Supreme Court ruling
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on a 4-3 vote yesterday that Governor Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its authority when it extended the governor’s 'Safer at Home' order until May 26. The full ruling can be read here and Ruder-Ware's Coronavirus Team reviews the ruling at RuderWare.com.
Guidance for businesses
As it stands at this time, all businesses are allowed to open and should follow guidance provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. If businesses do not follow guidance or establish sound practices to protect employees and customers, there is a risk of litigation should someone not be protected. It is imperative to be methodical and adhere to the guidance.
The WEDC's guidelines for reopening were built with input from national and state health and industry experts and in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and our regional economic development partners.
The WEDC has compiled a series of industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety. Following these guidelines will help us all get Wisconsin’s economy back on track. To review the WEDC's guidelines, visit WEDC.org.
Returning to work
The Wisconsin Safety Council shares an 8-step guide to keep employees safe. View or download the guide on WiSafetyCouncil.org.
The CDC shares updated strategies and recommendations for employers responding to COVID-19, including those seeking to resume normal or phased business operations. Review these items on CDC.gov.
OSHA shares updated guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19. Review these items on OSHA.gov.
Protective Equipment and Supplies
As part of the Wisconsin Ready action plan to support businesses to operate safely, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is working with partners across the state to identify manufacturers that can supply personal protective equipment and other materials. Search the full list or click on the specific items of interest on WisconsinSupplierNetwork.com.
Masks available through Chamber members:
The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce has built a list of member companies that offer masks for sale. We'd like to support the retailers in our community by building an online guide letting others know what they have available and how to make the purchase.Ascentives Inc: Branded masks available.
Bull Falls Harley-Davidson of Wausau: Bandanas and buffs available.
Complete Office of Wisconsin: Masks available.
Fully Promoted: Both three-ply and KN95 masks are available, as well as branded options.
Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises Inc: Open to partnering with local businesses who wish to access their supply chain.
K-tech Kleening: Some masks available.
Quality Resource Group Inc: Branded masks available.
TD Fischer Group: Branded masks available
Young's Drug Store: 100% cotton masks with non-woven lining are available.
If your business is a retailer or supplier of masks, please share those details with Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-845-6231.
WEDC Secretary Hughes recently announced details for the We’re All In Grant designed to help businesses with less than 20 employees. The program will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 small businesses.
The program is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The grants will help small businesses with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.
One week application period: (June 15 through June 21, 2020)
To be eligible, businesses must:
- be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business;
- employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner;
- earn greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues; and
- have been in business in February 2020.
Applicants are encouraged to prepare for the one-week application period by gathering the required documents.
Contact the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce at email@example.com to request a letter or email of acknowledgement indicating your business was in operation in February 2020.
Guidance for employees who are sick:
According to the Marathon County Health Department, businesses should not require employees to have a release from a physician to return to work. Doing this puts more stress on our health care system by sending well workers into clinics that are already stressed. It also creates the risk that a well person comes into contact with a sick person in the clinical setting.
Employees who have experienced symptoms can return to work when these three things have happened:
They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
If you are awaiting for a test result the employee must self-isolate and monitor symptoms for at least 7 days since their symptoms began, AND three days after their symptoms resolve.
If employers have questions about an employee who has been tested they can call the Health Department at 715-261-1900 for guidance.
Visit MCDEVCO.org for more information.
MCDEVCO and their team of volunteer professional mentors are committed to providing assistance to all entrepreneurs and small businesses in Marathon County. Business owners who would like to be contacted by a mentor, please fill out this online form. If you have any questions and/or comments please contact MCDEVCO at 715-298-0084 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Chamber are encouraged to post available temporary positions to WausauChamber.com through their MIC (Member Information Center) account. Non-members are welcomed to share temporary job openings by contacting the Chamber’s marketing manager, Brian Otten at 715-848-5947.
The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce provides a Childcare Connection resource in an attempt to serve those whose childcare options have been impacted by measures mandated to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). This resource is intended to serve as the connecting piece between businesses of all types and those who can provide childcare.
The Chamber offers a daily community email update during the work week (Monday through Friday). This message will be sent to the entire chamber membership and to community members who sign up here.
The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce fills a unique role as an organization in our community. The Chamber serves as the connecting piece between businesses of all types, government entities, educational institutions and the not-for-profit sector. These connections will be tested in the coming weeks due to the necessary measures which have been put into place, and those which will follow, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) across our country.
We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and continuously evaluating options for all of our upcoming programs and events. Our primary concern is for the safety of our members and the community.
The team at the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce is poised to assist our members and others in the community to help soften the blow that will impact our community and families. The Chamber is not an expert in this health crisis, but we are able to uniquely connect, coordinate and convey critical information to the business community and our partners in an effort to inform and guide. Because this virus knows no geographic boundaries, our office is reaching out to our chamber peers in Merrill, Stevens Point, Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids to explore ways in which we can support each other.