On Wednesday, July 1 Axios hosted the first of a series of six events on small business recovery across America. Axios co-founder Mike Allen and cities correspondent Kim Hart lead a conversation with leaders across Wisconsin, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Madison Black Chamber of Commerce President Camille Carter and Timber Hill Winery owner Amanda Stefl.
Sen. Ron Johnson unpacked the country's response to the coronavirus, stressing the need for the government to recapitalize businesses that have been economically devastated.
- On the measures taken to slow the spread of coronavirus: "I think we overreacted. We closed too much of our economy down, and I don't think we focused enough on what we needed to do: isolate the sick, quarantine them, protect the vulnerable."
- On what the government can do for small business owners: "We really need to be taking a look at some program or programs ... to potentially restore capital to viable businesses that can reopen."
Timber Hill Winery owner Amanda Stefl discussed how her business and others in the food industry have changed during coronavirus.
- On how they stay engaged with customers: "With the pandemic, we've taken a big shift to online, hosting our events online and increasing the capabilities of our website to improve our online sales."
Madison Black Chamber of Commerce President Camille Carter highlighted the coronavirus's impact on the Black business community. The chamber represents 350+ Black-owned businesses in Madison, Wisconsin.
- On why some entrepreneurs might hesitate to restart businesses: "It’s very difficult to be shut down despite all of your hard efforts and the thought of rebuilding and going through that process can be daunting."
- On the power of community: "Through these challenges you find multiple levels of government — city, county and state — really coming together and sharing resources and wanting to invest in the solution more than ever before."
Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.