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Wisconsin businesses look forward to a future when they can return to providing the products and services their customers need and crave, unencumbered by threats to the health of their employees and those they serve. Working toward that future will require the gradual adoption of new business practices that reflect the evolving reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and our success in mitigating the effects of this unprecedented global health emergency.

Join us and host Sam Rikkers, Chief Operating Officer, WEDC, as he walks us through the relief and recovery resources created 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 Safety and Professional Services, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and regional economic development partners. WEDC has compiled a series of industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety.

We will also learn more about the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program and how to apply. Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the grant program will provide $2,500 to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.


About the Speaker:

Sam Rikkers is deputy secretary and chief operating officer for WEDC. Prior to joining WEDC in November 2019, he served as strategic economic initiatives director at the Wisconsin Department of Administration. Sam has an extensive background in rural development, both in the U.S. and internationally. He served in the White House from 2013 to 2014 as director on the energy and environment team in the Presidential Personnel Office, then was administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Before returning to Wisconsin in 2017, he launched and led the Rural Opportunity Initiative of the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. In Wisconsin, he served as executive director or Tiny Earth, a global ini­tiative based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, harnessing the research f undergraduate students to discover new antibiotics. A native of Stoughton, Sam holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Macalester College. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia.

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