Jeramey Jannene

WEDC, Milwaukee Downtown Tout “We’re All In” Safety Campaign

Saying COVID-19 is not a political issue, leaders want individuals to support businesses with safe practices.

By - Aug 7th, 2020 04:30 pm
Beth Weirick, Sam Rikkers, Matt Dorner and Lafayette Crump at the "We're All In" press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Beth Weirick, Sam Rikkers, Matt Dorner and Lafayette Crump at the “We’re All In” press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) joined with the Milwaukee Downtown business improvement district and Department of City Development Wednesday to tout its “We’re All In (to stop the spread of COVID-19)” initiative aimed at promoting businesses engaged in safe practices.

The marketing initiative follows the state’s small business grant program that provided safety-focused grants of up to $2,500 for businesses with 20 or fewer employees and annual revenue of up to $1 million.

“We’re all in on this effort,” said WEDC deputy secretary Sam Rikkers on attempting to safely reopen businesses.

“It is not a political issue,” said Rikkers. “We need to promote, as business leaders, it is cool to do these things, it is cool to wear a mask.”

“If we have learned anything in recent weeks, it is that science should lead our decision making,” said DCD Commissioner Lafayette Crump. “There is no question that the economic challenges we are facing are enormous.”

Crump, touting a city funding program that provided $4 million to approximately 400 businesses for safety-related business restart expenses, said another round of grants would be coming. “We are not done,” said the commissioner.

“I am so proud of our businesses in downtown Milwaukee that have made a path forward,” said Milwaukee Downtown CEO Beth Weirick.

She encouraged people to patronize downtown businesses, be it via curbside pickup, carryout orders or in a “small bubble” of friends or family.

“Give it a try, make it back and make it back safely,” said Weirick.

WEDC hopes its campaign becomes a viral sensation and has launched Facebook and Instagram accounts in addition to a website for the effort. The state agency is also running a paid advertising campaign.

The website touts six actions individuals can take to support the program: wear a mask, stay socially distant, keep gatherings small, keep your hands clean, sanitize surfaces and avoid touching your face.

Rikkers gathered with Crump, Weirick and Milwaukee Downtown’s Matt Dorner in the plaza outside the 411 Building before walking to visit a series of downtown businesses engaged in COVID-safe business practices.

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Categories: Health

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