Forward Fest - in person!
learn the FREE tools and resources you can use to make educated decisions about your business!
When taking your business from idea to reality, you’ll likely need a lot of answers to get your business off to a strong start. Luckily, there are FREE databases, resources, and specialized experts available to help you answer these and many other questions – all found in your local libraries! Want to learn more? Put this session on your Holds List, and “check out” some great resources from your local libraries.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at or 608-263-2221 to request accommodations.

The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship in the University of Wisconsin System. It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.