Businesses on the move

Posted on Apr 30, 2020 :: Business on the move
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

COVID-19

With multiple businesses and organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Insight put together this roundup.

Excellerate Manufacturing is building Emergency Deployable Medical Units to assist the nation in response to COVID-19. Each Excellerate Emergency Deployable Medical Unit can be configured to accommodate up to 48 patients.

Franzen Graphics shifted its focus from print production to making disposable face shields to provide emergency and essential service personnel with the protective equipment necessary to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

ModTruss Inc. created a portable bio-containment cubicle for isolating possible COVID-19 patients during triage.

Elevate 97, a Green Bay company that normally creates printed materials, retooled its operations to make plastic protective face shields.

Curt G. Joa, a Sheboygan Falls manufacturer that designs solutions and machinery for other manufacturers, designed and began producing head straps for face shields worn by health care workers.

J. J. Keller & Associates is offering two free training programs to help businesses as they deal with COVID-19. The programs offered through Keller’s training-on-demand service include “COVID-19: Action Plan for the Workplace” and “COVID-19: What Employees Need to Know.” For a complete list of free COVID-related resources for businesses, visit Keller’s dedicated Coronavirus Preparedness Resources page at jjkeller.com/learn/pandemic-response.

ThedaCare opened five respiratory care clinics dedicated to patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Along with the clinics, it opened a COVID-19 hotline that community members can call with questions related to the virus.

Ascension announced its plans to protect the pay of associates for as long as possible during the time of COVID-19 disruption, including a commitment to no layoffs and a variety of pay protection programs.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. created a $5 million program called Small Business 20/20. Businesses with no more than 20 employees can apply for grants up to $20,000 to pay for rent and payroll expenses. That includes sick, family and other leave related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

St. Norbert College began an initiative in which education students are providing free grade-appropriate online instruction to students across seven states. UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, Ripon College and Lawrence University have joined the effort, and other schools are looking to join as well.

Inspire Sheboygan County has created virtual job shadow opportunities for students. A listing is available at inspiresheboygancounty.org/virtual-job-shadow.

Lakeshore Technical College is offering free Wi-Fi in the parking lots of its Sheboygan and Manitowoc campuses.

Junior Achievement of Wisconsin is providing free online learning resources to teachers, parents and guardians to help keep students engaged while they’re out of school. Family-friendly, downloadable resources are available for elementary, middle and high school students and are organized by school level. Lessons are less than 30 minutes and are available at Wisconsin.ja.org.

Cities throughout the New North have received community development block grants through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funds will be used to help ease the economic and housing effects on people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the rules, 70 percent of a block grant must be used to benefit low- and moderate-income residents. Regional communities receiving the funds include: Green Bay: $595,446; Sheboygan: $539,956; Oshkosh: $494,757; Appleton: $348,255; Fond du Lac: $335,496; and Neenah: $128,328.

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region shared that the CARES Act includes new tax incentives for charitable giving. For the 2020 tax year only, people may deduct cash contributions to most charities up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. Ordinarily, these deductions would be limited to 60 percent of adjusted gross income.

The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board created a listing of available temporary jobs. To view the list, visit foxvalleywork.org.

The Green Bay Packers established COVID-19 Community Relief Funds totaling $1.5 million, through Packers Give Back, to assist efforts in Brown County and the Milwaukee area. The team also will donate half of the $37,500 in proceeds of a T-shirt sale to Paul’s Pantry. The Packers also created virtual programming available at packershofandtours.com/engage/virtual-programming.

Kimberly-Clark brand Cottonelle is committing $1 million to United Way’s worldwide COVID-19 relief efforts. Consumers who tag instances of toilet paper sharing with #ShareASquare will unlock an additional $1 donation, up to $100,000, through June 1.

An anonymous donor with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region gave $170,000 to Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital and ThedaCare to purchase ventilators.

Associated Bank is making a $300,000 commitment to support COVID-19 recovery efforts in its three-state footprint. The company will donate $150,000 to local United Way chapters in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota to fund community-based programs and support services that provide basic needs.

Festival Foods is donating $200,000 to United Way organizations in the Wisconsin communities that it serves to help with their COVID-19 efforts.

With many people facing short- or long-term unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Green Bay Chamber launched a new centralized resource to help job seekers. The site — greatergbc.org/jobs — lists available jobs in the area and collaborates with the NEW Manufacturing Alliance to cross-promote employment opportunities at its site, newmfgalliance.org.

Paper Transport Inc. announced a minimum charitable pledge of $100,000 to organizations supporting victims of COVID-19, with the aim to double or triple the contribution. The company will also donate half its profits for the month of April.

Carnivore Meat Co. launched a “Vital Relief Challenge” as part of its COVID-19 response initiative. To kick off the challenge, the company donated $100,000 to Green Bay area nonprofits including food pantries, shelters and other community outreach organizations.

Investors Community Bank is donating a total of $25,000 to food banks in each of the markets it serves including Feed My People Food Bank, St. Joseph Food Program, Paul’s Pantry, Operation Bootstrap, Fondy Food Pantry, Peter’s Pantry, Sheboygan County Food Bank and Darlington Food Bank.

Pierce Manufacturing donated 500 N95 masks to the ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center.

The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce announced a new Emergency Loan Fund (COVID-19). These funds ($5,000 to $10,000) are primarily used for working capital to cover rent, payroll and other fixed expenses.

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative created a hub of COVID-19 resources for area nonprofits. Information is available at Nplace.org by topic, in the events section or in the Disaster Preparedness group.

Seaway Printing is providing free takeout menu printing for local restaurants. As restaurants are forced to convert to takeout or delivery only, not all of them have takeout menus prepared. To help them, Seaway will print up to 500 two-sided takeout menus.

Westgate Products, an Oshkosh packaging company, is offering takeout or take-home containers to local restaurants at cost.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College loaned pieces of equipment used in its respiratory therapy program to area hospitals that need supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instructors delivered eight ventilators, two noninvasive ventilators and three boxes of supplies to Green Bay hospitals.

Moraine Park Technical College donated nearly 37,000 health care and safety-related supplies from its three college campuses to local health care facilities in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend.

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions issued emergency guidance pertaining to remote online notarization in Wisconsin. Remote online notarization has been authorized in the state, subject to several safeguards to ensure the integrity of the notarial process. Remote online notarizations must be performed using technology providers that are regulated under standards that meet or exceed the safeguards set by Wisconsin Act 125. DFI has approved four remote online notarization providers thus far: Notarize.com and NotaryCam, which provide remote notary services to the general public, and Pavaso or Nexsys, which provide them for title companies and other real estate transactions.

Green Bay West Rotary Club has sent out a call to action to support the greater Green Bay community in the time of uncertainty over the spread of COVID-19. Club members are mobilizing members, other service clubs and community members with the “We’ll Be Back” initiative encouraging the purchase of gift cards from local businesses. To participate, go to the business’s website and purchase a gift card online, letting them know your purchase supports We’ll Be Back. Organizations such as Downtown Green Bay Inc. and the Greater Green Bay Chamber have centralized listings of regional businesses with direct links to their websites.

The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau issued an alert about an increase in price gouging surrounding COVID-19. Consumers are urged to report price gouging at BBB.org/AdTruth.

Bellin Health announced the 2020 Bellin Run will be a virtual-only event as the organization dedicates all available resources to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual Bellin Run participants will run or walk a 10K anywhere, any time between June 6 and June 21, adhering to any physical distancing guidelines that are in place at that time. More information and registration are available at bellinrun.com.

Road America has postponed its Spring Vintage Festival Weekend originally scheduled for May 15-17. The organization’s president said he hopes the racetrack can resume its schedule as soon as it’s safe to do so. Ticket policies on postponed and canceled events are available at roadamerica.com/ticket-exchange.

The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores launched a virtual DIY challenge for families to share and connect with ideas while the community remains under the Safer at Home order. Community members are encouraged to share their ideas via photo and video at the Appleton Habitat Restore Facebook page and use the hashtag #AppletonHabitatRestoreDIY.

Above & Beyond Children’s Museum in Sheboygan is maintaining a virtual presence during the COVID-19 closure time period. The museum is posting daily YouTube videos of music programs and of ABCM team members reading children’s books. Additionally, the museum is using Facebook and Instagram to post at-home activities, crafts and project suggestions using common household items.

Business development

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced investment in Wisconsin startups topped $308 million in 2019 — a $39 million increase over the previous year.

Marco announced the launch of a new program that allows certified partners to resell its managed IT services.

Dental Health Products opened a warehouse/distribution center in Houston.

Business comings and goings

Imaginasium relocated its office to the Rail Yard Innovation District in Green Bay.
Fashion store Klassy N Divine openedin Sheboygan.

Construction news

Keller Inc. announced projects for the following organizations: Brown County Oral Health Partnership, Green Bay; Goldin Iron & Metal Recycling, Kaukauna; Accurate Alignment, Appleton; Cup O Joy, Green Bay; Cascade Fire Department, Cascade; Dheinsville Park, Germantown; Stevens Point Curling Club, Plover; and Trade Tech, Hartford.

Education

Marian University will add an eSports program for its 2020-21 academic year. Danny Duchaj will coach.

Awards/recognitions/milestones

ThedaCare received certification from DNV GL — Healthcare as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of competence for treatment of serious stroke events.

Forte Investigations of Fond du Lac received a Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin 2020 Torch Award for Ethics.

Midwest Restoration of Little Chute was named to the Inc. 5000 Series: Midwest. The company, which provides emergency restoration services for both residential and commercial properties, was ranked No. 18.

Forbes named Hawkins Ash CPAs, a certified public accounting firm with offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota, to its 2020 list of recommended tax firms in the United States. The firm also successfully completed a peer review of its accounting and auditing practice and received the highest mark possible for an accounting firm: A pass.

Butler Manufacturing recognized A.C.E. Building Service as a million-dollar builder for net cumulative building orders of over $1 million in 2019.

The Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street presented its Economic Development Partnership Award to the City of Sheboygan Falls and the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. for their developers’ tour.

The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce certified Jewelers Mutual Group as a 2020 silver-level Employee Friendly Workplace in the Fox Cities, which recognizes employers that demonstrate a significant commitment to promoting work/life integration by creating a positive work environment and experience for all employees.

The World Championship Cheese Contest was held in Madison in March. The top three finishers in their categories from the New North included: Renard’s Rosewood Dairy Team, Algoma, second place, Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Mild to Medium; Red Barn Family Farms, Appleton, third place, Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Mild to Medium; Henning’s Cheese for Deer Creek Cheese, Sheboygan, second place, Colby; Henning Cheese, Kiel, third place, Colby; first place, Pepper-Flavored Cheese, Medium Heat; Agropur, Luxemburg, second place, Mozzarella; first and third place, Provolone, Mild; first and second place, Provolone, Smoked; BelGioioso, Green Bay, second place, Fresh Mozzarella; second place, Burrata; first place, Provolone, Aged; first place, Prepared Cheese Foods; second place, Natural Snack Cheese; second and third place, Parmesan; Baker Cheese Factory, St. Cloud, third place, String Cheese, Flavored; Door Artisan Cheese Co., Egg Harbor, first place, Asiago, Fresh; Saxon Creamery, Malone, third place, Asiago, Fresh; Sartori, Plymouth, first place, Asiago, Aged; second place, Hard Milk Cheeses; Agropur, Weyauwega, first place and third place, Feta; third place, Feta, Flavored; first place, Low-fat Cheeses; Emmi Roth, Seymour, first place, Gorgonzola; Arla Foods, Kaukauna, second place, Gouda, Smoked; Pine River Pre-Pack, Newton, first and second place, Cold Pack Cheese, Cheese Food; first and second place, Cold Pack Cheese Spreads; Schreiber Foods, Green Bay, first place, Spreadable Natural Cheeses; first place, Yogurt, Cow’s Milk; first place, Yogurt, Cow’s Milk, Flavored; Wohlt Creamery/Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, New London, second place, Pasteurized Process Cheeses; LaClare Family Creamery/Mosaic Meadows, Malone, second place, Surface-Ripened Mixed Milk Cheeses; Masters Gallery Foods, Plymouth, second and third place, Open Class: Shredded Cheese Blends; Ponderosa Dairy Products, Kewaunee, third place, Natural Snack Cheese, Cheese Curds; Great Lakes Cheese, Plymouth, first and second place, Natural Sliced Cheese; and Saputo Cheese, Waupun, third place, Dry Whey.

All the rest

Ranger Power, a New York-based firm, has proposed building Onion River Solar, a 150-megawatt solar farm that would take up between 1,000 and 2,000 acres in the Town of Holland in Sheboygan County. It would be a $150 million investment.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved an electric reliability transmission line rebuild between the Bayport Substation in Brown County and the Pioneer Substation in Oconto County. American Transmission Co. is completing the project.

Work to expand Highway 23 from two to four lanes between Plymouth and the Fond du Lac County line has resumed. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

A buyer stepped forward with an agreement to purchase The Bull at Pinehurst Farms golf course in Sheboygan Falls for $3.1 million. The buyer plans to open the course for the 2020 golf season.

The Walldogs artist group plans to touch up the murals it created in Plymouth in 2011 and install four new murals.